Economy affects funeral homes

By: Shalah Sasse Email
By: Shalah Sasse Email

News 12 This Morning, January 13, 2008

AUGUSTA, Ga. --- Funeral homes are certainly being effected by the economy, but some are feeling it more than others.

Poteet Funeral Home says as a business they're being affected by the economy, just like everyone else because people don't have as much money to spend.

"Families have to have our service, so it's something that they plan for. So we'll be fine," Poteet Funeral Home Manager, Brent Jones said.

Families are facing some difficult decisions. Brent Jones says he's seen families choose cremation, even though their loved one wanted to be buried. He says it's hard to go against someone's wishes, but it's hard to pay for them too.

"Before families were able to say, when we have a death we'll use our 401k from work to pay for our funeral. Those things are disappearing or are being deminished," Jones said.

Jones says they try to help families whose plans to bury a loved one, have changed because of the economy. He says you can go to the bank for an emergency loan, and you can cut costs by what type of service you want. Jones says cremation is about $3,000 cheaper than a burial, which includes the cemetery plot, headstone, vault, and casket.

"But it has certainly increased more. Families are making every decision they can to cut expenses, and certainly more families are choosing cremation at a time like this. Yes," Jones said.

While some funeral homes are seeing an increase in cremation, others like Elliot Sons Funeral Home say it's business as usual.

"People are choosing cremation because of their religious and cultural backgrounds it's not particularly a choice whether it be as far as an economical situation," Elliot Sons Funeral Home Manager, Mark Jones said.

He says he's seen a 30% increase of people planning ahead, and paying for the services now to save money years down the road.


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