How to Decide Which Casket to Choose
Losing a loved one is a very personal and definitive moment in your life. While many people are prepared for the emotional weight of the event, they are not aware of the practical details attached with planning a funeral. And, while there is a long list of tasks to be attended to, one of the most personal, and often one of the most difficult, is choosing a casket.
For many people the casket is the visible symbol of the funeral in addition to being the final resting place of their loved one. They want to choose something that fits with what they feel their loved one would be pleased with yet is also appropriate for the type of burial they are having. The number of choices seems practically endless and many people quickly become overwhelmed with the different options and looks offered by various companies. In this article we hope to help you make sense of the chaos as we offer a detailed overview meant to help you choose the best casket to fit your needs. We understand how confusing and overwhelming this choice can be and it is our hope to help make the process move forward as smoothly as possible.
First, it is important to realize that caskets come in a huge variety of colors, trim packages and styles and that these choices are just the beginning of the customization options available at purchase. A casket should reflect your burial preferences as well as the culture and geography you live in. Different cultures have different burial customs which will affect the type of casket you choose. For example, if you live in a low lying area, such as New Orleans, then you will want to move forward with a very different final product than those customers who live in frozen climates or even others who opt for a traditional in-ground burial.
Our Best Tips for Choosing a Casket
Did you know that caskets are available in practically any material you can think of? It’s true! When many people think of choosing a casket, they tend to picture the more traditional wooden models. However, in truth, your choices go far beyond just that.
Currently caskets are commonly offered in:
- Traditional Wood
- Green Caskets which are Biodegradable
- Mixed or Semi Metal
- And many others!
And have you ever considered purchasing a custom casket? These caskets are designed by artists and are a growing trend. With custom caskets the family moves away from the traditional offerings in favor of a more eclectic choice that is a true piece of art. These pieces tend to reflect the individual while still keeping with the style of the artist and can offer a true whimsical touch. Each piece is unique. And, while they are typically formed out of either metal or wood, they are adorned with elegant designs or carvings that flow together to create something truly memorable. If you are hoping to provide something fun and different for your loved one, then this might be a trend you choose to look into. Artists are stationed all over the country and these custom pieces are typically available for delivery across the nation in as little as one to two days.
If you want to move forward with a more traditional wooden casket, you still are not limited to the standard pine box of the past. (Unless that is exactly what you want!) Today’s wooden caskets are beautiful. They are polished and rich, often with the look of stunning furniture rather than what one would think of in terms of a casket! Wooden caskets can be seen as warm and inviting. They make people feel like they are purchasing a luxurious bed rather than a casket and many people like the look of wood as it reminds them of home.
In contrast ,metal caskets can be painted in any color under the rainbow. This can be a great choice if you are hoping to reflect the personality of the deceased without choosing the custom casket route. Some people choose to go with the more dignified shades such as white, black or even grey, while others like to have some fun with their choice as they pick a fun color that is bright and playful. The great news? There isn’t a wrong choice here! It’s all about finding the right feel for you and planning the event that best fits your wants and needs.
For those individuals who truly want the simply, more natural look of the past, there are still several options for you to choose from. Many people steer away from this, choosing instead to go with the more modern choice, however simple (and biodegradable!) will never go out of style. What makes these simple choices stand out from the past are the extra touches today’s craftsmen impart on their work. These choices are more streamlined and less expensive, while still being beautiful and even delicate. Today, instead of the standard pine box of the past, you will find elegant carvings and polished wood that add dignity and beauty to even the most basic choice. Many people enjoy these details as they help add a level of honor and care to the service that otherwise might be missing. These caskets are also wonderful choices for those seeking a green burial or choosing cremation.
Just as people come in many shapes and sizes, so do caskets. Choosing the right size will depend on the size and age of your loved one. At this point, caskets are available in four standard sizes:
If you have questions about which size you should choose, then be sure to talk with your funeral director. They can help guide you in the right direction and even make recommendations if you are dealing with a special circumstance. No matter what, you can rest easy knowing there is a perfect choice for your exact situation. Even if it seems overwhelming, your funeral director will help you understand your options and guide you through the process from beginning or end. Truly this individual will be invaluable as you work through the funeral planning process. They will help you shape an event that fits with your wants while also taking your budget into account. Also, in terms of information, they will serve to answer all of your questions to ensure you are fully informed of the full process.
For the most part, caskets are made for one of two key purposes, burial or cremation. Keep in mind that burial, or interment, can refer to those caskets buried directly in the ground or in a burial vault or mausoleum. Many times when people hear the word “burial” they think only of an in ground burial and not of the other common options.
Now, the type of burial you choose will affect the type of casket you need. For example, a burial casket is made to be stronger. The idea is often for the casket to last for many years rather than to decompose. In contrast, a cremation casket is typically made of wood and designed to burn easily. These caskets are typically more inexpensive and are not meant to last.
As we stated earlier, the type of casket you choose will depend heavily on your needs, type of burial and even geography. Here again, if you have questions, reach out to your funeral director. They will help you understand your options and guide you as you make your choice. It’s not about right or wrong, it’s about choosing the best option for your needs.
Key Facts When Purchasing a Casket
Over the years we have receive many questions in terms of choosing and buying a casket. And, while we have attempted to answer as many as possible in this article, there are still a few key details outlined by the Federal Trade Commission that we would like to cover. If after reading through this information you still have questions, then please feel free to reach out at any time. Our team stands ready to help and will work to get you the information you need if at all possible.
- No Funeral Home can charge a handling fee when a casket is ordered anywhere else.
- The Funeral Home cannot refuse a casket from another company.
- The Funeral Home cannot ask for a receipt of the casket purchased somewhere else.
- The Funeral Home cannot require the family to sign a disclaimer or waiver.
- The Funeral Home cannot withdraw a discount offer when the family chooses to purchase a casket somewhere else.
- The Funeral Home cannot make any slanderous statements concerning purchasing a casket anywhere else. All those can be reported to the FTC and can result in fines of up to $10,000 for the funeral home.
Thanks to very efficient and effective modern shipping practices, caskets can be delivered to pretty much anywhere throughout the US in as little as one to two business days. Now, this is typically expedited shipping which will incur an additional charge, but even standard ground shipping will usually arrived within 5 business days.
One huge benefit to most families is that caskets ordered online can be shipped directly to the funeral home. Meaning they do not have to worry about having a way to transport the casket as it will be delivered directly to the destination.
In terms of shipping it is important to carefully read through all shipping policies. While most companies can guarantee delivery within the Continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii may require additional time.
Regardless of the method you choose, just be sure to stay in close contact with the company to ensure prompt and correct delivery. This will help ensure they have all of the information they need to ship the casket as soon as possible and that it arrives at the correct location.
We hope this article has served to provide you with helpful and complete information. Our goal is to make the funeral planning process as smooth as possible by outlining what you can expect and what decisions you will be expected to make. As always, if you have any questions, our team stands ready to help. Also be sure to check out our other in depth and informative posts as each one is designed to provide current and accurate information on a key topic related to funeral planning.