Bob Lockler finally covered the cost of his burial plan last August after 12 years of payments. Only now he’s facing more bills.
‘He went on to tell me it was going to cost me about another $3,000 to pay for everything,’ Lockler told KSHB.
Newsy’s partners at KSHB report the Kansas City, Missouri, resident got another bill in October. Lockler says he’s been duped by hidden fees.
Hidden costs of funerals
Among the fees in that second wave was the internment fee –– the cost of digging the grave and lowering the casket, which seems pretty counterintuitive to not have as part of the original burial plan.
But the president of Lockler’s funeral home told KSHB these fees weren’t included because they are future services.
‘A future service, by law, would have to be funded in some sort of side arrangement,’ the president told KSHB.
Taxes also can’t legally be included in the original plan if the service hasn’t been carried out. For instance, Lockler’s casket has yet to be made, so the tax has to go through a side fund.
‘I didn’t know that there were any additional charges,’ Lockler told KSHB.
The funeral home says information on the side fees was in the fine print of the original contract. The president told KSHB the funeral home discusses these side costs with all clients, but he couldn’t say for certain Lockler was told because his deal was made 12 years ago.
Lockler’s funeral home has since dropped his side costs to roughly $600.
How you can save
What can you do if you haven’t done any planning and you’re in sudden need of a funeral home?
Many homes have gone through roll-ups and been bought out by huge national chains. But the homes will still retain the old family-operated names. Unfortunately, economies of scale do not apply here. In fact, national chains come in and raise the rates astronomically.
So try to do some comparison shopping (as hard as that may be at the time) and find a locally owned and operated funeral home. That should run you about a 1/2 to 2/3 off the cost of the giant monster mega-chains. Remember, you can’t tell from the name outside, so you must ask.
Also, Clark advises that you don’t pay in advance, but rather plan in advance — for reasons like what happened to Bob Lockler. You can go to Funerals.org to get more information on planning in advance, which can help you save and avoid any extra hidden fees.