Parting.com: Funeral Price Comparison Website

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parting0Talking about death is always an awkward topic (even though it will happen to all of us), but this is my version of the many similar PSA-type funeral articles you’ll come across in personal finance magazines and columns.

The standard advice: If you are in the unfortunate circumstance that you are looking for funeral services, you should compare prices and services. The same service and products from two different funeral homes can vary by thousands of dollars. Even worse, some funeral homes are quite aggressive at pushing optional services as “necessary”. It is best to shop around.

Here are some good resources committed to educating shoppers:

The problem with this advice: comparing prices is a big hassle. All these pages will tell you to compare prices, as I just did. The government even requires that funeral homes provide their prices upfront upon request. However, they don’t require them to post them in an itemized manner online, so it is still a hassle to call up multiple places and make sure you are comparing prices for equivalent services. Parting.com is the first “price search engine” for funeral homes that I’ve seen that has apparently manually asked thousands of funeral homes for their price disclosures through phone calls, e-mail, and fax. Here is a screenshot for Los Angeles, California:

parting1

I have not actually used Parting before, but I wouldn’t mind using their work to help me get started. Hopefully their reviews database will fill out over time. I came across other pricing sites, but they either had limited quote coverage or they charge an upfront fee (FuneralPriceFinder and I’mSorryToHear).

You may also consider restricting your search to funeral homes that work with the non-profit Funeral Consumer Alliance, if they have affiliates in your area.

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Comments

  1. At http://www.yourfuneralchoice.com, we actually have extremely good UK coverage, with over 3500 fees listed. Our service is available to around 90% of the UK population. It is free to use and you do not have to register any details.

    • That explains it, I put in a few US zip codes and got no results. I will change my original post to remove your site as this is post is written for a US audience.

  2. Dear Jonathon,
    I appreciate seeing this article in a ‘financial’ setting. I would like to add the National Home Funeral Alliance (homefuneralalliance.org) to your awareness regarding monies and savings. This organization promotes education on how to “DIY home funerals” where a designated family member acts as as the funeral director for their loved one. Using a price list, ideally, they can choose which services they would like to use, or not. Imagine the savings and use of money to support a loved one’s funeral! It is a beautiful experience and often peaceful for those who choose this option. There are folks who offer services to help a family find their way when DIY seems overwhelming…they are called home funeral guides.
    There is no need to go in to debt for a funeral; the love you have need not be compared to the money you spend. People from all walks of life have had home funeral experiences and the movement is growing!
    Thanks again for addressing the topic of death and funerals.

  3. For those folks wanting to give a gift to future medicine research, consider body donation to a local medical school or non-profit whole body donation program. They typically cover all costs including cremation. You could help advance medicine through your donation. I am definitely considering it for myself (hopefully in the distant future!)

  4. funeralocity.com has been working hard to compile accurate and up to date pricing for funeral homes in the US. We will likely be more up to date than the above sources in dozens of metropolitan areas, with more coming online every day.

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