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First, you should shop around and talk to a few funeral directors. Yes, let your fingers do the walking-comparing prices for such things as casket, embalming, ant the cost for professional services.

Resist one-stop shopping, which can include such things as prayer cards, thank-you notes, and guest registers-they add up quickly. Many opt for the funeral home in their neighborhood for personalized services.

Decide on body disposition. Burial or cremation? If earth burial, a cemetery plot should be purchased; if above ground, a mausoleum crypt. If cremation is the choice, plan disposition of the ashes. Do you want them stored in a columbarium niche or buried? Maybe you prefer to have your ashes scattered?

An option some people take is to donate organs and tissues to a medical school. (Have a donor card and check on requirements.)


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