Select a funeral home in your area and obtain permission from the director to interview an employee about the costs, concerns, and arrangements that have to be made when making funeral arrangements in advance of a person’s death. (Most directors will be willing to give you copy of their typical itemized cost sheet.) Make an appointment with that person, being sure to let him or her know that this is research. Here are some questions you might want to consider:
- What is the cost of the average funeral at this time?
- What is your best prediction for the cost of a funeral five years from now? Ten years from now?
- Are there any costs that cannot be paid in advance?
- What happens to the money you pay in advance? How is it stored, used, etc.?
- What does “irrevocable trust” mean?
- What advantages or disadvantages are inherent in advanced payment?
Should turn in a detailed summary of your questions and the answers to those questions, as well as your conclusions about the wisdom and/or difficulties of making arrangements in advance.