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Funerals/Me again on my daughters remains


QUESTION: So I got of the phone with them at the funeral home he said total is 1385.01 and this intrest is based on my contract and its 1.5% a month and 18% annually.

ANSWER: That's a pretty standard rate of interest. But I'm concerned if you weren't informed about that or were given a choice without the urn. Had you or the state/county paid for the cremation itself? Is is okay with you if I call the funeral home and try to negotiate a compromise?

For my own information, how did your daughter die? How old was she? Typically, funeral homes give away services for infants and maybe young children.

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QUESTION: I don't remember them telling me or my husband that.. But if we knew this then I would have just took her ashes in a jar. I don't think they did. she died July 2001 after her birth and the service was free. The gentleman who owned it in 2001 told us no parent should bury a child first and told us we would only have to pay for the urn. We only had to pay for the urn. But didn't have the money at the time and they never mentioned if we didn't hurry and pay that these rates would be added on. yes you may negotiate away.

This is typical, to give away the services and ask the parents to pay for the merchandise. I think he tho't that you'd pay the $190 before long and was probably very surprised you didn't.

He's obviously calculating compound interest. In other words, interest on the interest.

What are the chances you could afford to offer $500?

1% per month or 12% per year for 12 years is $463.60 under straight interest, not compound interest.

1.4% per month or 18% per year for 12 years is $600.40 simple interest. An offer of $500 would split the difference.

I think he's kind of greedy to pull the $1,385 trick on the one hand especially after all this time, but he did give away the cremation on the other. What do you think?


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Lisa Carlson


Funeral Law. Having written a 512-page book on funeral law for consumers with state-by-state information, I am very conversant with consumer rights in this regard: What are the laws on disposition of cremated remains? Is embalming required? Do I have to use a funeral home? Can I have a home wake? Is it a state law to buy a vault? I prepaid for a funeral but changed my mind. They won`t give me all my money back. What can I do? . . . If you have an immediate need for information because a death has just occurred or is about to occur, you may call me at 802-482-6021.


I have monitored the funeral industry on behalf of consumers for over 20 years. I have been a guest speaker to funeral trade organizations, consumer workshops, and social service professionals. I am regularly consulted by lawyers and legislators as well as journalists.

Funeral Ethics Organization ( Funeral Consumers Alliance (

Caring for Your Own Dead (1987) Caring for the Dead: Your Final Act of Love (1998) I Died Laughing: Funeral Education with a Light Touch (2001) Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death (2011) with co-author Joshua Slocum

Masters degree in Administration and Special Education

Past/Present Clients
Available as an expert witness for funeral-related court cases.

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