The Funeral Education Foundation based in Palo Alto just released its 2006 survey of mortuary prices in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. The survey indicates that there is a 20 percent increase in average prices since the last survey was made in 2004.
This survey is a quick way to compare funeral homes to make future plans. This year FEF also asked how many people could be seated in the funeral home chapel, if refreshments could be served, whether foreign languages could be accommodated, and handicapped access as well as monetary matters. For funeral homes unresponsive to a mailed request for a General Price List and Casket List, volunteers from the consumer organization visited in person and asked for the lists, and the mortuary was required to provide them, per the Federal Trade Commission's Funeral Rule. FEF advises consumers to be sure to obtain these lists before talking prices and funeral plans with a mortuary.
To obtain a free copy, send a self-addressed and stamped envelope to FEF at P.O. Box 60448, Palo Alto, CA 94306. Indicate which county you are interested in (or both counties).
FEF is a five year old charitable public benefit organization that has offices at 463 College Ave. (a church) with Funeral Consumers Alliance. FCA is a nonprofit membership organization offering discounts at a number of funeral homes for its members. You may also want to request information about this group, too, and see their prices compared to the retail prices posted in the survey.