2018 Price Comparison

Every two years we request General Price Lists (GPLs) from all the funeral homes in Western Massachusetts. In February 2018 we mailed letters to the 84 funeral homes. Eventually, after some followup, we obtained GPLs for 54 of these funeral homes (a 64.3% response rate). We have analysed the data and prepared a report and a chart comparing prices for these categories: 

  • Immediate Burial
  • Direct Cremation
  • Basic Services Fee
  • Embalming
  • Least Expensive Casket
  • Least Expensive Vault

You can read a full report of our methods, with 
definitions of these services. That report will help you interpret the data presented in a chart of the results: 

 2018 Price Comparison chart (a spreadsheet on Google Drive).  

The funeral homes are listed alphabetically. You will see the note "no reply" by the ones that failed to provide their GPLs. On other entries you will see codes indicating notes about specific variations. Explanations of those codes are given on sheet 2 (titled *Notes) of that spreadsheet. We’ve shortened the list of codes this year, and moved a positive one to the top: a = GPL is available online at the funeral home’s website. We wish that ALL funeral homes would post their prices online. (In some states, such as California, online posting is required.) Four funeral homes in our region do so now; in 2016 only one had posted prices online. 

Examples of other codes used this year: 

  • b = Description of services differs from definitions used by FCAWM (and FTC).  Be sure to read their General Price List (GPL) carefully; the discrepancies could be to your advantage, or not.
  • c = Ownership is non-local. (Eleven funeral homes on our region are owned by Carriage Services of Houston, TX.)