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|Full Service Burial||Green Burial|
|Veteran Service||Pet Service|
|BioCremation (Alkaline Hydrolysis)||Non-Profit|
Good services, not inexpensive
It is very cool that they post their prices on their website (saulfuneralhomes/services/GPL). Most funeral homes don't and I can't understand why any business would want to hide their prices. The Saul Homes are not the least expensive by any means, but they are not ashamed of their prices.
Their price list is quite unusual as most NJ funeral homes use a standard template (that might have come from NJ Funeral Directors Assoc). I like the section Decisions which starts with donation (which I've never seen listed first), then gives burial and cremation equal weight. Two pages later they actually list cremation before burial - very progressive. Then it gets a bit confusing, but they often do.
I'm not a fan of the retention "packages" - too confusing for the average, inexperienced consumer. But, since the alternative (that all other funeral directors use) is the Basic Services Fee, which makes no sense at all, I guess it's OK. At least you have a choice about what level of retention to buy whereas the Basic Services Fee is a one-size-fits-all. It would be nice if they added a note to the retention section indicating that you don't need to buy any of them if you buy a direct cremation or immediate burial package.
Charging $715 per day for refrigeration is crazy and way, way more expensive than anyone else in the area. There are a few charging $50 - $75 per day and several between $100 - $200. The closest to Saul are two charging $325 per day - less than 1/2 the price. Seems odd as I think it's an apples-to-apples comparison. Maybe their fridge is extra cold?
They charge for help with the obituary. Could make sense as it's not something mentioned as part of the basic services fee, but I haven't seen others charging for this as a separate line item yet.
Love that they volunteer "Our firm permits open casket viewing of unembalmed remains." All funeral directors should learn how to deal with unembalmed bodies and offer this option. Embalming is an invasive and generally unnecessary procedure that is not practiced in most of the world.
They might be the only funeral home around here that lists the crematory fee of $325 - very nice. Kind of nuts that most list the cremation package without mentioning that it doesn't come with the actual cremation.
However, the $3,370 price for direct cremation is over the top considering there are 10 others in the area that charge less than $1,300 for the same thing. The direct cremation package really is an apples-to-apples comparison.
The optional packages pages should indicate that if you buy one of them, you don't have to buy any of the retention options offered earlier.
I like that they show a range of products including the photo of the cardboard "alternative" container. I'll be really happy when funeral directors start showing those lovingly decorated by friends and family. It's amazing, beautiful and a lovely, healing activity during the viewing.
I have heard lots of good things about the Saul Funeral Homes. I think you will get good service from them. However, it is important to note that there are many less expensive funeral homes that will also provide good service.
This funeral home is to be commended for having detailed prices on its website, price information that would be helpful to consumers for whom price is a concern and for whom the Internet is the most convenient way to get it--home-bound elders or distant relations perhaps.