Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Yes Dad!
Son, your becoming of age now and I think it is time that you and I sat down and had a talk, you see there are some things in life that you may not understand or may have been lead to believe and one of those things is what I am about to share with you. It may be a little uncomfortable but I think we can both get thru this.
What is it Pop? I can handle it, go ahead. WAIT! Let me get a little glass of water first. (sip)
Son there are things out there, things that people create to pull the wool over your eyes, things that  appear not quite as they should be, and things created to appear to be taking your welfare into account when  in fact……. It is not so, and one of those things is…, none other than………..
Oh Pleas Dad, say it isn’t so!
I cant Son, it’s true, it’s out there and it’s waiting for the day that you walk into your friendly neighborhood funeral home.

(notice the sneeky little trap door)

The rental casket was a devious plan that was created so funeral homes can recover some of the monies lost when a family chooses to cremate over the almost outdated (notice I said almost) in ground burial. It is no secret, and yes even society is becoming keenly aware that a vast majority of the funeral homes revenue comes thru the ridicules mark-up of the casket. Well The Funeral industry had to come up with yet another idea to recover those lost charges.
How many times have you heard someone say “Oh, just put me in a box and burn me” well, believe it or not, that is possible, its called direct cremation, we will revisit direct cremation on another day. Direct cremation may be the wish of the deceased but some (not all) funeral providers do hope and prey on your desire to see the deceased one more time or have that final viewing so you can be “convinced” your friends can say goodbye (even though the deceased wanted to be put in that box and… well, you know)
So you agree on a visitation but instead of a simple cremation container or a cloth covered inexpensive cremation container, you are perhaps encouraged to consider “the rental casket” The rental casket DOES appear more traditional, I mean, it DOES look like a casket.  It looks classy and expensive and your friends will think you paid allot of money for it so now,......... you don't appear cheap! (thats is the sales pitch)

That’s just laying the ground work, now the counselor has you hooked, along with that comes the flowers and the cards and the service and so on, and so on, and so on. What started out as a simple little goodbye has turned into a $4,500 service topped off with a $400 Urn because gosh darn it your Pop deserve the best DOESN'T HE?, even though your definition of the best does not have to burst outside of your budget. Or non of this is really what he wanted in the first place!
The rental casket is nothing more than a casket that is built, traditionally out of oak but as of late, the industry is reaching outside of the box (no pun intended) for variety. It has no interior and is created with a trap door at the foot for removing the deceased after viewing to send them off to cremation. Remember that box? You still get it. Other names for it are “The surround” or “the rental”
A funeral home purchases “the rental for about $1,500. They the rent it out to the families for anywhere between $500 to $900. Most of the time it is listed on the general price list. If it is, and it does not read “insert included”,  or if it is listed on a cremation package and does not read “insert included” Then chances are, the insert is NOT included.
This is a rental insert

You need the insert to use the casket so if you pay for one, you will need the other. Expect to pay for the insert as well, between $150 to $250 more. The insert is what the deceased goes to cremation in. The box is removed from the rental after the service and a lid is put on it and the deceased is sent off to cremation. All of the insert, the pillow, the throw and any removable cloth parts that are purchased with each insert.
 Let me repeat that! It is illegal to re-use an insert for another family. You see, sometimes disreputable or GREEDY funeral homes do re-use them to save a little money or double their income.

IF YOU USE A RENTAL CASKET, and there is nothing at all wrong with using one if that is what you want, ensure it's INSERT is, well…………………………………….NEW!
Look, I have a rental casket at AVENIDAS, I also have other cremation plans that do not offer the rental casket.  I also offer the rental at no cost to the family if need be because they truly cant afford much. This is my option, I am a business owner.
Remember. Two or three services for most funeral homes and the rental is paid off, the rest of the charges are pure profit baby, $600 and up to $800 at a time. 

PSSST! wanna know a secret? Visitations can be made in a simple cardboard box if that’s what you want to use. Very dignified and it falls right in line with the old mans wishes when he says

Lined cremation container for viewing with pillow
Your cost $75.00  

It was your wish Dad, to keep it simple.
Not some funeral homes dream………………….

Buena Suerte my friends!

"My Simple Wish cremation package"

Basic service of the funeral director and staff
Removal from the place of death
Embalming, dressing, casketing & cosmetics
Lined cremation box for viewing
2 hour daytime visitation, Monday - Friday
No later than 4PM
Administrative fees
County permits
Transport to the crematory
Cremation process
Plastic cremains container

*other costs may apply


  1. Thank you so much for all of the information. I'm a new student of Mortuary Sciences, and it's helping me LEARN what I'm getting into!
    -Denver F...Wisconsin

  2. you are so full of shit ! you know nothing of the development of the rental casket --check your facts

  3. Dear disgruntled funeral home owner, for 15 years I have been doing this, I own a funeral home, have worked for SCI, worked for independents and am closley associated with an "AMERICAN" casket manufaturer and distributing company. Also the Arizona State Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers. So, I think my facts are straight, however your tone of vulgure language DEFINATLY shows the level of nerve I have touched with you, also your AGAIN non-desire to reveal yourself by name or buisness. Therefore I consider your response as that of a disgruntled buisness owner that has been outed. Good Day Sir!

    1. Miguel, is that what your inserts look like? If so that's immensely better than what we were giving families at our former employer. I'm impressed.

  4. I thought there was an actual casket insted of a box. My self personally would rather have a funeral, then cremated. I am a organ donor and i look forward into that. Thank you for all the information you have given me aslo.