We are an all volunteer-run 501c3 Non-profit dedicated to your right to choose affordable and fulfilling after-death arrangements.
FCA of Utah is an affiliated member of the national Funeral Consumers Alliance.
#1 Advice: Do NOT automatically hire the mortuary closest to your house or funeral location. It is unnecessary. It is nothing for Funeral Directors to drive. If you knew you could save $2K by hiring a mortuary one town or one county away why wouldn't you do it? See side-bar links to compare prices at a glance.
#2 Advice: Do not hire a mortuary. Pulling off a shotgun wedding has more moving parts than caring for your own dead! Our "DIY Funerals" page has how-to, step-by step instructions, and much more.
Caring For Your Own Dead
Let's address some fears that people have when they hear that a neighbor/friend/relative is caring for their dead without hiring a funeral director.
1) Is it lawful? Yes. Utahans have the lawful right to not hire a funeral director, or if they desire, to only hire a Funeral Director for part of the work. See our DIY page for instructions on getting the necessary paperwork from the Vital Records Office of the county where death occurred.
2) Is it dangerous? No. Dead bodies don’t harbor dangerous bacteria unless the person died of a contagion (such as Jacob Kruetzfeld or Mycobacterium Tuberculosis). Typical disease dies with the death of the body. If you could care for the person before death then be assured that death has only made any risk decrease.
3) Is it messy? No. There's no need to spend thousands of dollars over the possibility of leaking bodily fluids. If it happens at all it's minimal. What worked before death for that works after death as well.
4) Doesn't a body need to be embalmed? No. It must be cremated or buried or refrigerated by 24hrs. Refrigeration at home is often accomplished using strategically placed dry ice or refreezable ice packs around the body, or in the colder months simply a room between 32 - 40 degrees F.
5) Is it immodest? No. If you took care of your loved one’s needs in a modest way BEFORE death, you certainly know how to do so after death too. There's no cause for immodesty.
6) Are you equipped? Yes. If you own, can rent, or borrow a van, truck, or SUV and you know how to run a meeting then you can transport a casket (even across state lines) and can put on a funeral, memorial or graveside ceremony.
I have a friend who was sabotaged from carrying out a funeral without a funeral director because her congregation leader, out of fear and lack of information, pressured her to hire a funeral director. That's why I wrote this article.
Hopefully these 6 facts begin to assure you that you or your neighbor should go ahead and exercise the right to an affordable and fulfilling final goodbye.
Your Membership Supports
Pre-planning and at-need help
Mortuary Prices Comparison of funeral dealerships throughout Utah
Information on alternatives to pre-paying
Information about simple and do-it-yourself funeral & burial options
Free phone help for anyone (members and those who aren't members yet)
A periodic newsletter
A statewide volunteer action network
Availability in the future (we are very frugal with your money)
Transferable membership to other FCA affiliates nationwide
Our Consumer Advocacy