Funeral Economy: Simplicity is Key

Suburban Detroit funeral director Thomas Macksoud says the faltering economy is the reason behind a trend unlike anything he’s seen in his 30-year career. Many people can no longer afford to fund life insurance policies or put aside money for funeral expenses; thus, when a loved one dies, cash-strapped families must look for simple, low-cost burials and cremations without all the “extras” that can drive up the price of a funeral to $8,000 or more.

In response to this growing need, Macksoud recently opened his business, Simple Funerals, with three locations in the metro Detroit area. He also maintains a website for people who prefer to shop online for funeral goods and services.

Macksoud does not own a funeral home; instead, he uses the facilities of a local licensed funeral home on a contract basis to prepare a body for burial or cremation. He also eschews visitation hours, hearses and limousines, significantly reducing his overhead costs and passing on the savings to families who can’t afford a costly funeral.

For a standard fee of $835, Macksoud will transport a body from the hospital or medical examiner’s office to the funeral home, prepare the body, complete all necessary paperwork, guide families in choosing an inexpensive casket or cremation urn, and transport the body to the cemetery or deliver the cremains to the family.

Macksoud readily acknowledges that “this isn’t for everyone,” but Simple Funerals provides a dignified alternative to a high-priced funeral for families in need.

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