A family in Australia is suing a funeral home for swapping coffins from an expensive model to a less expensive one prior to transfer to a crematorium, according to Fox News in "Funeral Home swapped $1,700 coffin with $70 one family claims."
The family charges it paid for a deceased relative to receive a coffin worth $1,700 displayed at the funeral service. The coffin and the remains inside were then to be transferred to a crematorium. However, the funeral home delayed transporting the coffin by an hour.
When it finally arrived someone went down to check and noticed that the expensive coffin had been replaced by a cheap wooden box worth $70. Peering inside the box led to the discovery that the deceased's body had been placed in it along with letters written by her grandchild.
The funeral director did not deny the swap. However, he claimed that it was a common practice done to protect the more expensive coffin from the cold, since delays at the crematorium meant the remains would need to be frozen for some time.
This is just the latest scandal in a string of scandals in the funeral home industry in the U.S. and throughout the world. The industry has been found to be cutting corners at the expense of the decedents and their families.
It is important that people shop around and make sure they are using a reputable funeral home. It is also important to pay attention to what the funeral home says and what it does.
An elder law attorney can advise you if you are hesitant to sign a contract with a funeral home.
Reference: Fox News (Jan. 12, 2018) "Funeral Home swapped $1,700 coffin with $70 one family claims."