Concerned about rising funeral costs and want to get the most for your money? Waterville, Maine, resident Chuck Lakin is here to help.
Lakin is making coffins for people years before they die but with a twist - he makes them as furniture pieces that can be displayed in their homes until they are needed. Lakin lectures on affordable furniture alternatives, and over the last five years has developed a line of coffins that serve as functional pieces of furniture. The furniture pieces are easily converted to coffins.
"Basically, like on the bookcase coffin, you take the shelves out, you take the screws that are holding the shelves up out, and if you haven't put the handle on yet, you put the handles on and you're ready to go," Lakin told ABC News' Portland, Maine, affiliate WMTW.
Virginia Landry has a custom-made coffin that includes removable shelving, which is being used as storage for her collection of hand-sewn quilts.
"You know I'm in my 80s, by the time you're in your 80s, if you're not accepting the fact that you're not going to be around forever, what's wrong with you? When they get ready to take me over the hill it's going to be an easy job," Landry said.
Although Lakin builds to help people save money on funeral costs, he has found that many people are reluctant to buy.
"There are more people that are willing to talk about it now than there used to be, but it's still a tough sell for a lot of people," Lakin said.