Funeral planning provides an opportunity to save money and spare your heirs the confusion and added stress of guessing what you may have wanted.
Death and money: they are two things that we like to pretend don’t matter and hate to talk about. Therefore, what better way to tackle them both than a conversation about planning your funeral? An article in gobankingrates.com, “7 Money Secrets about Dying That No One Wants to Talk About,” provides useful information on what to expect when planning a funeral and some tips on keeping funeral costs to a somewhat reasonable level.
Funerals Can Be Darn Expensive. Funerals homes charge about $6,000 for funeral services, and you'll pay an additional $2,000 for burial, $1,000 for a grave marker or $2,000 for a headstone. That adds up to $10,000 or more. Your family could also spend even more, if you don't put your final wishes in writing and discuss them with your family. The high cost of a funeral you didn’t want, could put your family in debt.
Look at Less Expensive Funeral Options. It’s hard to be sensible and objective when you're dealing with the emotional stress of a loved one's death. However, there are differences in prices. You can find this information online. Do some comparison shopping for your family and tell them which funeral home you prefer.
A Funeral Package Deal Isn’t Always a Great Deal. A funeral home might offer a package, but you may not want or need everything that's included in it. Look at your options because funeral home pricing is dependent on the services provided. You can also buy the grave marker, headstone or casket online directly from wholesalers or distributors, which can cut costs.
A Traditional Funeral Isn’t the Only Option. Don’t feel pressured into having a traditional funeral for yourself or your loved one, especially if you can't afford it. The difference between a full traditional burial and a cremation can be $7,000, with the additional services required.
Prepaid Funeral Policies. Funeral homes and insurance companies offer prepaid funeral policies. This sounds like a good way to save your family money on your funeral costs, but you can spend more on premiums than the policy will pay at your time of death.
Planning your own funeral is not as much fun as planning a vacation, but not planning will leave your family at the mercy of funeral homes and their price structures. To cover all of your bases, sit down with an estate planning attorney to prepare your will and other estate planning documents. This way, all of your end-of-life business is completed, and you and your loved ones can focus on enjoying living.
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