Despite the fact that death is something everyone on earth ultimately faces, the topic is still taboo in many cultures. As a result, many individuals fail to commit to the essential tasks surrounding end-of-life planning and funeral costs. This leaves grieving families vulnerable to the whims of predatory funeral homes and puts your estate at risk.
How to Plan for and Minimize Funeral Costs
To mitigate these risks, advance end-of-life and funeral planning can protect your family and your assets. Here are some ways you can start the process of understanding funeral costs now.
As you reach your golden years, consider getting funeral insurance. Like life insurance, funeral insurance can be used to cover burial and ceremony costs in the event of your death. Unlike most life insurance policies, the payout is lower, reflective of your estimated funeral costs. As a result, your policy payments will be lower as well.
Having funeral insurance forces you to think about what you want to happen to celebrate your life, as your overall policy is estimated on the aspects your choose. For example, if you want a simple, graveside service and modest stone, your policy will reflect that. If you desire a full service at your church, with a viewing, transportation for immediate family, and reception, your policy will be customized to accommodate those wishes. For more information, discover the truth about funeral insurance with FinalExpenseInsurance.com.
Be Clear in What You Want
In all fairness, not all funeral homes are out to make the upsell. Most take pride in their work and seek to help the bereaved honor their loved one during a difficult time. However, your family might be their own worst enemies during the process and drive the upsells themselves. When a grieving family wants to honor a loved one, they will often choose the nicest options presented to them. This means a more expensive casket or urn and full service. This quickly adds up on your final bill.
To prevent this from happening, write exactly what you want down in your will or an associated document. You may even go as far as to choose your own casket or service plan and set a budget. If you know that certain family members will balk at your plans, appoint a designated planner in your will to take the reigns, ensuring the plan is followed.
The idea of shopping for your own casket or headstone can seem morbid and unusual. However, many people opt to purchase their own cemetery plot and monument years in advance. Not only does this reduce the expenses at the time of their death, but it also helps them guarantee that they get into the cemetery they want. This may be a place close to their childhood home or near their late parents.
Some people will even go as far as to pay for their funeral in advance. If you decide to go this route, be sure to keep documented proof with your will and verbally communicate this information to your family. If this option seems too far-fetched for you, stick with funeral insurance.
More often, people are leaving behind traditional funeral rites and opting for something more uplifting and personal. Communicate your desire to have a celebration of life rather than a funeral ceremony. If you have interest in some of the unique alternatives to a traditional burial, such as specific ash scattering locations, include these in your plans.
Alternative options are usually more affordable as they step out of the commercial scope of death and funeral planning. Note that having your ashes launched into space, while nontraditional, is more expensive than having a funeral.
Whatever you choose to do, do so with your loved ones and personal desires in mind. Planning in advance for funeral costs and making your wants clear will reduce expenses and undue hardship for those you leave behind.