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No one likes to think about their own mortality. In fact, Psychology Today points out we avoid thinking about it as much as we can. Unfortunately, our own funeral will come around eventually whether we want to plan for it or not. By planning ahead and beginning to prepare now, you can save time and money for both you and for your loved ones. 

UNDERSTANDING THE EXPENSE

The costs associated with an average funeral have been rising over the years, with the cost of the funeral itself starts around $7,000—and that’s before a plot or a headstone. While planning for funerals is never comfortable, you can rest easier knowing that these surprise burdens won’t come to rest on your loved ones, and there are a few ways you can cover those costs on their behalf.

CONSIDER YOUR OPTIONS

Most of us don’t consider what we want done with our remains. The cost differences can be steep, so it can be beneficial to know what you want and what you will need to save. For a traditional burial, for instance, you will need to consider a plot, while cremation can be much more flexible. Think about how you want to be memorialized to make smart financial choices.

CONSIDER INSURANCE OPTIONS

There are plenty of insurance options related to final expenses. Be sure to research various providers; looking at consumer reviews can give you a good idea what is out there. Burial insurance is a good option for many, so long as you invest in a policy with a reliable insurer. 

This type of insurance is ideal for people under 70 who are in decent health and don’t have any disqualifying issues. As opposed to most life insurance policies, medical exams are not always necessary, and they are far more affordable than full-life plans. That said, they are not ideal if you need more than $20,000 to cover your funeral plans. 

The money from burial insurance can be used to cover other costs like medical bills and mortgages, saving your family from more unexpected debt. Preneed funeral insurance can offer higher payouts, but typically cost more and are given directly to vendors associated, not your beneficiaries. Evaluate your needs ahead of time to help you make an educated choice and get the right fit for you and yours.

THINK ABOUT YOUR POSSESSIONS

When we consider end-of-life planning, we think of the burial, but don’t always think of what comes next. As your loved ones grieve, tensions about heirlooms and family items can come to the surface. Consider your options carefully: you can will your items to family members, create a trust, or just give away the things you love before you’re gone. 

Lawyers.com explains that things like houses can be multilayered and require planning. Similarly, objects like engagement and wedding rings and family heirlooms have high sentimental value, so it’s important to think of these things when making future plans. Leaving clear instructions for your loved ones will make the transition of ownership as smooth as possible. 

To ensure your plans are carried out the way you wish, consider meeting with an estate planning attorney. It’s the best way to frame your plans legally, and it eliminates any guesswork for your survivors. 

TALK TO YOUR FAMILY

When a loved one passes away, there are suddenly dozens of questions about plans and final wishes. When you and your family talk about intentions, they should be part of the discussion since they will be the ones carrying out your wishes. They may not be able to deliver everything that you want, and that should be part of the discussion too. They should know that what they can do for you will be enough.

The death of a loved one is always just as stressful as it is inevitable. While we can’t avoid it, we can try to plan ahead well in advance to get the best deals and prepare others for what we want. Relieving the extra, unexpected burdens from your loved ones can minimize their trauma as much as possible, leaving everyone more at peace with the future.

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