Even if you don’t know too much about funerals, most people know at least one thing: a death in the family can be very costly.
Traditional burials have always required a number of different services to prepare the body for burial, which can end up costing families thousands of dollars. While cost effective alternatives to traditional burial are available, such as cremation, there is no doubt that you or your loved ones will end up with a significant financial responsibility following a death. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can start thinking about your own burial. Some decisions you can make ahead of time, in order to lessen the responsibility both emotionally and financially.
The Early Bird Gets the Worm
As with most things, there are a lot of variables and possibilities that go into planning a funeral that can often be overlooked in the heat of the moment. Thinking about these decisions now, and laying some of the groundwork, is a big step in the right direction. Your funeral doesn’t have to cost $10,000 — it doesn’t even have to cost $5,000, just so long as you understand the choices you have that influence those costs.
Most people never know to think about alternative methods of body disposition, such as green burials or alkaline hydrolysis. Both options can end up saving you thousands of dollars compared with traditional burials, and require a lot less hassle on your part. Alkaline Hydrolysis, in particular, allows for more flexibility in how you or your loved ones choose to handle the body. The body can be contained as ashes or spread at a permissible location of your choice.
Planning ahead not only helps with burial costs and peace of mind, but funeral homes and other funeral professionals actually prefer it when you make decisions before the time of need and will often extend financial incentives to assist with planning ahead. For example, many cemeteries and funeral homes will offer discounts on their services or products if you purchase them as part of a prepaid funeral arrangement.
Funeral and Cemetery professionals exist to walk you through the process of thinking about your funeral, be it at the beginning or near the end of your life, and their operations often consist of staff with decades of combined experience in funeral and cemetery services. A good funeral home or cemetery has dedicated professionals who are more than happy to walk you through the process of planning for a funeral and to bring you peace of mind.
The Price Over Your Head
Whether you plan ahead or are arranging at the time of need, funeral costs can feel overwhelming. The good news is, funeral homes and cemeteries have different financing plans that will assist with payment at any stage of your life. Additionally, if you start working through the details of a prepaid arrangement early, the prices for your services and products will be locked in as they already agreed upon whether there is financing or everything is purchased up front.
Some funeral homes will allow you to plan for your funeral with investment plans, and some will allow you to buy insurance with them, where they will cover all expenses related to your funeral at a fixed fee. Some allow you to buy insurance with them, where they’ll cover all expenses related to your funeral at a fixed fee. Life insurance plans may also cover some of these costs.
There are plenty of ways to start laying down the framework and financial structure now, so that eventually you will have covered the cost of your death arrangements.
Of course, no amount of prepaid arranging or price-locking can beat just having money prepared for when the time comes. If you’re not someone looking to trust anyone else with that responsibility, or you’d simply rather have it come from you, saving ahead for your own death arrangements is the way to go. While you may lose the security of knowing that you’ll definitely have enough when the time comes, there are ways you can look ahead and project how much you may need to accumulate. Plus, the saving is on your terms — you decide when to spend and how much to spend. As long as you keep track of how much you need to be saving, and how frequently, you can assure that your loved ones will have the ability to plan your funeral arrangements with limited stress.
Planning ahead and determining how you would like to pay for your funeral arrangements is the only way to make sure you’re paying what you are comfortable with and can afford. It may not be easy to think about, but it’s never too early to start planning for your funeral.