Thinking about funeral planning is not an ideal experience people typically look forward to. You may not want to think about the end of your life, but in order to have your wishes fulfilled, your family's expenses covered, and a seamless experience that the people who love you will appreciate, it's important to plan ahead. This can all be done by partnering with an estate planner and you can also do some of the legwork yourself to save on cost. Here are six ways to plan ahead for funeral expenses that your family will be able to follow very easily.
1. Discuss With Family
You may not exactly know what kind of service, burial, or cremation you might like. It's helpful to talk with those you love to bounce some ideas around so that you are comfortable with the subject. You don't want to leave this to the last minute or if you have an illness that is weighing on you. Giving your family an initial heads-up about what you might like to do will put them at ease with the subject. That way they will also know that you are anticipating the cost and aren't going to stick anyone with the bill for this important task.
2. Decide on the Type of Funeral You Would Like to Have
This will also help determine a bit about how much you need to save. Sometimes this is a religious consideration or at other times maybe you just want your final resting place to be somewhere beautiful and peaceful. Either way, whatever you choose making a decision ahead of time will help align the costs in the right place. Think about the cost of a huge mausoleum in a gorgeous cemetery, which will typically be more costly than a cremation for example.
3. Pre-Analyze the Costs
There are some online calculators that can help you outline the cost for different kinds of funerals. This might help you figure out a budget to stay within if you aren't familiar with how much funerals, plots, and burials usually cost. Most people don't have this type of knowledge unless they have been through the planning of a family or friend's funeral. Don't be afraid to ask questions where you might be confused about specific costs, such as the price of different coffins. A reputable funeral home won't be vague at all in what they are going to charge you and your family.
4. Look Into a Pre-Paid Funeral Plan
Some insurance companies or funeral homes offer pre-paid options which will help take care of a lot of the associated costs up front. That way no one will have to scramble to cover the costs of your burial. The cost will vary per funeral home, the location you live in, and a variety of other factors. Don't be afraid to shop around to different carriers and funeral homes. It may sound funny to do so but in the end, you want to save as much as you can, while not sacrificing what you might like to happen at the end of your life.
5. Look Into a "Payable On Death Account"
This may sound a little morbid, but basically, a payable on death account is a savings account with your bank or credit union that you can make deposits in, assign someone to withdraw those funds for your funeral, and pay for it. Most banks don't typically advertise this service but it's a very helpful one to look into.
6. Draft Your Will
Work with your estate attorney to outline in your will exactly who is going to carry out your wishes, where the money is located, and how to execute your funeral plan.
If you have questions about the best methods to save for your funeral costs, talk to a trusted financial planner to help you achieve your funeral goals money-wise. You'll be glad you did this in advance.
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