It’s the topic no one needs to think about, but everyone needs to think about it. For as the saying goes, the only things in life that are certain are death and taxes. When the time comes for you or a loved one, nothing helps people say goodbye like a meaningful funeral. However, they do take planning. Here is what you need to know to be prepared.
YES, YOU DO NEED TO MAKE A PLAN
A 2017 study by the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) found that only 21% of Americans discuss funeral plans with a loved one. Unless you want your loved ones to have to make a number of big decisions with big price tags in a matter of several days, you need to have a funeral plan set in place.
WORK WITH LOVED ONES TO PLAN
From casket choice to music choice, there are a lot of decisions to be made in the funeral planning process. It will be a huge relief for your loved ones to just have to follow your plan, especially at a time when they are grieving. You do not have to work alone in planning. Enlist your children or other loved ones to be involved in the process. This way, you get assistance and they will already be familiar with the plan when the time comes to put it into place. Most importantly, write the plan down and save several copies in places that will be easily remembered. You or your loved ones can even save a copy on a computer, so it can be easily accessed later.
MAKE CHOICES, BUT DO NOT COMMIT
Many funeral homes sell packages that they say provide discounted rates if you prepay. This might sound smart, but what will you do if you change your decisions, if the funeral home goes out of business, or if you move to a different state? Planning does not have to mean prepaying. What planning means is calling different funeral homes to get an average idea of their rates and packages, choosing the one that you like best, and simply making note of it in your funeral plan. By the time of your death, the funeral home could have closed, changed their prices, or something else that might cause your loved ones to alter the plan. Create your plan with flexibility in mind.
CONSIDER FUNDING YOUR FUNERAL WITH AN INSURANCE PLAN
If you’re worried about you or your loved ones having the money on hand to pay for your funeral, there is nothing better you can do than purchasing an insurance plan that will cover the costs. If you have a life insurance policy, make sure its limits allow for the costs of a funeral. If you do not have life insurance and are not interested in getting it (although, truly, everyone should have it), you can purchase a final expense plan that is specifically intended to cover the costs of a funeral and burial. Having the funds guaranteed in place by an insurance policy takes a huge burden off of those you leave behind. It truly is the smartest option.