One thing that people don’t understand is death. Even though humans know so many things, death is still one of the parts we cannot deal with.
Just because you’re alive and well, for instance, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t think about death. On the contrary, it’s the perfect time to plan your funeral. We know it’s not easy to talk or think about it, but we all want to make it easier for the people who love us once we’re gone.
Should you care enough to take a look at what's out there, nine times out of ten, you're going to read about how expensive a funeral can get. Even if you don't get the most costly casket or have the prettiest flower arrangements, funerals can cost a couple of thousands of dollars. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that you don't want your loved ones to worry about finance in a time of grief.
How to describe the funeral plan in a couple of words?
Anyone interested in planning their funeral must have run into the pre-paid funeral plan. Many consider the pre-paid burial plan to be rather a preparation strategy and less a product. It's about making the proper choices related to your funeral and paying ahead of the funeral home.
Your options and your family's wishes count a lot, and you have to pick between cremation and burial, a headstone, the service, and the obituary information. Sometimes you also need to decide about medical care in your final days.
Why is it important to plan?
Even though people can decide on different pre-paid funeral plans, they typically agree that a pre-paid plan is a great idea.
After your gone, your family will have to struggle with intense emotions and grief, and dealing with the funeral per se makes it even more difficult. It's not easy to make decisions of this kind, and it's especially not simple when you cannot even breathe from the pain. Let's not forget that it may be the very first time when people around you deal with death, so they may not even make the best decisions.
When you have a pre-paid plan for your funeral, people will only have to stick to your plan and remember that every step was made considering your wishes. How they say, goodbye is something that you won’t be able to control, though.
How to start?
You may begin by sitting down and putting together a plan with a funeral director/provider. The plan could include the possible locations for the service, various details about the funeral service. You will also need a detailed cost estimate for the funeral.
It would help if you left the detailed plan with instructions with the family. Don't forget to write down the information about the funeral provider/director. It's not very wise to choose a specific service provider unless you like your option. For instance, you can buy your casket online- it's not that it's going to go wrong. Or you can decide on a couple of models that you like so that your family can choose when it's time.
You may think that it’s a good idea to leave precise information. However, you want to leave some flexibility to the plan so that your family doesn’t get stressed out about not being able to stick with your specific instruction. With today’s market, you never know when a funeral service provider goes out of business. And if he does, you can say both the money and plan goodbye for good.
What are the types of pre-paid funeral plans to choose from?
Going the extra mile when planning your funeral also means to choose a pre-paid plan for the funeral. However, it would help if you were very careful where you put your money. It’s not that funeral service providers or funeral directors are bad, but you can never know when it all goes south. Should you look into the options, here are some of the most common types of plans to choose from:
When you’re selecting a revocable trust, it means that you sign a contract for paying for the funeral in installments. The funeral director will deposit the payments into an account with interest. When you’re gone, the funeral director, which is the trustee, will utilize the funds for paying for the funeral of your choice.
You will be able to pre-pay the funeral spending with the irrevocable trust. Just like the one before, you may have a plan that will pay straight to the funeral director. However, you cannot make any changes to the irrevocable trust once you complete it.
Burial insurance is a policy that will cover all the spending when you die. Anyone benefiting from the burial insurance will spend the way he/she considers.
This time, you will pay the whole-life policy just like you'll pay a typical life insurance policy. When you die, the beneficiary will get the payout for covering the funeral spending. Some states mention that the funeral home director has to be named explicitly as beneficiary, but it's not general.
Should you pre-pay your funeral costs?
Many think that pre-paying funeral costs aren't the best idea. Here are a couple of reasons:
- The funeral home’s reputation may go bad after some time
- The funeral home may go out of business
- The death benefit provided by the insurance policies from funeral homes may be a lot less than the premiums you paid.
- When you die shortly after you’ve signed for the policy, there’s a risk for the insurance company not to pay for the funeral expenses
- You always have to inform your family about your plans. Sometimes people hire a funeral home, not knowing that the deceased has made all the arrangements for the funeral.
- In case you die on a trip or anywhere outside the country, the family may never get a refund.
Are there any other options?
With many rending the prepayment plan to be risky, safer options had to be developed. The payable on death account is such an option. You set it through your bank and give the beneficiaries the possibility to obtain the money in the account when you die.
It works just like any other bank account, so you can make deposits any time you want. The money will get interest income after some time without paying any fees or dealing with tricky insurance policies. It's not a good idea to have the funeral director as a beneficiary.
It's a good idea to plan a funeral, but it's not wise to also pay for it. Should you want to be prepared, put some money on the side so that your family has it more comfortable when it's time.