A funeral is the closing ceremony for a life. It positions the mourners on a solid footing for their grief journey. Collectively how we honor and bury our dead speaks volumes about who we are as a society. Funerals may be religious, celebratory, private, or very public. Funerals are powerful.
Funeral Directing is a profession. Like doctors, lawyers, teachers, and many other professionals good work is done, and compensation is required. Funerals come with a cost.
In days gone by funerals were paid for by family members, co-workers, and societies. The roots of life insurance are found in groups that came together and created a pool of funds to cover the cost of funerals of the members.
Today, in most instances, adults view covering the cost of their own funeral as a personal responsibility. They make provisions to cover the cost themselves in an effort to remove a burden from their children. Death of a parent typically occurs during the years when children are shouldering the cost of education for the grandchildren and building a retirement nest egg for themselves. Most parents these days choose to relieve their children of funeral costs by providing for the service themselves.
Frequently adults begin to think about how they will prepare for their own funeral expense in their 60s or 70s. They review their options. There is always life insurance. But many question if that is the best way to pay for a funeral. After all, the death benefits from life insurance do pass to the next generation without tax consequences. That is the exception rather than the rule with most other assets. Additionally, when one spouse dies the surviving husband or wife often experiences a reduction in income. It may be best to leave the life insurance for the surviving spouse’s continued living expenses.
For those who are fortunate enough to have investment portfolios, withdrawing funds from them may be an option. However, investments always have their peaks and valleys. There is no way to control when death will occur. Will it happen during an uptick or a down slide?
Funeral homes have the answer. An Advance Funeral Plan allows the responsible adult to decide how much money will be spent on the funeral. This avoids the risk of overspending by emotional family members at the time of death. The funeral home offers different methods of funding a funeral plan. In most cases this includes an option that makes it possible to pay for a funeral over time and be covered for the entire cost should death happen unexpectedly. These plans have the benefit of coverage for the entire cost without the obligation to make payments for a lifetime.
The best time to take care of the inevitable cost of one’s funeral is the first time you think about it. Simply put, procrastination costs money. Costs rise and options decrease as we age. It really is much easier than one might expect. All one needs to do is make a call to the funeral home of your choice. Set aside some time to meet with the advance planning specialist on staff and figure out the best course of action for you and your family.