People often forget about the end-of-life expenses which leads to a financial catastrophe. Dealing with the death of someone loved can be very difficult because there are many things to take care of. You should not let your family go through a financially and emotionally distressing time.
Let’s see the most important factors that you must consider before planning a funeral.
1. Get Burial Insurance
Funerals are quite expensive. An average funeral program can cost over $9,000 right now and it’s increasing every year. Burial insurance is one way to cover these costs before they happen. A burial insurance policy can help with these expenses, and they are not very expensive.
Burial or funeral insurance policies generally do not require a medical exam but may ask a few health questions on the application form. If you don’t know where to find burial insurance, read this article.
2. Pre-Plan Funeral Plan
Pre-planning is a great way to make sure that your burying will be done exactly the way you wanted. Speak with your heirs about what they would like, decide on music or readings, write down special messages and make sure your wishes are documented and have been given to someone you trust. Many funeral homes also have pre-planning packages available at reasonable rates.
3. Know Funeral Rights
Your right to a funeral is guaranteed by law, but you must speak with your funeral home as they may not go according to the rights. For example, if you would like an open casket viewing after the visitation but before the service, this request should be made in writing, preferably by family members.
Many times, particularly if the death occurred at home, bodies are not ready for viewing before this time. It is always good to check since funeral homes may have their own policies regarding these matters.
4. Government Benefits
It may surprise you to learn that there are many government programs and services available to help people who have lost a loved one. Often, The Social Security Administration provides a death benefit to spouses of eligible recipients.
5. Make Arrangements Years in Advance
The arrangements for your funeral do not have to be made years in advance, but you should plan ahead and talk to someone you trust about making plans. A person who has been designated the role of “Funeral Authority” could be a spouse, friend or family member. The authority can choose from various services such as cremation or burial, and make arrangements for services.
6. Funeral Financial Assistance
There are many ways to help defray funeral expenses for people who have lost a loved one due to death or catastrophic illness. Most of these programs will allow the deceased family member to be buried in a cemetery plot that he/she did not purchase; however, there are some regulations and expenses to consider.
Be sure to speak with a financial planner or someone who is knowledgeable about these programs before you sign up.
7. Funeral Flowers
Many people choose to send flowers or cards after the death of a loved one. These gestures are very comforting to family members and friends. However, make sure what the card is doing when it arrives at the funeral home. Sometimes burial homes will add a columbarium fee or obituary costs to the bill if you did not prepay for the flowers.
8. Avoid Scams
There are several scams that people should watch out for. For example, people may receive phone calls from individuals claiming to be funeral home employees or representatives of religious organizations such as the Catholic Church.
Fraud actors prey on grieving families by pretending to offer help. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau are good places to check if you believe you have been affected by this type of scam.
9. Funeral Homes
There are several things to think about when deciding on a funeral home. If you want to be cremated, find out where the place is and make sure that it is clean. Crematories should have a system in place that will give you the satisfaction that your remains were handled properly and respectfully.
The same goes for cemeteries and crematories. Look for cleanliness and professionalism as you browse through the facilities. When selecting a funeral home, ask if they have a bereavement counselor who specializes in grief support. These individuals are trained to help family members as they go through the grieving process.
10. Involve Family Members
If you have children or family members who are very young, it may be best to involve them in the visitation and funeral planning process. You can ask the funeral director if he/she has any suggestions on how to do this together and what would work best for everyone involved. Involving relatives will also help to cope with grief. Try to understand that there is no right or wrong way to mourn a loss.
Sometimes it will help you feel better if you cry and talk about your feelings, while at other times discussing your grief with others may make everything worse. The important thing is that you find comfort in the memories of your loved one and begin the healing process. Grieving takes time; it is not something that will happen overnight.
While the topic of death and funerals can be difficult to talk about, knowing a little bit more about the subject will help you deal with this time in your life. You may want to have a family meeting or speak separately with members as you go through these steps.
Take your time, and get as much information about the funeral as possible. You will be glad that you did.