One of the most responsible things we can do to ensure undue burden and stress is not left to our loved ones is to pre-plan your funeral. However, one of the things they do not talk about is how much the funeral will cost and if you have enough life insurance to cover it.
Life insurance is there to cover debt left behind by the deceased. Typically, the goal is to have enough insurance to pay off all debt, pay for the funeral expenses, and to leave some for your chosen beneficiary. Funerals in of them selves are expensive, and you do not want to place the burden on your family by not having a realistic understanding of the expenses.
As of 2017, the average cost of a funeral will run anywhere from $8,000-$10,000 depending on your wishes. The cost rises according to the items you choose such as caskets and grave markers and monuments. Other less thought of expenses can include your grave plot, transportation of the body to the grave site, embalming fees, cremation packages, burial clothes, flowers, and the obituary.
There are the other expenses associated with the estate such as copies of the death certificate, which will be needed to settle the estate. Everyone they will deal with concerning your affairs will need a copy, meaning you could wind up needing multiple copies that could cost up to a couple of hundred dollars depending on how many you need. Go over your estate to figure how many copies you would need so you can add that to your expenses.
Some funeral homes offer prepayment options; however, it is not available in all states. You will want to check your state's laws to see if it is allowed in your state. If it is available and you choose to prepay for the services, make sure you know what you are paying for and where the money goes. Sometimes assumptions are made of what is covered only to find out after the fact, that it does not cover everything. Ask for a complete list of what comes with
If there is not a prepayment plan, you will want to make sure your life insurance policy has enough in it to cover it along with the rest of the expenses. Also, consider that life insurance policies are taxable meaning that the payout of the policy will be less than what the value is, so you will want to allow for that as well. Talk with your life insurance agent to decide if you have enough coverage.
A loved one's death, whether sudden or not, can be very traumatic. If you have not pre-planned your funeral, it will be left up to your family to make all these arrangements. During this time your family will already be dealing with the loss, and if you have not already made these arrangements, there may be confusion about your wishes resulting in family tensions. The last thing you would want is your family to be fighting over your memory instead of taking this time to mourn.
One of the most thoughtful things we can do when we leave our families behind is to take as much of the financial and emotional stress off of them as possible. With a pre-planned funeral, there will be no misunderstanding or financial surprises for your loved ones to deal with allowing them much needed time to grieve and find peace.