“While you’re refining your estate planning to live through your senior years, don’t forget about, uh, the end of it all.”
For most folks, postponing thinking about their funeral is the status quo, until someone close to them dies or until they have a health scare. Worse, according to The North Platte Telegraph’s article, “Sunday Focus: Don’t wait to make a plan until it’s too late,” they don’t address their demise at all, putting friends and family members in the position to have to guess what they would have wanted.
If you pre-plan your funeral, your family and loved ones are spared the unpleasant guessing game. Did she want a fancy casket? What suit would he have selected to be buried in? Or did she wish to be cremated?
If you pre-plan your funeral, you can also lock in costs for the services that morticians and cemeteries provide. If you are married or have a partner, you should go together and try to get as many of the hard decisions made in advance. This will also help you get comfortable with having this discussion.
Some mortuaries have online tools you can use to compile your information in advance, plan your funeral and compare costs. Even if you don’t pre-pay, at the very least you can pre-plan.
Some families purchase plots, so they can be assured of being buried near each other.
The cost of inflation of funeral expenses has averaged about 4% for many years. People bought CDs (Certificates of Deposit) specifically for funeral expenses in the past. However, as interest rates dropped, they stopped being a useful planning tool.
Funeral insurance can be portable. Therefore, if the funeral home that sells you a funeral insurance plan goes out of business, the policy is still yours. If you move to a new home, the policy—along with your directions for your funeral—can be transferred to another funeral home.
The increasing acceptance of cremation may make funerals less expensive, but there are still costs that are involved. Some family members may not like the idea of a loved one being cremated. That’s why it’s very important to convey your wishes to the family, so there is no conflict.
Since fewer people are affiliated with houses of worship, the funeral home has taken a larger role in planning funeral services.
Prepare in advance for your funeral and complete your estate planning. Taking care of both will increase the chances that your wishes will be followed. Leaving them to your family to decide and manage the costs after you pass, will add to the stress they experience while grieving for you.
Resource: The North Platte Nebraska Telegraph (July 22, 2018) “Sunday Focus: Don’t wait to make a plan until it’s too late”