When you are enjoying your day-to-day activities, funeral planning is probably the last thing on your mind! However, advance preparation prevents headaches and financial woes in the future. Have you always known what you wanted but haven't talked about it with your spouse or children? If so, you need to make arrangements now.
First decide what type of final arrangements you want. There are many things you can plan in advance that will be arranged and taken care of, so you have nothing to worry about when it's your time. Here are a few things to consider.
Life Insurance vs. Prepaid Funeral
The average cost of a burial with a vault is around $8,000. Prepaid funeral plans don't gain interest over time, may have clauses that you aren't aware of, and aren't any good if the funeral home goes out of business. You also may not live in that area before your death, so you'd rather not have a service there. Life insurance or an account with your bank that is payable upon death is money that is stable and will grow with interest over time.
Plot and Headstone
The property available for cemeteries is decreasing, and it may be difficult to find a lot in an area where you want or to get multiple lots together. If you know where you want to be buried, you should purchase a plot in advance. Many cemeteries require you to buy plots in pairs, since a lot of couples are buried together.
You can even order or design your headstones if you already what you want them to be composed of--like quartz or granite. You can pick what it says, and the dates are etched in at a later date. Figuring these out in advance can help you plan for the potential expenses.
Once you have figured out how you want to pay for the expenses and what you want, you can leave all of the information with a child, close friend, or a family attorney that is managing your estate. You can sit down with a funeral director and talk about the different services to decide if you want a showing, a memorial or something similar. Planning things on your own prevents someone who is grieving your loss from having to do it when they may not know what you want, and it allows everyone to mourn the loss the right way.