The best ways to ensure you can afford to handle your funeral arrangements is to purchase a final expense life insurance policy well in advance of death.
These days, funerals are not cheap, nor should they be. When you die, your life should be celebrated in a way that represents who you were. You do not want your family to have to worry about the expenses related to your death at a time when they might not be thinking very clearly. They should be able to commemorate you without the cost of your final expenses hanging over their heads.
Of course, no matter how you prefer to handle your funeral, whether you are going to be buried or cremated, there are going to be costs associated with your death. These costs are not decreasing either. In fact, they are increasing with every passing year. This is why as uncomfortable as it is, you have to think about your final expenses while you are still alive.
Along with having a will and a document stating how you want your arrangements to be handled, you will also want to have a way to pay for it all. One of the best ways to ensure your family can afford to handle your funeral arrangements in accordance with your wishes is to purchase a final expense life insurance policy well in advance of your death.
Why Do You Need Final Expense Life Insurance?
If you’ve never been involved in planning a funeral, you might not realize how expensive it is. You could be thinking, “what’s so expensive about a pine box?” but that’s just not all there is to it. Here is a breakdown of the costs of a typical adult funeral, just to give you an idea of what kind of final expense life insurance policy you might need to make sure your funeral is paid for.
- Basic services fee (for the funeral home) $1,595
- Removal of remains and transfer to funeral home $233
- Preparation of the remains $203
- Embalming $550
- Staff and facility rental for viewing $406
- Hearse rental $251
- Staff and facility rental for funeral ceremony $463
- Transportation services $120
- Metal casket $2,255
- Memorial printing $119
- Vault $1,128
These expenses are just an estimate of the basic funeral requirements. There are many more optional services that you may want to have included in your final arrangements, such as:
- The wake
With these extra costs, your loved ones could easily end up paying more than $10,000. This is a lot of money, especially at a time when they should be thinking about other things. However, a final expense policy can relieve most of the financial stress from your family’s shoulders.
Another reason you will want to consider final expense insurance is so that your family does not have to worry about any bills you may be leaving behind. You do not want to leave your loved ones with debts they may not be able to pay. Your creditors might have to look elsewhere to pay your bills, which could end up leaving your family homeless or without any savings. Final expense policies ensure this scenario won’t happen.
How Much Final Expense Insurance Coverage Do You Need?
Based on the sample rates listed above, you are going to need a final expense life insurance policy with at least $10,000 in coverage. However, that might not be enough. Depending on how much debt you could potentially leave behind and how extravagant you want your funeral to be, you might need a lot more. You can get policies for as much as $100,000, but most likely you will only need approximately $25,000 if you have a modest amount of debt.
The key to getting a final expense policy that will entirely cover your expenses is to preplan your funeral as much as you can. This is not a fun thing to do, but if you don’t, you will be leaving it in the hands of your grieving family, and that’s just not fair to them. The more you can plan while you are alive, the better off your loved ones will be after you pass on.
To determine how much insurance you need, sit down with a professional planner who will already have a full list of potential costs for just about any service you can imagine. Pick the services you want to include in your arrangements, tally up the costs, add in your potential debts and you will have the proper coverage amount for you.
The one critical aspect of your policy that you need to make perfectly clear with the company you use is when your family will receive the death benefits. You do not want them to have to scrounge for cash to pay your expenses until the insurance check comes. There are some community resources that can help with funeral expenses, but their assistance is limited.
Finally, prepay for as many services as you can before you die. As mentioned above, these expenses are only going to go up. Prepaying for services today can ensure that you get the best price possible for the services you want included in your final arrangements. Still, do not neglect to get a final expense life insurance plan for those expenses you cannot prepay. This is a final act of love you will show to your family as they say their last goodbye.