On average the costs of a funeral fall between seven to twelve thousand dollars. When faced with the loss of a loved one, this financial obligation can be a heavy burden to carry. Fortunately, there are steps you can take ahead of time to help your loved ones save on funeral costs in the future.
Opt for a cremation service rather than a traditional burial.
Cremation services have become much more popular over the last year. This is largely due to the fact that cremation services are so much more affordable compared to a traditional burial. With a cremation service, you omit many extra expenses such as embalming, grooming, and a casket purchase. This method of disposition also gives you more time and flexibility for holding a memorial service at a later time or preferred location, without adding on the costs of transportation and refrigeration.
Consider cremation preplanning
Funeral and cremation pre-planning, in simple terms, means making decisions about your funeral arrangements in advance. This can be done at any point in your life, preferably when you are not under stress due to an illness and can take your time with the decision-making process. This can be as simple as stating your preferences regarding cremation and burial site, or as detailed as organizing exactly how and where you’d like your entire ceremony to take place. It’s a good idea to have these decisions in written form.
Pre-arranging a cremation and funeral service, allows you to get to know your options and make your own decisions in a pressure-free environment so that you can make the best decision for yourself and your loved ones. Additionally, it lifts the burden of arranging a funeral, off of your loved ones and takes care of those arrangements ahead of time, even though we are well and healthy.
Put funds aside in a Payable on Death (POD) account
A Payable on Death account allows you to select a beneficiary who will inherit all assets in the account upon your death. POD accounts are kept out of probate court. Any assets that go through probate court are subject to costs that must be paid by the estate of the deceased, which often dilutes the value of any financial assets that otherwise might be passed to beneficiaries.
As with any other service, it is a good idea to inquire about a quote from several different funeral homes. The price range for the same service rendered can vary drastically from business to business. Though many funeral homes do not display their prices on their website, the law requires funeral homes to give you written price lists for their products and rendered services.
But the price tag isn’t the only thing you should consider. Read reviews and consider visiting funeral homes you are potentially interested in. This will allow you to check the facility’s cleanliness, consolt the staff, establish the funeral home’s credibility and decide if you’re comfortable trusting them.
Know your options when it comes to caskets and urns
Because cremation is the very final disposition of a body it is governed by strict laws and regulations. Fortunately, this means you have certain rights when it comes to cremation.
For example, funeral homes will usually offer specific cremation package plans. Many of these come with a long list of services and a hefty price tag. While you might be encouraged to opt for one of these options, you should know that funeral homes are required to include direct cremation as one of their available services.
During the cremation process, the body may be contained in a casket, however, you should know that this is not required. If you do wish to use a container, the funeral home is required by federal law to have an alternative container available for you.
You also hold the right to use whatever urn you’d like and are not required to purchase one from the funeral home.
Consider donating the body to science
While a body must meet specific requirements to be accepted by a medical facility, such as the Mayo Clinic, there are no costs directly involved with the donation. This excludes transportation costs to the facility and the filing of a death certificate by a funeral home.
A donation can be denied for several reasons. Some reasons include the donor having an infectious disease, the legal next of kin objecting, or the body being embalmed prior to arriving at a medical facility. Once your body has been donated, any unused tissue and remains will be cremated and returned to the deceased’s family. The family will also receive detailed information about how the body was used and specific ways it helped advance medical science.
We make ourselves available 24/7 and guide the families we work with using the highest level of ethics, competence, and compassion, providing personalized and professional cremation services in a comfortable environment at an affordable cost. Contact us today with any questions you may have.