Mortality is an interesting concept. When you’re young it feels as if you’ll live forever; as you get older, your mortality becomes more apparent, but it’s still a thought most push to the back of their minds.
Funerals and death in general have a tendency to be taboo and somber topics most people shy away from. Unfortunately, as much as you might not want to talk about it, your funeral might be something you want to think about now.
On average, the cost of a funeral runs most families thousands of dollars. It’s difficult enough for loved ones to make all the decisions surrounding a funeral during a time of grief and loss without worrying about how they’ll ever pay for it.
Planning ahead of time to set aside money and possibly even prepay for your funeral can help alleviate the burden on your family once you’re gone. The question stands, however, is it smart to pay for your funeral before you die?
Here are six things to consider before purchasing your plot.
1. Are You Ready to Have those Plans Cemented?
Chances are you’re still fairly young reading this article, which means you still have quite a stretch of time ahead before your actual funeral. One of the best and sometimes worst things about life is that we never truly know what’s in store for our future.
That being the case, you could run into the hiccup of planning and paying for your funeral in one location only to move someplace different in the future. Moreover, times change and with them so do our minds.
In some cases, you could plan out your funeral according to your tastes and wants now, to completely change your mind in a couple of years. The unpredictability of life and us, as human beings, means that after all that time and money to plan your funeral now could end up a waste years down the road.
2. Is the Business Stable?
While mortuaries and the like will probably always be a staple in the community, if there are multiple in a single area, certain businesses will likely do better than others. That being the case, in the event that the funeral home you arranged your plans at goes out of business, your family could be out of luck.
In most cases, once the business is gone, so is your money. Furthermore, should the reputation of the funeral home flounder or your family has another preference, they’re left in another tough spot at having to proceed with the prepaid funeral at the originally selected business.
3. Could You Utilize that Money Now?
Funerals cost a fair amount, between the casket, flowers, obituary, plot, you’re likely looking to spend thousands of dollar. Although taking on that cost now for your loved ones is admirable, you may have an array of other expenses you could put that money towards now.
Maybe you’d like to purchase a home, need a new car, or would simply like to put that money towards retirement or allow it to grow and invest. If you put aside income for your funeral, that’s just that much more money you won’t have for other life and financial goals.
4. Know Where Your Money is Going
If you’re going to hand over cash for a prepaid funeral, be sure you know what that money will go to and where. Most of the time, the funeral home will use your money to purchase a insurance policy or place it in a trust. Even so, every state differs on the laws dealing with prepaid funeral cash.
Before signing the contract, be sure you know who the funeral home partners with and ask around. Furthermore, if you do go with a prepaid plan, it’s important to know exactly what your funds cover. Ensure if a package or item you purchased is no longer available at the time, that you’ll receive one of equal value and quality.
5. Be Aware of Cancellations and Refunds
One of the biggest issues with a prepaid funeral is the low probability of receiving a refund or cancellation. Some mortuaries and cities might not be required to give you any money back should your plans change. Read the fine print and ensure you know what their stipulations are.
If you move, will they transfer funds? If you decide to go with a different route will they let you cancel? In either case, you could be out thousands of dollars. Fully read the contract beforehand and if you can, get something in writing about a cancellation or fee should you still go this route.
6. Plan in Another Way
In the long-run a prepaid plan simply might not be the best option, and there’s an array of other, better ways to pre-plan and save for your funeral. Instead of purchasing a prepaid funeral package, consider creating a payable on death bank account.
An account that will allow you to set aside money now that can grow interest over time. Not only will it accumulate to cover any rising costs you might not be aware of until the future, but it’ll also be given to the designated family member in the event of your death without them having to wait. Moreover, any money put into this account is ultimately available for you to withdraw or move should the need arise.
Paying for your funeral ahead of time isn’t a bad idea in theory. After all, in their period of grief, most families end up spending far more than they need. While an actual prepaid funeral plan might not be the best option, that’s not to say there aren’t still ways to prepare for the future.
Consider other plans and means of setting money aside and even think about planning out some of the details; every little bit helps and the sheer fact of having the details already in order can help your loved ones save more than you might know. Regardless of the route you choose, any method of planning ahead is sure to assist your family during a difficult time.
Have you considered prepaying your funeral? If so, what are some of the steps you’re taking?