As most visitors to eFuneral are aware, planning your funeral in advance provides plenty of benefits. Despite near-universal agreement about the advantages of leaving a plan, some people feel that paying for the funeral in advance is not as necessary, which can lead to some unfortunate, preventable circumstances. The positive aspects of prepaying are as numerous as those of preplanning. Here’s why.
Leave a gift
A plan that helps your loved ones know what to do when you’re gone is the best, last gift you can leave. But the resources needed to fulfill the plan are inextricable from it. What good is a plan that your loved ones can’t or won’t carry out? If you leave behind a thoughtful, comprehensive set of wishes and plans for handling your funeral but don’t prepay for the funeral, your hard work is nullified. You want to leave clarity and calm so your loved ones can focus on grieving, comforting each other and celebrating your legacy. When you leave them with the bill, even if you provide for funeral expenses through your life insurance or in your will, it causes unneeded stress. If you want to make grieving as easy as possible for your bereaved loved ones, leave the gift of a plan and pay for it, too.
Some planners think prepaying for funeral expenses is unnecessary because funeral expenses are covered under an insurance policy. This may be true, but it’s a presumption that fails to account for the intricacies of a policy. Many life insurance policies pay out for funeral expenses only when the insurer is provided with a death certificate. Most mourners obtain death certificates through their funeral services provider. This circumstance can create a situation in which family members have to pay for a funeral out-of-pocket and then wait on an insurance company to be reimbursed. That cycle is inefficient at best and, at worst, could result in your mourning loved ones having to get a loan to cover funeral expenses during a time that’s already fraught with emotion and stress. Prepaying prevents that scenario; nobody will have to wait for a death certificate and an insurance pay-out.
Sometimes money can bring out the worst in our loved ones. We all know someone whose family members have had a strident disagreement about finances. Now imagine that scenario playing out in the midst of the grief and emotional fragility of losing a loved one. When you don’t prepay for your funeral, your loved ones will have to figure out how they want to split funeral expenses. Instead of appreciating your legacy, they’ll argue about whose credit card to use and who hasn’t yet chipped in. Pay for your funeral now to eliminate the potential for quarrels about expenses.
The final and perhaps most important reason to pay for your funeral now is to offset the potential for rising costs. When you purchase your funeral arrangements now, your plans are confirmed. In addition, the funeral provider will often guarantee the price of your funeral. This means your funeral service provider guarantees to provide the arrangements you selected at the price you paid. No matter how much costs may rise in the future, you have paid in full and your family will not be liable to pay the difference between what you pay now and what your funeral would cost when it actually happens. This can represent substantial savings for customers who prepay. Prepayment can also help in Medicaid qualification, as we wrote in another post.