What to Know About Funeral Costs—and How to Plan for One
Talking about death can be both unpleasant and painful, which is why many people avoid discussing it until the eleventh hour. Whether it's losing someone who has been battling illness for decades or making sense of a freak accident out of the blue, the shock can feel paralyzing. Unfortunately, it is at the height of this grief when most families are forced to make time-sensitive decisions that have hefty financial consequences. How to make the best of such a difficult situation? Plan in advance—well before you think you need to.
A survivor's to-do list includes everything from searching for insurance documents in old papers and making long phone calls to access bank accounts, to deciding which funeral home to use and how to accommodate out of town guests. Here are some parts of the process that can be discussed and budgeted for many years in advance—in order to protect your own emotional and mental health, as well as your family's.
There are a lot of ways to give your loved one a dignified send off, but each option has different price points as well as emotional costs. Families should discuss all these options in advance, setting as many things in motion as possible. Together, they can financially prepare for the remaining issues by setting up insurance, bank accounts, and estate planning documents that will cover all pending expenses—and better yet, provide some much-needed peace of mind.