Should You Plan and Finance Your Funeral?

naperville estate lawyerAlthough it can be uncomfortable to think about, it is important for everyone to consider how their final arrangements should be made. The average funeral costs upwards of $7,000. This can be a major expense for grieving family members to contend with. Consequently, many people choose to finance their funeral and burial ahead of time. They also make sure family members are aware of their preferences regarding funeral arrangements such as music or religious ceremonies.

If you are creating your estate plans, take some time to think about pre-planning and possibly even pre-paying your funeral.

Making Your Own Funeral Arrangements

Pre-arranging a funeral may seem morbid and off-putting. Understandably, this is not a topic people are excited to think about. However, there are many advantages to planning your own funeral. Most importantly, pre-planning can make things much easier for your family members and friends.

Planning a funeral is a significant undertaking. There are countless factors to consider. If you pass away without planning anything in advance, your family will need to answer tough questions like:

  • Should my loved one be embalmed or cremated?
  • Should we have a full-service funeral or a small ceremony at the gravesite?
  • Would my loved one prefer an open-casket or closed-casket funeral?
  • Does my loved one want certain Bible passages or other religious or spiritual texts to be read aloud at the funeral?

When you plan your final arrangements in advance, you save your family the burden of guessing what you would have wanted. It also ensures that your personal wishes are fulfilled. This can give you and your loved ones peace of mind.  

Pros and Cons Pre-Paying For Funeral, Burial, or Cremation Expenses

Most funeral homes offer pay-in-advance options, but many people are hesitant to pre-pay funeral expenses. On one hand, paying for your final arrangements ahead of time may reduce the burden on your loved ones. So called “pre-need plans” may also allow you to take advantage of special pricing and save money.

On the other hand, financing your final arrangements ahead of time may lock you into an agreement that is hard to get out of if you change your mind. For example, suppose you pre-finance a funeral in Illinois but then decide to move to Florida. Will you be able to get your money back? What if the funeral home you choose goes out of business?

There are also other options for financing your final arrangements including life insurance policies and special bank accounts called payable on death accounts (POD accounts) or Totten trusts. An estate planning lawyer can help you evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of various options.

Contact Our Naperville Estate Planning Attorneys

There are pros and cons to pre-paying your funeral and burial expenses. Deciding what is right for your particular situation can be stressful and confusing. For help, contact the skilled Naperville estate planning lawyers at the Gierach Law Firm. Our lawyers can help you determine what makes the most financial sense given your unique circumstances. We can also help you draft a last will and testament and any other estate planning documents you need.

The Gierach Law Firm also offers a special program called LifeLessons which you can use to digitalize special photographs and videos, so your legacy lives on long after your physical body is laid to rest.

 Call 630-756-1160 for a confidential consultation to learn more.

Sources:

Kiplinger

AARP

The Zebra

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Please note: These blogs have been created over a period of time and laws and information can change. For the most current information on a topic you are interested in please seek proper legal counsel.

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