It’s not a pleasant thought, but death is inevitable. Not only is your family left dealing with the heartbreak of your loss, they are also then stuck dealing with the cost of your funeral. Funerals are expensive. If your family is not prepared, the cost can be devastating, leaving them struggling both emotionally and financially after you are gone. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure that your funeral costs are paid for, taking a major burden off of the shoulders of those you hold dear.
Build a Savings Account
You can set money aside in a regular savings account to cover the costs associated with your funeral and burial. The biggest problem with this solution, however, is that savings accounts have to go through probate. This can significantly delay payout, which can leave your loved ones footing the bill until they can gain access to your savings. If you want to set up a savings account, make sure that you set up a joint account with the person who will be managing your funeral, such your child, and grant them rights of survivorship. This way, they become the sole owner of the account and can simply withdraw the money as needed.
Set up a Payable on Death (POD) Account
Instead of a regular savings account, you could set up a payable on death, or POD, account. This is a type of bank account that lets you set aside the funds for your funeral and you name the person who can gain access to the account upon your death. All that person has to do is present your death certificate to the bank and they can withdraw the money. This type of account doesn’t go through probate. Additionally, this type of account is not a joint account. The person you name can’t withdraw any funds until your death. You, however, can deposit or withdraw as often as you want.
Look into Government Programs
There are some government programs available that can help to pay for funeral costs. These plans often do not cover all costs and are typically only available to lower-income families. It is still worth it to look into your options. There is the Social Security lump-sum death benefit, a Medicare medical savings account, and Medicaid. It is also worth noting that if you served in the military, you can be buried in a national cemetery for free. There are no costs for the gravesite, the marker, or vault. The Veterans Administration will also pay a burial allowance to cover other expenses related to your funeral. If you don’t want to be buried in a national cemetery, the VA will instead pay a certain amount of money to cover the costs of your burial elsewhere.
Consider Donating to Science
An unconventional consideration is to donate your body to science. When you do this, there are generally no costs involved. Instead, the medical school handles them all. They pay for the handling and transportation of your body. Once the medical school has finished their study, your body is cremated and returned to your family. While this can save your family a significant amount of money, it is important to know that your body won’t be present for an immediate funeral service.
Purchase Final Expense Insurance
Another option to look into is final expense insurance. This particular type of insurance is designed specifically to cover the costs associated with your funeral and burial (or your cremation). They can also be used to help cover the costs of any lingering debts. Burial insurance is similar to a life insurance policy, but the premiums tend to be lower, and are aimed more toward older individuals who no longer have children who are financially dependent on them.
While it can be difficult to come to terms with mortality, it is important to be prepared. By planning ahead, you ensure that your family will not be left financially bereft after you are gone. This type of planning can also help to show your loved ones just how much they mean to you.