We often offer advice about taxes here on our blog, but we seldom talk about life’s other certainty. Planning for the funeral of a loved one can be very stressful if you have to do it all while you’re in the process of grieving. There are many things to consider – type of internment, the casket, the service, and the reception. Because of our desire to “just get it done”, and to properly memorialize someone very close to us, we can often overspend when planning a funeral.
At Creditaid, we see the impact that high funeral costs can have. We can offer the following advice to someone who’s planning a funeral:
Take someone with you. Having a trusted friend or family member who isn’t as stricken with grief as you are to help with making the arrangements can assist in keeping a perspective on matters. While the professionals in the funeral industry aren’t trying to take advantage of you, bear in mind that it is a business. Having a “voice of reason” with you could prove to be handy.
Shop around. Funeral services differ in price. While we don’t advocate driving all over town, visit at least two funeral homes to see what options they offer you.
Look at economical alternatives. Instead of a full-blown funeral, you could opt for a “direct disposition”, where the internment is handled in the background, and instead hold a memorial service for friends and family. Cremation is a more economical option than traditional burial in a plot, and has gained popularity in recent decades. It’s now a standard method of burial.
Consider the real wishes of your loved one. Chances are, they wouldn’t want you to put yourself in a position of financial hardship for their funeral. While it’s only natural to want to memorialize someone “properly”, financial realities should always be considered. There are lots of ways to make a fitting memorial without exposing yourself to crushing debt.