When a loved one passes away it’s never easy. Dealing with a loss is even harder when you have the responsibility of planning a funeral. The financial and the logistical job of ensuring your loved one is put to rest can often seem like a daunting and difficult challenge. Funerals can be a lot of work to plan and can be stressful for you and your family. Here are some tips for funeral planning.
Create a Funeral Checklist
It’s important to determine what you would like to include in the funeral, who should help have a say in what happens and who will help pay for services. Come up with a preliminary list to help guide the process. Some items you need to consider are: where the funeral should be held, the size of the funeral, whether a reception should be included, who should officiate the service and if a viewing should be included. Make sure the funeral includes special moments that celebrate your loved one’s life but also allows family and friends to grieve. You can find a variety of checklists at funeral homes that can help you with your to-do list.
Create a Funeral Budget
The average cost of a funeral is around $10,000, so it’s important to create a budget and figure out how much can be spent on the funeral itself. Your loved one may have saved money as they grew older, which can help pay for their funeral, but this isn’t always the case, especially if a death happens suddenly. The casket is typically the most expensive part, costing over $2,000 and as much as $10,000. If you are going to cremate your loved one you can rent a casket. Cremation costs typically range between $2,000 and $4,000. Some other costs to consider include:
- Funeral Directors and Costs
- Transport Arrangements
- After Service Room and Catering
- Burial Costs
- Thank You Cards
Your family members or friends may be willing to pay for a certain part of the funeral or split the entire cost of the services. Make sure you talk to them about the financial needs and then determine how to split costs. Include them in the budgeting process too to help ease your burden.
Make a Life Insurance Policy Claim
If you are the beneficiary of your loved one’s life insurance policy, it may help you pay for some or even most of the funeral costs. Make sure you discuss the funeral plans with whoever is in charge (if it isn’t you) so you know the details, then contact the insurance company to file a claim. If the process is slow, you may have to borrow money for the funeral and recover the costs later once you receive the insurance money. Groups such as the United States Social Security Administration, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs or a local funeral society may assist with the funeral.