Most people want to leave behind a legacy and fond memories – not a financial and logistical mess. However, without proper planning, things don’t always go smoothly. Final expense planning can shield your loved ones from costs and disputes that can occur when someone dies.
Medical Bills Can Take a Bite Out of Estates
Many people leave behind medical bills when they die. Even with health insurance, there may be copays and deductibles for hospital stays, not to mention out-of-network costs. All of these expenses can add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Although heirs may not be directly responsible for this debt, the person’s estate may need to pay. After deducting medical bills, there might be little left for the heirs.
Funerals Are Expensive
Many people don’t realize just how expensive funerals are until they have to pay for one.
You will incur expenses for the casket, the grave liner, the headstone, and the grave site. There are also costs for the various services involved, including the funeral director’s services, embalming, and digging the grave. According to Parting, a traditional funeral in North America typically costs between $7,000 and $10,000.
When families have not set aside funds, this can come as a major financial blow. Even worse, many people are dealing with unexpected travel expenses, missed work, and other costs that arise when a person dies.
Funeral Planning Is Stressful
Funeral planning involves a lot of decision making.
- Do you want a burial or cremation?
- What type of casket do you want?
- Where do you want the remains to be placed?
- What type of funeral or memorial service do you want?
The person tasked with these decisions is also grieving, probably responsible for notifying friends and family members, and trying handle all the logistical issues related to the funeral planning. It’s a stressful situation – and even more so if you’re unsure what your loved one would have wanted and whether you’re making the right choices.
Disputes Can Become Bitter
Funeral planning can be stressful even when everyone is on the same page. Disagreements about key decisions can result in disputes.
For example, one person might feel that an expensive caskets is a waste of money, whereas another might feel that buying a cheaper casket is a sign of disrespect. One person might favor burial, whereas another might feel strongly about cremation. There may also be arguments over the type of services to hold. Should it be a solemn funeral or joyous celebration of life?
These disagreements happen at a time when people are grieving and emotions are running high. Instead of supporting each other in this difficult time, family members may have arguments that strain relationships for years to come.
Final Expense Planning Is the Solution
Funeral planning doesn’t have to be an emotional or financial burden for your loved ones. When you plan ahead, you can make arrangements for the costs and make your wishes clear to prevent second-guessing and arguments.
Some people may have savings set aside for final expenses. Another option is to buy an insurance policy designed to cover these costs. Final expense insurance, burial insurance, or pre-need funeral insurance policies usually come with benefits of around $10,000 to $25,000.
Since not all policies work in the same way, you’ll want to explore your options and find one that works for you. In some cases, the beneficiary may be the funeral home. In other cases, it may be the loved one who will be in charge of the final arrangements. You can even use some policies to help pay medical bills. Since the benefit amounts tend to be modest, coverage is usually affordable – this is especially true if you lock in rates while you’re relatively young and healthy.
Purchasing a final expense insurance policy is a good time to think about what type of arrangements you want. By deciding whether you prefer cremation or burial, where you want your final resting place to be, and what type of service you want, you can relieve your loved ones of the task of trying to guess your wishes. Make sure you communicate your choices with your loved ones.
Don’t Put It Off
Many people avoid thinking about final arrangements, but these are decisions you need to make as soon as possible. Your family will likely to be relieved to find out they can carry out your wishes without worrying about the costs.
Do you need help with your final expense planning insurance options? Contact a professional at PTT Financial to learn more about final expense life insurance.