Every good estate plan must take funeral planning into account. A sound strategy can save you thousands of dollars and could reduce the burden on your loved ones during a difficult time.
As with many aspects of financial planning, it helps to prepare in advance.
Start with the basics
According to an article in AARP, the process of planning a funeral begins with some basic information. This can help you understand what needs to happen after your death and the general process of preparing the body, deciding on a ceremony and handling the bodily remains.
Each stage has options that determine expenses. For example, you could decide on a burial, which requires a casket, or you could choose cremation. For the ceremony, you could decide on a traditional affair in a church and presided over by a religious person, or you could opt for a simpler ceremony or none at all. A funeral planning checklist can help you organize your thoughts ahead of time.
Come up with a payment strategy
Some people pay ahead for funeral arrangements. This can make things easier for the surviving family members or the executor of the estate. However, paying ahead of time has drawbacks: you might move to a different location or the funeral company might go out of business.
You can also shop around and find out the typical costs of different types of funerals. This will help you decide how much money to set aside to cover expenses.
Planning for a funeral belongs to a comprehensive estate plan. A little knowledge and forethought will make things easier for all parties.