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Planning A Funeral For Yourself Or A Loved One
By Keith Rawlinson
Volunteer Budget Counselor
death of a loved one is one of the most emotionally devastating things
that happen in life. As a result, you end up trying to make very
big financial decisions while dealing with the depression and loss
associated with a death in the family. Funerals can be very
expensive, and a lot of choices have to be made. Trying to make
such decisions while dealing with overwhelming grief can lead to making
some bad choices and some very expensive mistakes. Unfortunately,
funeral homes know this and many will try to take advantage of it by
talking you into unnecessary expenses. I have seen cases where
the funeral director actually tried to make a family feel guilty for
wanting to buy the least expensive casket.
Some things to think about
course, you want to try to honor the wishes of your departed loved one;
but, that doesn't usually mean buying the best and most expensive of
everything involved in a funeral. So ask yourself:
- "Would my loved one really want me to spend huge amounts of money on the funeral?"
- "Is it smart to spend extra money on a funeral when that same money could be used to support the family members left behind?"
- "Is there a less expensive way of accomplishing the same things"
- "Is someone trying to guilt me into spending money unnecessarily?"
What about a prepaid funeral?
prepaid funeral is when you make your selections and pay your money up
front, before you die. You get to lock in today's prices for a
future funeral, and the funeral home gets money up front and locks in
your business. I don't specifically have anything against prepaid
funeral arrangements, but I don't recommend them. The main reason
I don't recommend them is that, many times, the funeral is paid for
but never collected on. Sometimes, the person dies so far in the
future, that the family forgets there even is a prepaid funeral.
Other times, the person moves away and it isn't practical to
ship the body just to take advantage of a prepaid funeral. There
is also potential for a big financial mess created by a funeral home
going out of business. If you really like the idea of a prepaid
funeral as a way to take the pressure off of friends and family, then
put your funeral wishes in writing, then take what the prepaid funeral
would cost and put it into a nice Money Market mutual fund. The
money will grow to significantly offset, if not cover, the cost of the
future funeral, and if the funeral arrangements change for whatever
reason, the money is still yours.
lines, I very, very strongly recommend that everyone have a last will
and testament. If you shop around, you can generally get one
fairly inexpensively. Just make sure that whatever will you get
is state-specific. In other words, make certain that it
meets the legal requirements of the state in which you live. A
great place to start is US Legal forms.com.
Their wills are state-specific and very reasonably priced.
Without a will, every family member and business associate you're
aware of, and a few you aren't, can come out of the woodwork and
attempt to get a piece of the estate. I have seen families torn
fighting over the estate of someone who died without a will. At
the time of this writing, about 75% of Americans die without a will.
Dying without a will is an unbelievably stupid and irresponsible
thing to do. Don't be driven by superstition; estate planning
does NOT jinks you and make you die sooner. If you love your
family, then make sure you have a will for their sake.
on the subject of wills, I also strongly recommend that everyone have a
Living Will. A Living Will makes known your wishes in the event
you become irreversibly brain dead, comatose, or otherwise unable to
make decisions for yourself.. Unless you want to put your
family thorough a lot of horror, and possibly live on a life-support
machine for the rest of your life, PLEASE have a Living Will drawn up.
Again, a good place to start is US Legal forms.com.
making any decisions about funerals, either in advance or after the
fact, you absolutely must be aware of your legal rights and the funeral
home's legal obligations. Do that by reading these two
informative documents from The Federal Trade Commission.
Funeral Planning: Your rights when buying funeral goods and services.
Funerals: A consumer guide.
I have a will. I have a Living Will. I have life insurance.
I have done my best to take as
much pressure as possible off of my family in the event of my death.
have made it known that I wish to be cremated (which costs next to
nothing) and have my ashes spread onto the water of one of my favorite
lakes. I have done all I can think of to make sure I am
ready for death emotionally, financially, and spiritually. PLEASE care enough about your family and friends to do the same.
This article copyright
© 2009 by Keith C. Rawlinson
(Eclecticsite.com). All rights reserved.
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