5 Things You Need to Know About Planning Your Own Funeral


It’s hard to think about your own death, but it’s something you must do. Whether you’re just beginning your golden years or in the twilight of your life, the time you think you have to plan your own funeral will pass quickly. Planning your own funeral not only relieves the burden on your family, but it also ensures that your final farewell is executed in the precise manner you desire. Here’s what you need to know.

A Funeral Is Costly

The average funeral in this country costs around $9,000. That’s not cheap. This figure is for baseline services only, so when you add in the cost of a typical burial plot, you should really count on that cost exceeding $10,000. Of course, the cost will vary depending on what kind of service you choose, whether you hold a pre-funeral visitation, the venue, and how you choose to deal with your remains (cremation vs. burial).

Your Final Wishes Conversation Won’t Be Easy

You must have a conversation about your final wishes with your family. It is 100 percent necessary, and it is not going to be easy. Nearly 90 percent of people in a recent survey said they want to have this conversation, but only a quarter of them have. Emotions, however, can run high. This conversation should cover end-of-life care, what medical decisions you outline in your advanced directive, the basic contents of your last will, and exactly how you want your funeral services and burial to proceed when you pass.

You Should Write Everything Down

Your will probably won’t cover specific funeral instructions, and even if it does, many families don’t read their loved one’s will until after the burial. That’s why writing down your final wishes is paramount. Do know that any such document may not be legally binding. LegalZoom says that “it may not be a legally binding document, but at a minimum, it is a statement of your wishes and other information that you hope your family will follow.”

You Need to Consider Burial Insurance

The good thing about burial insurance is that it’s also final expense insurance. This means it may cover other stuff like your medical bills and personal loans. You should hammer out what your funeral is going to cost based on your wishes and also think about whether you want to have some funds left over to cover extra expenses before you choose your policy. Most burial insurance plans are easier to qualify for than whole term life insurance, but the benefits may not be as great. Weigh the pros and cons before you make a decision.

You Can Save Money on Your Funeral

Yes, it’s going to be expensive, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to cut the costs. You should definitely comparison shop for funeral homes. Let them know you’re looking around — this can force them to offer good deals. You can also get better deals if you book and pay well in advance. The VA and Social Security can contribute hundreds of dollars toward your final expenses if you qualify. Whether you are being cremated or buried, renting a less-expensive casket for the visitation is a good option. Donating your body to medical research can also help you save money, as the medical institution will cover most of the cremation costs.

You want your friends and family to be able to celebrate your life without the added stress of fighting about your wishes, planning your service and burial, and coming up short on the costs for everything involved. By taking the time to fully plan your own funeral well in advance, you are doing something truly generous for your loved ones.

Lucille Rosetti 💚

info@thebereaved.orgThe Bereaved

Photo by Jarl Schmidt on Unsplash

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