A study in 2007 showed that only about 23 percent of individuals over the age of 50 have already paid at least a portion of their own funeral or for the funeral of a loved one. If you are among the elite group that has decided to take the initiative to plan and pay for your funeral in advance, you should know that you are making a wise decision. Pre-planning your funeral means that you have direct control over expenses and you relieve your family from the burden of both having to pay for the funeral and make arrangements at a time when they will be grieving your loss.
Even though pre-planning your funeral is a wise decision, there are some precautions you should take to ensure you make the most financially sound decisions. Here are a few of the biggest questions you should be asking the funeral director when you are at a pre-planning meeting.
How will your pre-paid funeral funding be handled?
The biggest and most important question you should be asking when you start paying for your funerals how your funds will be handled. Some funeral homes place money from pre-planners in an escrow account, while others may place your funding in an interest-bearing account that could be beneficial. You should know where your money will be placed and have it in writing before you start making payments.
What will happen if you move and need to transfer the funeral arrangements to a different location?
Life can bring all kinds of unexpected surprises as the years pass, and you never know if something may come up that would require you to move out of state or even across the country. For this reason, it is important to discuss during funeral pre-planning what would happen if you had to move. Would you be able to transfer the funding you have already paid to a different funeral home or get a refund on what you have already paid so you can go somewhere else?
What are the more cost-effective funeral options?
Even though you will likely want a nice service and burial when you pass away, if you are like the majority of pre-planners, saving money will be a primary concern. There is no shame in asking about ways that you can save when you meet with the funeral director. The average cost of a funeral and burial can be as high as $10,000 or more depending on your final choices. You may be able to save by opting out of an open-casket viewing or even shortening the duration of the visitation.
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