Final expenses typically include costs for embalming, cremation, burial, funerals, and related services. If you want to save your loved ones from facing those expenses after your death, you may want to start planning now. Whether you’re middle-aged, a senior, or even a young person, there are many ways you can plan ahead for these costs.
Factor Final Expenses into Your Life Insurance Plan
When deciding how much life insurance you need, you generally account for several years of income, college tuition for children, mortgage payments, and any other expenses you don’t want your family to have to deal with on their own. In addition to those expenses, you should also include projected costs for your cremation and funeral.
The amount you include for final expenses varies based on the type of services you want and where you live. According to the Cremation Research Council, the average price of simple cremation in the United States is $1,100. That does not include any expenses related to body preparation or memorial costs. The average cost for a traditional funeral and burial is roughly $11,000, but again, that varies widely.
Look into Final Expenses Insurance
If you don’t have life insurance and you aren’t interested in getting it, you may want to look into a specialized insurance policy focused just on final expenses. Sometimes called burial insurance or funeral insurance, this type of policy is designed to cover your end-of-life expenses including final medical bills.
With this type of policy, you choose how much coverage you need, but typically, policies only offer up to $20,000 in coverage. These policies tend to be more affordable than traditional life insurance. As a general rule of thumb, the younger you are, the lower your premiums are.
Talk with a Funeral Home or Cremation Facility About a Pre-Need
You can also pay for your final expenses in advance at a funeral home or crematorium. This arrangement is often called a pre-need. You sit down with the funeral director to talk about your final wishes, and they generate an estimate for you.
With a pre-need, you lock in today’s prices for tomorrow’s funeral. In most cases, the funeral home puts your payment into a trust. The trust generates interest, and if prices have increased by the time you die, the interest covers those increases. Of course, if the interest doesn’t keep pace with inflation, that’s okay—with most arrangements, the services you pay for are covered no matter what.
To explain, imagine you pay for cremation and a memorial service and you pay $3,000. By the time you die, these services cost $4,000, but there’s only $3,600 in the account the funeral home has been holding for you. In this situation, your expenses are still covered. Your loved ones don’t have to worry about anything.