A great-uncle of mine passed away recently at the age of 81. A few days after his death, his family learned that his bank account was modest and that the beneficiary on his investment account was his deceased wife. With no money being passed directly to the family (without involvement of the court or access to his investment account), the family was faced with the issue of coming up with cash or credit to pay for the funeral.
The emotional toll of losing a loved one is heightened when a family with modest means has to scramble to put money together to pay for a funeral.
Prepaid funeral contracts are a great way to lessen the burden on your family when you pass. A prepaid funeral contract is a contract that you sign with a funeral home to cover the expenses of your funeral. The money is given to the funeral home at the time the contract is prepared so that when you pass, the services you selected are already paid for. It is best to purchase the contract from a funeral home in the area you expect to be living in when you pass away; otherwise, make sure it is transferable or revocable.
A full funeral contract is different than purchasing burial space or burial space items. Advance purchase of a burial space is a good idea, but it will not cover the expense of a casket or the funeral services. So, to lessen the burden on your family while they are grieving for your loss, it is a good idea to talk to a funeral home about what you can do to plan and pay for your funeral in advance.