Everyone knows the saying that nothing is certain but death and taxes. We have to pay our taxes. However, do we want to plan for our own deaths? It would be better for all concerned, if we did.
The National Funeral Directors Association asked people if they thought it was important to plan for their own deaths. Ironically, while 62.5% agreed that this was important, only 21.4% have done so. How do you start?
WHNT’s recent article, “How to plan for life after death,” says the first step is having that conversation with someone you trust. It may be a close friend, a family member or an attorney.
Next, think about some important considerations like what you want in terms of a funeral service, burial or cremation, if you want life insurance to pay your last expenses and how your estate should be handled. That includes having an estate plan created with an experienced attorney.
The National Institute on Aging has created a comprehensive list of considerations for those who are facing end of life decisions. It’s also a great resource for caretakers.
This planning will may make the process easier for those you leave behind, especially if you work with an experienced estate planning attorney.
There are also some fundamental decisions that can also ease the financial burden on your loved ones.
The average North American traditional funeral costs between $7,000 and $10,000. This price range includes the services at the funeral home, burial in a cemetery and the installation of a headstone at the cemetery.
The National Funeral Directors Association reports that the median cost to move the remains of a loved one to a funeral home in the U.S. is $325. Embalming can run about $725, and the average cost of a vault in the United States is $1,395, as of 2017.
According to the 2018 NFDA Cremation & Burial Report, the 2018 cremation rate is estimated to be 53.5% and the burial rate is projected to be 40.5%.
Forbes says that roughly 42% of people opt to be cremated, because of the costs involved with a standard funeral in the United States.
The main thing is having all your paperwork in order. In addition to planning your funeral, meet with an estate planning attorney to make sure your loved ones will have the necessary legal documents. Planning in advance makes it easier for those you leave behind.
Reference: WHNT (June 30, 2019) “How to plan for life after death”