Tips on Pre-Planning Your Funeral

A funeral can be a major expense, so it is good idea to have a plan for how your loved ones will pay for yours. Keep in mind that your money may not be immediately accessible to your loved ones and the funeral home will insist on being paid in full usually within 30 days.

The average funeral costs approximately $7,500 which includes burial, embalming, transfer of remains, and other services provided by the funeral home. It does not include meals or Celebration of Life activities, special clothing, premiere caskets, soloists, and musicians and many other “extras”. It is best to assume the funeral will cost $10,000-$15,000.

4 Ways to Cover the Costs:

  1. Final Expense Insurance Policies (for those over 50 years of age)
  2. A Dedicated savings account with shared access (joint account with a loved one)
  3. Purchase a bond for the person who will be planning your services
  4. Pre-pay and pre-plan with the funeral home.

Some Items to Decide in Your Funeral Plan:

  • Method of disposition (burial or cremation)
  • Burial location/Ashes disposition
  • Type of ceremony (religious, Celebration of Life, memorial)
  • Officiant (clergy, minister, funeral director)
  • Readings
  • Eulogies
  • Music
  • Pall bearers
  • Obituary, Memory Boards, or Website
  • Flowers, donations or both

Make sure your estate plan provides clear instructions for funeral costs.  An experienced estate planning attorney can provide you with some options for the best way to incorporate a funeral cost provision in your Last Will and Testament.  For assistance in the Greater Baltimore area, please contact Stouffer Legal at 443-470-3599.