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How to Pay for Funeral Expenses

Funerals are an opportunity for friends, family, and loved ones to honor and remember those who have passed on.  These services are often the only opportunity many people will have to say goodbye to a close friend or relative, and as such, funeral services are planned with meticulous care and often with no expense spared.  This can often lead to a strain on family finances at an already difficult time. Researching funeral service costs in advance and potentially purchasing burial insurance to cover expected costs can go a long way to reducing financial stress.

Average Funeral Costs

According to the National Funeral Directors Association 2012 report, the average funeral cost $7,323, not including flowers, transportation and other optional charges.  If you’re planning your funeral budget or trying to price the funeral of a loved one, make sure to make a list of the required services and products needed, as well as the optional items that you prefer to have as well.

Required Services and Optional Charges

No matter what type of burial you choose, there are certain fees that cannot be avoided.  Legally speaking, the ‘Funeral Rule’ allows funeral homes to charge their clients for administrative services including procuring permits and death certificates, preparing death notices, coordinating all arrangements for the funeral between the cemetery, the crematory and other relevant service providers and a general service fee.

Fortunately for consumers, the Funeral Rule also requires that all funeral directors maintain a general price list (GPL) which itemizes all of the available services offered and how much they cost.  However, consumers must know to ask for this GPL, or funeral directors are not required to supply it unless a specific service is requested.  Nevertheless, one easy way of determining the average funeral cost is to gather a sampling of GPLs from funeral homes in a specific area and to review them from the comfort of your home when you can make an informed decision without pressure from salespeople or funeral directors.

Cost of Common Products and Services

Many people end up wanted more than they can afford at their funeral because they have no idea what funeral services cost.  We have tried to make it easy for you to budget your funeral costs by estimating several of the most common costs you will be faced with.  Not all of these services and products are required, so make an itemized list of the ones that you want to come up with a total.

There are also many optional upgrades that consumers may choose to incur to add beauty or dignity to the ceremony.  Potential upgrades include:

Perhaps the most important thing to understand when researching funeral costs is to realize that prices change regularly, and unless you have recently performed research of costs, you may end up needing to spend more than you anticipated.  It’s always a good idea to budget slightly more when planning to pay for a funeral as there may be additional fees or unexpected price increases. Nonetheless, proper research and planning can ensure that the funeral will be a fitting tribute to your loved one rather than a burdensome expense.

As you plan for your funeral or the future service of a loved one, consider your needs, expenses, and means.  Let us help you decide if a burial insurance policy will help you pay for your desired service.  Call 888-761-1026 to speak with a professional who can prepare a free burial insurance quote.

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