Preplanning a funeral: How ready are you?

Do you have your end-of-life planning in hand, or do you need preplanning help? Answer these few questions to find out.

The truth is: Someone must cover your funeral expenses, and what you do now will determine whom that will be. The following questions can help you determine if you’re prepared or if you could use some preplanning assistance.

Q: Are you aware how much funeral arrangements cost?

A: On average, funeral expenses range between $5,000 and $15,000. While cremation and traditional burial methods can range widely in price, cremations are generally less expensive. Cremations typically include costs for disposing the ashes and a funeral service. A standard burial includes a casket, preparing and transporting the body, funeral service, and reception costs. But unexpected funeral costs — from publishing an obituary to death certificate copies — can increase the total expenditures too.

Q: Do you have enough money in savings to pay for a funeral today?

A: According to the January 2021 GOBankingRates survey, 57.4% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings and 18% of respondents in the 55 to 64 age group said they had no savings at all. Even if your situation doesn’t match these statistics, making sure to leave $5,000–$15,000 behind for your funeral expenses can be a strain.

If you preplan a funeral with Preneed insurance, you can either pay the amount in one installment or through monthly premiums. You decide every element you want included in your funeral service, which includes everything from the casket to flowers to transportation for the family. Our funeral home totals the costs, and that amount is the basis for your Preneed insurance plan. Upon your death, the funds are used to pay for your funeral.

Q: Are your loved ones financially able to pay for your funeral within the next 24-48 hours?

A: Even if your next of kin can afford to pay for your final wishes, do you want them to? By prefunding your funeral arrangements, you ensure that your family is not burdened by the financial costs when they’re mourning. Preplanning also gives you time to consider all your options and look for the best deals. Without preplanning, family members may have to make quick financial decisions that could cause them to overspend.

Q: Do you know who your legal “next of kin” is? Do they know your last wishes?

A: According to The National Funeral Directors Association’s Consumer Awareness and Preferences Study from 2017, nearly 63% of respondents said they believe it’s very important to preplan, but only 21% actually communicated their wishes.

If you don’t want to leave your loved ones in the dark, preplanning allows you to select everything you want for your funeral — from the flowers to the song playlist — to tell your story the way you want.

Q: If you’re a veteran, are you aware of all the military funeral honors you’re entitled to?

A: If you’re a veteran and you’d like to prearrange a funeral that honors your military service, you have a few additional factors to consider.

  • Military benefits
  • Burial and memorial options in VA cemeteries
  • Funding what your military benefits won’t cover
  • Receiving a Presidential Memorial Certificate

Q: Have you considered prearranging and prepaying for your funeral?

A: Major life events, like graduations, weddings, and retirement parties, require thorough planning. A funeral deserves the same attention and preparation. Give yourself time to make the right choices for you and your family. Preplanning your funeral can be accomplished in just a few simple steps.

If you’d like to learn how Great Western Insurance Company’s Preneed Funeral insurance can help you fund your end-of-life plans, contact the Preneed regional manager in your state to connect you with a funeral home partner.

This article may contain links to third party websites, but Great Western Insurance Company is neither responsible nor liable for their content, accuracy, or security. Review our Terms and Conditions to learn more.

Photo credit: iStock

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