Although it is something most people prefer not to think about, the cost of dying can be rather high. More importantly, surviving loved ones are the ones who must bare that cost unless you have planned ahead. Just as you take the time to plan what will happen to your estate assets when you die by creating a comprehensive estate plan, you should also take the time to plan for your funeral and burial – particularly for the costs associated with them.
Unless you have been responsible for paying for a funeral and burial recently you would have no idea what costs are involved, much less how high those costs may be. Industry experts tell us that the average cost of just a basic funeral service will run around $7,000. That price tag does not include a burial plot, an upgraded casket, grave marker, or any of the other common “extras” people feel are necessary when a loved one dies. After you add in a few of those “extras” the cost of a funeral and burial can easily run over $15,000. Can your loved ones come up with that kind of cash in a hurry? More importantly, do you want them to have to?
People frequently over-spend on funerals, due in large part to the fact that important and costly decisions are being made during a time of extreme grief and heightened emotions. It is easy to get carried away when you are making choices based on your emotions instead of sound financial advice or thinking. After all, if you just lost a spouse, parent, or other close family member would you be inclined to choose the bargain basement options or the high end options? Funeral planners and providers count on your emotional state of mind when they are “helping” you to plan a service. The best way to prevent your loved ones from over-spending on your funeral and burial is to plan, and fund, it yourself now.
There are a number of methods that can be used to plan and fund your funeral within your estate plan. Once common option is to create a funeral trust that is funded by a life insurance policy. A funeral trust allows you to provide the funding for your funeral yourself as well as make decisions about your funeral and burial choices using the trust terms. This way your loved ones are not scrambling for cash to cover the costs of your service and you are assured that your wishes will be honored.
If you have additional questions or concerns about wills, trusts, or estate planning in general, contact the experienced New York estate planning attorneys at The Law Offices of Kobrick & Moccia by calling 800-295-1917 to schedule your appointment.