Final expense planning

3 Ways to Reduce the Financial Stress of Final Arrangements

While thinking about death can be uncomfortable, pre-planning funeral arrangements can provide some important benefits.  You can ease some of the burden on your loved ones, alleviating their need to make decisions when they are emotionally distraught.  It’s also a chance to lower their financial strain during a difficult time.

Here are a few tips for helping to reduce the stress and uncertainty of an already stressful and painful time in your loved ones’ lives:

Examine expenses

Nobody enjoys discussing the topics of money or death, especially together.  However, some studies indicate the costs of funerals are increasing by over 4 percent annually, and the average price for a funeral comes in at $7,300.  Most families don’t have ready access to those funds, so it’s necessary to find alternative means to cover the expense.  One way is through the purchase of burial insurance. This is a flexible tool to help your loved ones meet a variety of financial obligations; besides your funeral, the funds could potentially be used toward your medical bills, credit card debts, personal loans and mortgage loans.  You can even take your debts into consideration when deciding on the amount of coverage you’ll need.

What are your desires?

Envisioning your final journey can be unpleasant territory in many respects, but you might be surprised at how much peace of mind can be found in providing a map for those difficult days.  Kiplinger explains it’s your chance to be heard about personal decisions such as organ donation, burial, and cremation.  Learn about the types of services available and think about what is in keeping with your personal beliefs.  To help you sort the details, you may want to review a checklist pertaining to pre-planning funeral and memorial services.  Your funeral home can provide you with a price list of all the options you can select, and your arrangements can be as simple or elaborate as you wish.  Simpler arrangements tend to be more affordable than more elaborate ones.  Consider making some notes to prepare a declaration of your final wishes.While it’s not a legally binding document like a will, it’s a set of written instructions conveying your desires to loved ones.

Talk with your family

It is important to convey your wishes to your loved ones, and while the idea of discussing such an uncomfortable topic can be intimidating, preparation is the key.  Your notes regarding your desires are a good starting point, and from there you can set aside a time with family members for a final wishes conversation.  As The Spruce points out, this can be as involved or uninvolved a discussion as you deem appropriate.  You could simply indicate you have your arrangements decided and set, and it can be a great stress reducer for your loved ones to know they don’t have to make those hard choices.  To help broach the subject, one suggestion is to open by discussing a recent death, such as a neighbor, friend, or celebrity.

Funerals can be a strain emotionally and financially.  Pre-arranging yours can help your loved ones in a number of important ways.  It’s a chance to both provide for them and make your wishes known.


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