There is a significant amount of work that a funeral home does to prepare a deceased loved one for viewing at a funeral service, to cremate the body if that option is chosen, and to coordinate the funeral and other related gatherings. By many estimates, the cost of these services today can range from $7,000 to $10,000 or more, depending on what services are needed and whether cemetery costs are included.
Some individuals educate themselves on itemized funeral costs and set aside money to pay them before they die. However, some do not. For many families that will be covering their loved one’s funeral costs, the amount can exceed the savings they have on hand. That fact can leave them wondering how to pay for funeral services.
Can You Pay for Funeral Services in Advance?
People will sometimes ask, “Can you pay for funeral services in advance?” The answer to that question is, “Yes.”
Setting aside money in advance of your passing is helpful in multiple ways. First, it removes the financial burden from surviving family members. This allows them to focus on supporting one another through the grieving process rather than having to deal with financial details.
Paying for funeral services in advance also provides peace of mind—both for the individual and their family. Especially in situations involving terminal illness or advanced age, where a person’s passing is expected in the nearer term, knowing that the funeral costs are covered allows everyone to relax and focus on enjoying the remaining time they have together.
Paying for Funeral Services in Installments
There are several ways to pay for funeral services, such as with proceeds from an insurance policy. However, if you want insurance policy funds to go to family members, you can pay funeral costs in advance in installments.
With this approach, you work with the funeral home to determine the itemized funeral costs for the services you will want. You use this information to come up with a total cost and then that total is broken down into affordable monthly payments.
In addition to removing the financial burden from family members and the peace of mind noted above, another benefit of paying for funeral services in installments is that you get a price guarantee. In other words, you pay for services at today’s rates, and the services ultimately are provided at that rate even if costs increase in the months or years before your passing.
Common Questions About Paying for Funeral Services in Installments
It is important that you are comfortable with the installment approach to funeral services before you agree to it. Below are some of the questions we are asked most frequently, with answers that can help you with your decision.
- What happens if the funeral home or other provider (crematorium, etc.) goes out of business before I die? Generally speaking, there are legal protections for individuals and families that pay for funeral services in installments. At Greenwood & Myers Mortuary, an insurance policy—which most people qualify for—guarantees the cash value of payments can be applied to services at another funeral home.
- What if I move and need funeral services in another geographic location? Your funeral home of choice may have other locations that can serve your needs. Plus, if you have an insurance policy, it is transferrable to another funeral home.
- What if I die before I make all of my installment payments? If you do not complete all payments, an insurance policy pays the balance owed for funeral services.
- Can I pay for funeral expenses with a credit card or a bank loan? Both credit cards and loans are viable options. However, each has its drawbacks. With credit cards, the interest rate can make it challenging to pay off the balance. Getting a loan generally takes time, which means you have to pay for the funeral costs in another way and then repay that other source with the loan funds. This can be a time-consuming process during a period when you would rather be focusing on other matters.
- What is the typical payment period for an installment plan? Most installment plans for the advance payment of funeral costs range from 3 to 10 years. The mortuary you work with can provide a recommended payment period based on the total cost for the services you would like to have and other factors.
- Wouldn't it be a better use of my money to put it into investments that will be used later to pay my funeral expenses? Some people take this approach. However, other investments involve risk, and there are no guarantees that money invested today will be available down the road. Plus, even if invested funds are available after your passing, it may be difficult and time-consuming for surviving family members to obtain those funds. An investment in funeral services provides protection against inflationary price increases.
The First Step Toward Greater Peace of Mind
Whether you decide to pay for a funeral in installments or choose a different approach, the first step toward greater peace of mind for you and your family is to do some research. That might start with reviewing the helpful information on the Greenwood & Myers Mortuary website. There are resources covering a wide variety of topics, from Funeral Planning to Grief & Healing. Even if you choose to use the services of another mortuary, the research you have done will be beneficial.
What many people find is that simply learning about funeral costs and ways to pay for them is a relief. Then, with that information in hand, they can make deliberate, unhurried decisions that best honor the wishes of the individual while not straining the finances of surviving family members.
About Greenwood & Myers Mortuary
We know there are other funeral homes in the area to choose from. But we also know that families who turn to us during a time of loss, or for pre-arrangement services experience our very high standards of service. We offer professional guidance and personal and specialized attention before, during and after the loss of a loved one. Our reputation for honesty and integrity is very well-known, and it is our most valuable asset. https://www.greenwoodmyersfuneral.com/
Greenwood & Myers Mortuary Media Contact: Mike Greenwood | (303) 440-3960
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