No one likes the thought of a funeral, much less having to find a way to pay for one. Funeral expenses have risen steadily over the years and there is not much anyone can do about it. It is not unusual for a simple funeral to cost $8000 or more. There are some options for those who wonder how they will pay for a funeral. While some funerals are totally unexpected, there are some ways to pay for a funeral even when the financial situation is hopeless.
If you or your family can afford it, purchase a small life insurance policy that will cover funeral costs. Many working people can obtain policies through their employers, and they are often very affordable. There are also insurance companies that specialize in policies, specifically for burials. Some of these are associated with organizations such as advocacy groups for older adults.
Those who have served in the active military are generally eligible for Veteran’s benefits for funerals. Your local Veteran’s administration office can tell you exactly what benefits are available for you or a family member. Funeral directors will know whether a veteran would qualify for such benefits.
Setting up a pre-need plan is also a good idea. This allows individuals to begin paying for funeral expenses prior to death. Usually, this is set up through a funeral home in collaboration with a bank. The funds are deposited into a special account and when they are needed for final expenses, they are released to the funeral home that will handle the services. In many states, if an older adult who is in a nursing home or long-term care has a paid-up insurance policy; it may affect his or her eligibility for Medicaid. However, there may be a provision that allows a certain amount of such funds to be placed in a pre-need plan. Contact the agency that administers Medicaid in your state for information.
When paying for a funeral will put an undue hardship on survivors many funeral homes offer payment plans. The family of the deceased simply signs a contract to make payments over time until the bill is paid in full.
Requesting donations for funeral expenses is not unheard of these days. When a when a person has been ill for a long period and there has been a drain on a family’s finances, people are often willing to donate to help defray funeral expenses. This is also the case whenever there is a sudden death of a person without life insurance coverage. The family can ask a friend to coordinate donations. In fact, there are web-based services that are platforms for individuals in need. Once the need is established appeals can be made to friends and others to donate funds to help a family. Funds can are donated via credit card or debit card. Usually these efforts are very successful, with thousands of dollars being raised to help a family in a time of serious need.
Another alternative is cremation. The cost for a cremation is significantly lower than a traditional funeral. As a matter of fact, the remains can be cremated, and a memorial service can be held at a later date. Usually when this is the case, cremation is done quickly to avoid expenses of embalming the remains. However, families can also choose to have the individual embalmed and rent a casket for a funeral. This allows the family to have a traditional viewing and funeral service, after which the remains are cremated.
Finally, if there is no other alternative, remains may be donated for medical research purposes. In such cases, the expenses for transporting the remains and cremation is paid for by the receiving medical center. A memorial service can still be held for the benefit of family and friends. This is a way to help humanity while receiving help to cover final expenses.