Is a Burial Payment Plan a Good Idea?

August 22nd, 2016
Is a Burial Payment Plan a Good Idea?

Is a Burial Payment Plan a Good Idea?

When an individual dies without having taken advance funeral planning steps, the options for covering funeral costs are limited. You can pay out of pocket for the burial, look to life insurance policies for help, have the deceased’s estate cover the costs, or ask the entire family to chip in. Many funeral homes also provide a burial payment plan, in which you make regular installments to cover the cost of the funeral in the months (or years) that follow—much like taking out a short-term loan or buying a car on credit. There is no question that funerals are a heavy expense for anyone to bear. The vast majority of Americans do not have the $5,000 to $10,000 needed to cover all the funeral costs, so it becomes necessary to make alternate arrangements. Before you sign on for that burial payment plan, however, it is a good idea to look at the pros and cons. Pros of a Burial Plan
  • Coming up with thousands of dollars all at once—especially in the face of a tragedy like death—is difficult. A burial plan allows you to break that payment up into smaller, more manageable portions.
  • Burial plans have the advantage of being fairly easy to set up and execute. Because they are offered by the funeral home itself (even if they do go through a third-party lender), all you typically have to do is sign paperwork and authorize a credit check—both of which can be done while you are already at the funeral home making arrangements.
  • By streamlining the way you pay for a funeral, you may feel free to put your focus on the more important issues of grief. Worrying about covering funeral costs is one of the biggest triggers of stress during this time, and anything you can do to eliminate those worries is a good thing.
Cons of a Burial Plan
  • Like any other type of loan, burial plans are almost always dependent on your income and credit levels. If you struggle with finances, you may not be eligible to receive a burial plan—or you may be charged an outrageous amount of interest for the privilege.
  • Because funeral homes are businesses first and foremost, they may push a burial plan on you as a way to encourage you to spend more money. As is the case with any kind of funeral plan, it is a good idea to set a budget and stick to it even if you are borrowing the money.
  • The financial strain of making a $200+ payment every month could be difficult in the aftermath of a loved one’s death—especially if he or she contributed to your income. Make sure you will be able to cover the payments before you choose this option.
Additional Burial Options You may feel like a burial payment plan is your only choice, but there are other ways to pay for a funeral. Direct burial, cremation, community assistance, and even body donation are all acceptable alternatives. Before you take out a loan that you may not be able to repay, be sure you weigh all the pros and cons of financing a funeral.

Advantages of Direct Cremation

August 16th, 2016
Advantages of Direct Cremation

Advantages of Direct Cremation

One of the most common questions we receive about funeral planning is “How can I save the most money on a funeral?” While our automatic answer—to pre-plan your funeral today and lock in low rates paid out over a long period of time—is best, the reality is that most people need to save money on a funeral now instead of in ten or twenty years. (more…)

Funeral Planning: Sifting through Digital Photo Memories

August 15th, 2016
Sifting through Digital Photo Memories

Sifting through Digital Photo Memories

One of the most time-honored traditions that a family undertakes following the death of a loved one is to sort through photographs. Whether you are selecting a favorite photo to be published in the obituary, creating a memorial collage, or putting together a collection for the funeral brochure, there is quite a bit of healing that goes on in the act of sorting through old boxes and albums. In fact, many families use this as a bonding time, asking loved ones to contribute their own favorite photographs and sharing memories that may have been forgotten over the years. (more…)

Coordinating Out-of-Town Funeral Guests

August 10th, 2016
Coordinating Out-of-Town Funeral Guests

Coordinating Out-of-Town Funeral Guests

It is often said that planning a funeral and planning a wedding are similar tasks. You must coordinate an event for up to hundreds of guests at a time, feed them, arrange transportation, and find places for everyone to stay. When planning a wedding, however, you usually have months of time in which to prepare. Funerals take place within a week or so of death occurring, which means you have to coordinate travel, accommodations, transportation, and (in some cases) entertainment all within a short time frame. If you can assign this task to a family member wishing to help out with funeral plans, you can make your own job easier. However, you can also coordinate everything on your own by following these steps. (more…)

Funeral Memento Gifts

August 9th, 2016
Funeral Memento Gifts

Funeral Memento Gifts

Although it is not a requirement in the funeral planning process, some families like to provide funeral guests with a memento to take home in honor of the deceased. Like a wedding or party favor, this memento serves as a reminder of the day and thanks to people for taking the time to attend. Most funerals automatically provide a memento in the form of a copy of the funeral program, which may include pictures, passages, and a copy of the obituary. However, if you would like to take things one step further, here are a few ideas for small, low-cost funeral gifts. (more…)

Cremation Temperature and other Important Cremation Questions

August 8th, 2016
Cremation Temperature and other Important Cremation Questions

Cremation Temperature and other Important Cremation Questions

Many families are hesitant to opt for cremation for their loved ones because the process is shrouded in mystery. How is the body handled as it is placed inside a crematorium? What is the cremation temperature needed to fully transform a body to ashes? What are the chances of bodies getting mixed up, or lost? (more…)

What to Wear to a Funeral

August 3rd, 2016
What to Wear to a Funeral

What to Wear to a Funeral

What to wear to a funeral is a question that few people consider until death occurs. By then, it is too late to shop around for the right thing to wear—especially if you have to travel to attend the funeral. (more…)

Funeral Dinner Menu Planning

August 2nd, 2016
Funeral Dinner Menu Planning

Funeral Dinner Menu Planning

Although you are not required to feed all the funeral guests as soon as the service is over, partaking of a funeral dinner (or luncheon) is a common part of the mourning ritual. Some families choose to have this event catered, some hold it in a favorite restaurant or bar, some ask for guests to bring dishes to eat potluck style, and still others do the cooking themselves. (more…)

Information Needed at the Time of Death

August 1st, 2016
Information Needed at the Time of Death

Information Needed at the Time of Death

For the majority of people, death takes us by surprise. Regardless of age, health, and what kind of advance funeral planning has already been done, chances are you will be at a loss when that phone call comes through. (more…)

How Can I Be Buried with My Pet?

July 27th, 2016
How Can I Be Buried with My Pet?

How Can I Be Buried with My Pet?

For many pet owners, the loss of a pet is as deeply upsetting as the loss of a friend or relative. Often serving as companions for decades, dogs and cats have a way of working themselves into our lives and into our hearts in a way that modern pet burial methods do not allow for. Pet cemeteries, pet cremations, and burial in the backyard might work for some individuals—but for others, nothing less than burial together will suffice. (more…)