Archive for the ‘Funeral Planning’ Category

Is a Burial Payment Plan a Good Idea?

Monday, 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.

Funeral Planning: Sifting through Digital Photo Memories

Monday, 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…)

Funeral Dinner Menu Planning

Tuesday, 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…)

How Can I Be Buried with My Pet?

Wednesday, 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…)

Department of Health and Burial Assistance

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016
Department of Health and Burial Assistance

Department of Health and Burial Assistance

Most states have a department dedicated to human and health services. Often known as a Department of Human Services, Department of Health Services, Department of Social and Health Services, or Department of Health and Welfare (just to name a few), these government-run organizations exist to provide social services and health care support to low-income families or families in crisis. (more…)

Funeral Planning and Community Support

Monday, July 11th, 2016
Funeral Planning and Community Support

Funeral Planning and Community Support

In an ideal world, funeral plans would always be a family affair. Siblings would come together from around the country to bury a parent. Friends and colleagues would pitch in to help a bereaved spouse struggling with finances. Entire communities would mourn the passing of a child. While these types of scenarios can and do happen all the time,  that is not always the case. There are many times when one person is left dealing with funeral plans and loss all on their own—and they may need to find support to make it through. (more…)

Pre-Planning a Home Funeral

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016
Pre-Planning a Home Funeral

Pre-Planning a Home Funeral

Making advance arrangements for a funeral is almost always a good idea, but there are times when it makes more sense than others. Home funerals are one of these times. (more…)

Top Reasons to Delay a Funeral

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016
Top Reasons to Delay a Funeral

Top Reasons to Delay a Funeral

Historically, funerals have taken place within the week following death because there were no alternatives. Without refrigeration, embalming, or cremation options, bodies had to be disposed of quickly. This meant that the funeral and/or memorial service took place regardless of the time of year or the extenuating circumstances. (more…)

Planning the Committal Service

Monday, June 6th, 2016
Planning the Committal Service

Planning the Committal Service

When it comes to funeral planning, there are several different kinds of services you will need to consider. A wake, vigil, or visitation takes place prior to the funeral, offering loved ones a chance to gather (either in the presence of the deceased’s remains or not) to give their last respects. A funeral service is the formal ceremony that takes place at a church or funeral home with the body in attendance. A memorial service is similar in format, though it does not include the body and can thus be held anywhere, at any time. (more…)

How Much is Too Much to Spend on a Funeral?

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016
How Much is Too Much to Spend on a Funeral?

How Much is Too Much to Spend on a Funeral?

When it comes to giving your loved one a fitting farewell, you might be tempted to say that no amount of money is too much to spend on the perfect funeral. After all, funeral planning is something you only get to do for somebody once, and after the decisions have been put into action, there is no turning back. (more…)