When a family is grieving the loss of a loved one, they don't want to also be worrying about how they're going to deal with the funeral expenses. But it's common for people planning funerals to feel like it would be somehow disrespectful to spend too much time considering money – as though it would show that they cared more about their finances than the deceased.
Funerals can be expensive, however. So while no one wants to leave their family with a big financial burden when they die, it can easily happen. Planning your funeral in advance, whether in broad terms or in great detail, can help your relatives feel like they're doing right by you. And if it's your plan to have an inexpensive funeral, that means they won't have to choose later between saving money and showing their love.
Funeral expenses can vary wildly. One way that many people save money is by choosing cremation instead of burial. It's also possible to rent a casket and have a funeral service before the cremation for a more traditional memorial. It's important to remember that not all religions and denominations allow cremation, so if you're unsure, speak to a religious leader.
Plan A Communal Memorial
Consider the ways in which the memorial service, funeral, and wake can be meaningful in bringing grieving relatives together and having them contribute. For example, consider a communally-cooked meal for the wake instead of outside catering. Spend more time on informal gatherings, such as sharing stories at the graveside or going through photograph albums at the wake, than on the formal ceremony or viewing.
What Life Insurance Is For
Whatever your funeral plans, it's important to remember that the idea behind life insurance is not to cover funeral expenses. It is meant to be a financial support when you can no longer be there to support your family. So if you can, plan to put any life insurance money into a savings account for emergency expenses; don't include it in your funeral budget.
Discuss With Your Family
If you're trying to lift the burden, both emotional and financial, of funeral planning from family members, don't do it secretly. The memorial services, after all, will mainly be for them. And if you simply write the instructions in your will, they may not even be followed – remember that the will is usually not read until after the funeral.
Instead, consider doing your planning with both your family, who can help you to know what would be most meaningful to you, and a funeral home director, who can help guide you to the services that fit your budget.
For more information, contact Foster-Warne Funeral Home or a similar location.