Protecting your loved ones is likely an important reason why you created an estate plan. For your estate plan to fully protect you and your loved ones, however, you may need to incorporate funeral planning into the plan. While it may not be easy to consider, the reality is that protecting your loved ones often calls for you to consider your own death. To help you understand, let’s look why you need to plan for the cost of dying.
Death Is Expensive
Thinking of your death and funeral in terms of the cost may be difficult to do; however, the reality is that dying is expensive. Moreover, by addressing the issue ahead of time you are able to prepare your estate and your loved ones for the eventuality of your death and the associated expenses. Experts tell us that, on average, you can expect to pay around $10,000 for a relatively modest funeral and burial service. Of course, purchasing a high-end casket, planning a larger service, or adding in a more elaborate tombstone will increase the overall cost. Planning ahead for the cost of your own death is one way to protect your loved ones who will also be grieving your loss.
Protecting Your Loved Ones
If you have ever experienced the loss of someone close to you, you understand how the days, weeks, and even months that follow can pass by in a grief filled fog. Your loved ones are likely to experience the same emotional response following your passing. One thing you can do now to help protect your loved ones is to incorporate a funeral planning component into your comprehensive estate plan. Consider the following reasons why doing so is a good idea:
- Your surviving loved ones will not make good decisions. Your surviving loved ones will not be in a position to make wise choices about much of anything because they will be saddled with grief. Moreover, they may completely forget any of your wishes when planning for the disposition of your body and you service.
- Conflict may arise amongst loved ones. Someone must be in charge of your funeral and burial. If it is not clear who that person is, conflict is likely. When two or more people think they know what you would want, it can cause the entire process to become a battle.
- Your loved ones may be taken advantage of by salespeople. Grieving survivors often purchase services they do not really need and spend considerably more on the funeral than was necessary because they make easy prey for salespeople. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission even has a set of rules for funeral homes that are intended to protect surviving loved ones from being taken advantage of and/or spending money they would not spend if they were thinking clearly.
Please download our FREE estate planning checklist. If you have additional questions or concerns about incorporating a funeral planning component into your estate plan, contact us at the Northern California Center for Estate Planning & Elder Law by calling (916)-437-3500 or by filling out our online contact form.