Aging is never easy. While I know most of our readership isn’t anywhere near their twilight years, it does pay to make plans about how you can reduce the financial burden on your loved ones when you go.
I agree, it’s not an easy thing to think about. But putting it off could mean that your family will have to make plans for your funeral, figure out how to service any debts that you’ve left behind etc. The last thing you’d want to do is add more grief upon your passing.
Funerals are getting expensive
The average funeral cost can be a heavy burden for the family members left behind.
For example, statistics from the National Funeral Directors Association show that average funeral home Winnipeg services can run in excess of $7000 or more. But those costs are just related to the funeral home services themselves. There are also cemetery costs, grave markers and actually digging the graves themselves, which are all additional fees. When you add them all up, those fees can total another $3000 or more.
When all is said and done, most funerals cost upwards of $10,000!! — but in some cases, that $10,000 doesn’t even cover the cost of a high-end casket.
The good news is that you can save your family the hardship of burying you after you are no longer here. Just like other financial plans you make while living, you can also plan for the cost of your final expenses. Here are some ways to prevent your loved ones from shouldering the cost.
Please bear in mind that I am in no way telling you what you should do with your last rites! These are just some ideas that you can choose to think about in preparation for your passing.
Donate your body
One of the best ways to relieve your family of any funeral costs is to donate your body to science. It’s not just about saving money; you will be doing the scientific community (and all of humanity for that matter) a favor.
There are no burial costs at all when you donate your body, and you are giving future physicians and scientists the ability to find cures for disease or gain the knowledge necessary to treat patients in the future.
When you donate your body to a facility, they will be responsible for filing the death certificate and transporting your body after you die. They will also cremate your remains so that they can be sent back to your family. Some donated bodies can serve multiple purposes and can really further the advancement of disease prevention and new medicines and medical procedures, so it is a win-win scenario for both your family and the rest of the world.
Prepay your funeral costs
If you are put into a nursing home and have to rely on Medicaid, then any available savings you have will be exhausted before the government starts to pick up the tab. That leaves many elderly people with nothing left when they die to cover their funeral costs.
Certain assets that you own, however, are exempt from being eligible for covering your nursing facility costs. One of them is paying for a prearranged burial contract or burial spot. While pre-paying for your burial spot and associated costs might not be something that many want to think about — especially those who are ill or dying — prepaying will ensure that there is enough money left over to cover your funeral so that your family doesn’t have to pay. If you set money aside and prepay for your costs, then it can’t be used for your end care.
Cremation is an option that is not only less costly, it also saves green space and allows your family to hold onto your ashes or to do with them as they deem fit. Cremation saves on funeral services; there are no funeral visitation fees since there is no “viewing” of the body, and it also conserves costs on buying a casket. Some funeral homes do cremation and some do not, so having an advance directive of your wishes is always a good idea.
Skip the embalming
One expense that you can skip on is embalming. Costing nearly $1300, it may delay the process of decomposition of the body, but that process will still eventually happen. One way to override the need to preserve the body artificially is to store it in temperatures below 40 degrees. And although not all funeral homes have the capacity to do so, many are starting to offer this alternative.
With the grief that your loved ones will experience with your passing, you’d be leaving them with a valuable gift by planning for your departure early. Even if you had no intentions for a lavish send off, merely communicating this preference to your family can relieve them immensely.