It's never easy to lose a love one, especially if their death came quickly and unexpectedly. As the next of kin to a spouse or parent, you may find yourself in charge of planning the funeral. In an already difficult time, worrying about funeral costs can seem daunting. How are you going to pay for high funeral expenses so quickly? However, you have more options than you think when it comes to paying for a loved one's funeral. Consider your options below.
Cash or Check
The ideal situation is one in which you can pay for a $7,000 to 10,000 funeral with cash. However, many people can't afford that kind of payout on such short notice. If you're one of the lucky ones, you can still be smart with your money. Get quotes from multiple funeral homes on necessary services and products. You don't have to feel pressured to make a decision on the spot.
In some cases, people choose to plan and pay for their funeral years in advance. They don't want to leave the financial burden on their family when they pass. If this is the case, your job is fairly simple. Your loved one has already chosen a funeral home, a casket, and funeral details. Be sure to contact the funeral home as quickly as possible to learn about the status of your family member's contract. If they made arrangements a few decades ago, their previous payment might not cover the costs of a modern funeral. Be prepared to supplement costs if necessary.
If your family member had a life insurance policy, you can pay for the funeral with funds from the insurance company. It's likely that the insurance policy is worth more than the cost of the funeral. Gather insurance information and take it to the funeral home so the director can call the insurance company to verify that there are enough funds in the policy to pay for the funeral. You do not need to disclose the full amount of the policy, only that it can cover funeral costs.
Funds from an Estate
When your deceased family member had the funds to pay for a funeral, but didn't set up a pre-need contract, you can use their funds to pay for the funeral now. However, there is a catch. This is only possible if you were named in the will, if your family member created a Payable-on-Death (POD) account, or a Totten Trust. This way, you can access funds immediately.
Use one of the above options to pay for funeral expenses. Choosing the one that makes the most sense for your family can make planning go smoother.