Have you ever considered what will happen to your loved ones after you're gone? Obviously, nobody likes thinking about death. Many people actively avoid thinking about what will happen after they're gone. They may think that they have plenty of time "later" to think about it and make final arrangements. Unfortunately, later may not ever come. To avoid hassle and grief for your loved ones, here are some steps that you should take and some things that you should avoid doing:
Check with your bank: Many banks or credit unions offer a benefit to their members, in the event of the member's death. Depending on the bank, this may range from a thousand dollars on up. This is often free, but there may sometimes be a monthly fee that will still be less than traditional life insurance. While the money that the bank or the credit union is offering may not be enough to cover a full funeral, in many cases it will be sufficient to cover the cost of cremation services. However, in order to be eligible for this benefit, you'll need to opt-in and sign all of the necessary paperwork. Doing this as soon as possible will help ensure that your family will be better able to pay for your final expenses.
Don't prepay: While you may think it's a smart idea to prepay for funeral or cremation services when you have the money, this may actually turn out to be a hassle and an inconvenience for your loved ones. For example, if you prepay in one state and then move to another, your family could face a much higher cost shipping your body home, as well as personal travel expenses, than they would have had if they simply paid for the funeral in the state in which you died. Even if you don't move away, there is also the possibility that the mortuary or funeral home will go out of business before you die, leaving you with nobody to handle your remains. Instead of prepaying for services, put that money into an interest-earning savings account and don't touch it. If you add a little to it every year, it should be sufficient to cover any funeral costs once you pass.
Make a list of things you don't want: Lots of people make lists of things that they want to have at their funeral. They have lists of music, what clothes they want to be in, and so forth. For example, do you care if, after the cremation services, your remains are placed in a fancy urn or a plain box? A loved one who is grieving may think that you wanted the fancy urn, when you'd instead be happy with any container. If you don't want big flower displays at your funeral, say so. When your loved ones add extra things to the funeral, thinking you actually did want it, the funeral costs could easily go over budget. Having a list of exactly what you do and don't want will help prevent your family from going into debt over your funeral.
For more tips, reach out to a company like American Cremation Society.