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How to make your funeral plans part of your estate plans

On Behalf of | Jun 16, 2024 | PROBATE & ESTATE ADMINISTRATION - Estate Planning

People are increasingly aware of the high cost of funeral services in this nation – and they don’t want their loved ones to have to bear that burden for them when the time comes.

Unfortunately, a lot of people assume that the money in their estate will cover their funeral costs, but there are some flaws in that thinking. 

At best, leaving your funeral expenses as a bill for your estate could be financially inconvenient for your loved ones. They may be forced to pay the bills upfront and collect the debt later, through probate. At worst, there won’t be enough left in your estate to cover the costs.

What are the options?

There are several good methods for building the cost of your funeral, cremation or burial, headstone or urn into your estate plan. These include:

  • Create a payable-on-death (POD) bank account that you can use to save money for your funeral-related expenses. Choose a beneficiary for the account that you trust to use the money as you direct.
  • Designate a lump sum from your life insurance to cover the costs. Unlike assets in probate, insurance proceeds can be paid quickly. Similar to a POD beneficiary, you want to direct those funds to a beneficiary who will use them to fund your funeral.
  • Buy a prepaid funeral plan: There are several different kinds of prepaid funeral plans, with varying levels of services included. This allows you to “lock in” a price for your services and pay the bill for them before you die. These are not without their drawbacks, however, including the possibility that the policy will become useless if you move.

If you’re unsure what options you have regarding your own funeral plans, guidance is available.