Nationally, the economy is in an upswing, but it may not feel that way to some of us. Many families are still living with a budget and unexpected purchases, like a funeral, can put a strain on finances. Add in the emotional toll of losing a loved one, and you run the risk of going way over budget without even getting the service you expected.
The best way to control funeral costs is by making decisions regarding the process in advance. This can seem a bit morbid to some, but without the emotion that follows the death of a loved one, it's easier to make decisions based on what is actually wanted, without creating a financial burden. It also allows the opportunity to ask questions about the process. Some of these could include:
Does the funeral home own and operate its own crematory?
Does the funeral home offer the convenience of an on-site reception room for the family to gather following services?
Are the funeral home prices competitive within the community?
Does the funeral home staff express the empathy one would expect from a professional funeral director?
Do they offer creativity in the personalization of a funeral?
Research studies conducted throughout the United States indicate that the most valuable service a funeral home can offer is the availability of a pre-planning counselor to meet with families, either in their home or at the funeral home, to begin the planning process.
With so many choices and options when it comes to funeral arrangements, the value of pre-planning becomes evident. No one better understands your wishes than you. Meeting with a counselor who specializes in pre-arrangement allows you to collect information on options and costs as well as record your wishes for your family to refer to later. You may even want to pre-pay your final expenses as a way of relieving your family from this burden and saving money.
When you prepay for funeral services, you're getting today's prices for future services. Your pre-need funds are placed in a state approved bank trust account or an insurance policy specifically created to safely hold funeral pre-arrangement funds. These funds remain in the accounts, earning interest, until needed to pay for the funeral services. At that time, any excess interest earned over and above the funeral home's prices are paid to the family.
Making pre-arrangements with a Funeral Director or Pre-arrangement Counselor will help assure your wishes will be carried out following death. Prearrangement will give you and your family the peace of mind of knowing the tough decisions have been made.