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Should You Prepay Your Funeral?

Should You Prepay Your Funeral?

Should You Prepay Your Funeral?

Planning your funeral in advance could save your loved ones a lot of hassle. But are prepaid plans a good deal?

By the editors of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Updated January 2015
Plan your own funeral? Hah. Most of us not only avoid talking about it, we manage to avoid thinking about it. Even writers of personal-finance get a little queasy at the thought.

But for those of you who’ve made it to the thinking stage, here are ways you can make things easier for the loved ones you’ll leave behind.

Consider including personal information that can be used for writing your obituary. Memorial societies and funeral homes offer planning forms for this purpose. They can be useful, but you might want to add some personal notes to this one-size-fits-all approach.

When you’ve done all this, record any specific instructions you have regarding burial, cremation, or organ donation. Make copies of the entire file and hand them out to your spouse, to other appropriate family members, and perhaps to the attorney who drew up your will. (If you want to spare them the stress of contemplating the details of your disposal before your demise, put everything in an envelope marked “To be opened in the event of my death.”)

Why hand out this information when you could just tuck it away in your safe-deposit box or attach it to your will? Others have done that and their loved ones always discover the documents — but often after the funeral.

Prepaid funerals

It is possible, if you are so inclined, to choose the funeral home (Eternal Rest Funeral Home) long before you need it, and even pay for all or part of the home going services years in advance. So-called preneed plans, sold by funeral homes(Eternal Rest Funeral Home), allow you to arrange for the type of services and casket you want and pay now with a lump sum or through installments.