When a relative dies and you must plan the funeral, you will be in luck if this person prepaid the funeral expenses, but this is not likely. While some people do prepay for funeral expenses, most people don't, and this can leave a financial burden on the family. Here are some ideas to consider if you are in the position where there is no money, or very little money, to pay for this relative's funeral.
Look into relative's insurance policies
If this person left a will, there may be information in it that could describe how this person wanted to pay for the funeral. If so, there might be a savings account for this, or the person may have an insurance policy in place that will cover the costs of the funeral.
Examining the will is something that you must do when planning a funeral, because the will may state his or her wishes for the funeral in this document. If you discover that the person has life insurance, the proceeds from the policy can be used to pay for the expenses.
One thing to keep in mind is that you will not be able to receive a check from the insurance company immediately for the policy, but there are several options you could choose:
- Talk to the funeral home about this. They may be able to work with the lawyer handling the estate, and the lawyer could take money from the insurance proceeds when they come in, and this could be used to pay the funeral home.
- Pay the bill upfront and get reimbursed later. The other option is to simply pay for the funeral with your own money, or with a credit card. When the insurance company cuts a check, you could get reimbursed at that time.
If you discover that there is no money for the funeral, you may want to think about other options.
Choose a different type of funeral
The other thing to consider is choosing a cremation over a burial. The average cost of a burial is $5,500 to $9,500, whereas a cremation typically costs between $1,000 to $6,000. In addition to this, there are many other ways you can reduce the expenses of a funeral. One way is to skip having a service.
To learn more about the options you have for paying funeral expenses, contact the funeral home that will be providing the services for your loved one.