When you first start your estate planning process, there are a lot of pressing topics including conservatorship and transferring your wealth to your loved ones. Another aspect of estate planning you may want to tackle is the cost of your funeral.
The cost of a funeral depends on a few key choices, but there are plenty of options to consider when discussing a preneed contract with your chosen funeral home.
Dissecting the median cost of a funeral
According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the median cost of a funeral increased to $7,848 from 2016 to 2021. This includes a number of basic requirements:
- Basic services costing around $2,300
- Use of staff for viewing and ceremony costing around $1,000
- Preparation of the body for viewing ranging between $275 and $1000
Depending on the funeral home or cemetery you work with, they may require other costs like embalming for an open casket viewing or a burial vault. The median cost of a funeral with viewing, burial and a vault increases to $9,420.
Many opt for cremation these days, which has a median cost of around $6,970 with funeral, viewing and cremation.
Planning for the cost of a funeral
That is a high cost for your loved ones to face in the middle of grieving and a preneed contract may help alleviate some of that stress. Funeral homes often offer preneed contracts to help you fund a funerary trust. Upon your death, the funeral home receives the saved amount from the trust equal to the cost of their service at the time.
As this is a contract, it is vital that you communicate with your family members about its details and lean on your resources to verify that the contract adheres to your wishes.