No one really wants to face the reality of their own mortality. In fact, this is one of the most common reasons people give for not having an estate plan in place – they simply don’t want to dwell on the fact that they will die someday. Not surprisingly, those same people often fail to have a funeral plan in place when they die because they didn’t want to think about the subject while alive. While this is certainly understandable, it isn’t smart. The truth is that the cost of dying is high, often causing loved ones to deal with financial hardship at a time of emotional grief. Both the emotional stress and financial strain your loved ones will endure if they have to plan your funeral and burial can be avoided, however, by the inclusion of funeral planning in your own estate plan.
The reality is that death is a big business in the United States – and an expensive one. The average “simple” burial costs around $7,000 in the U.S. That figure does not include a high end casket, an elaborate funeral service, or even a burial plot. Once those add-ons are included you can expect to pay $15,000 or more for a funeral and burial in the U.S. Can your loved ones come up with that kind of cash on the spur of the moment? More importantly, do you want them to have to scrounge around for money right after they have lost you? The answer to both questions may be “no.” If so, you should consider including a funeral plan in your own estate plan.
A funeral and burial plan can be as detailed and elaborate or as simple and basic as you wish. Either way, your plan can make at least basic decisions such as whether you wish to be buried or cremated, what type of service you want, and who should speak at the service. Making these decisions for your loved ones will prevent them from having to make them during a period of profound loss and grief. In addition, your plan can arrange for funding of your funeral through a variety of methods. A funeral trust is one of the most common ways to fund a funeral and can be used to include your wants and wishes as well through the use of the trust terms. By arranging to pay for your own funeral ahead of time you save your loved ones from the stress of having to figure out how to pay for your funeral when the time comes.
If you have additional questions or concerns about funeral planning, or your Illinois estate plan in general, contact the experienced Illinois estate planning attorneys at Nash Bean Ford & Brown, LLP by calling 309-944-2188 to schedule your appointment today.