Perhaps it’s more accurate not to say that people don’t want to think about their death, but that people are just reluctant to plan for it. Thankfully, considering the options for your own funeral won’t hurry up the process. In fact, one could argue that planning ahead for the future can provide a person with the peace of mind that in turn stimulates good health and longevity. (One could also argue that the question “Can you afford to grow old?” is much more stress-inducing to contemplate than the cost of a casket verses cremation, but that’s a question for another infographic!)
So What Does This Mean?
Some current trends in the funeral industry include:
- Personalizing funeral services to reflect the interests and character of the deceased.
- Cremation, and the trend toward more faiths accepting cremation as an option to a casket burial.
- The use of online streaming technology to broadcast a service to family members and loved ones unable to attend in person.
- Green or environmentally friendly options and services.
Some nontraditional and truly imaginative options for burial include launching the deceased’s remains into space, packing fireworks with the ashes of the deceased, or transforming creation remains into a high-quality diamond.
However, whether traditional or nontraditional, the cost of a funeral has risen dramatically over the years, and additional services and personal touches only increase what is already big expense.
Some of the highest costs to consumers for a traditional funeral include:
- A non-declinable basic services fee
- Casket or cremation urn
- Use of a hearse, service car, and/or van
The “non-declinable basic services fee” will vary, and it includes filing necessary paperwork, securing permits and copies of the death certificate, coordinating arrangements with a cemetery or crematory, and overhead facility and operations expenses.
Consumers should be aware that they have the option of renting or buying a casket elsewhere, and that a funeral home by law cannot charge them an additional fee for doing so.
How To Plan For The Future
For your own as well as your family and loved ones’ peace of mind, in addition to planning ahead and saving for funeral costs and shopping around for alternatives and more cost-friendly deals, there are legal and estate-related tasks you should address before you pass. They include:
- Create a living will, will, and letter of instruction.
- Choose someone to be your durable power of attorney and medical power of attorney.
- Gather and store your personal records and legal documents in a safe place.
- Plan for your estate.