Could Your Relatives Afford Your Funeral?

A woman holding a red rose near a casketWhen someone dies, their relatives have to claim their body to pay for their funeral and manage their estate. An increasing number are going unclaimed. Why? More people can’t afford to pay.

Several states in America have, in recent years, seen a surge in the number of cases where relatives leave a body unclaimed in morgues. Los Angeles County coroners saw an increase of 36% from 2008 to 2009. The number of unclaimed dead jumped from 525 to 712 over the 12 month period. The number of cremations funded by government taxation also went up.

The shocking reason given to funeral homes in Clearfield is a financial one: More Americans simply cannot afford to bury their dead. It should not be surprising when the average cost of a funeral exceeds $7,000. One solution to this problem is to take out a pre-paid funeral plan.

About a Prepaid Funeral Plan

A prepaid funeral plan is an installment plan that allows the individual to pay for their own funeral in advance. This will help family members if the money from their estate is not enough to cover the costs. Funeral plans are paid as a single lump sum investment, or policyholders can pay it monthly just like an insurance plan.

A wake, transportation to the church or crematorium, and a service are usually part of most funeral plans, and some also include the cost of the cremation or burial. Some only meet part of the cost but would still relieve the financial strain on relatives. Plans vary so people should shop around. Funeral homes offer a range of pre-planning services for residents.

Designing a Funeral

Aside from financial peace of mind, another advantage to getting a funeral plan is the ability to personalize a service. People plan their wedding, so why not plan their funeral? Some choose a no-service, cremation-only plan. Others want a full package with a hearse or limousine.

The number of unclaimed dead is increasing because of the cost of funerals. One can avoid this by taking out a funeral plan and paying for the costs in advance. It’s also a chance to make your send-off exactly as you would like.