Do You Pay For a Funeral Before or After?

Written by Ross Quade

The average funeral in the United States can cost anywhere from $7,000 to $20,000. However, these are just rough estimates. Where you live determines how much that you must pay for your final expenses in life. Funerals are very affordable in rural areas and can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. If you live in or near a large, metropolitan city, then you can end up spending tens of thousands of dollars for a funeral.

One does not just pay for a funeral itself. A funeral is a variety of activities, procedures, and ceremonies that compound the number of expenses needed to pay for them. It costs money to move a body from the place of death to a hospital or morgue and then to a funeral home. The funeral home embalming process and body preparation process costs money. A wake, viewing, funeral, flowers, internment, and headstone cost money. The funeral involves a multitude of processes and procedures that must be paid by someone.

So, when is the best time to pay for a funeral? Before or after? Well, your best option in life to plan ahead. Make all of your final expense plans as early as possible in life. Funeral expense payment infrastructure is designed to accept pre-payment before a funeral is performed. Here are some options to help you pay for your funeral. We will also explain why you are taking a serious risk to assume funeral expenses can be paid after the funeral.

Life Insurance

The average life insurance policy is as high as $500,000. When you have a life insurance policy, you are agreeing to pay a preset amount of premium for years or decades. You can name beneficiaries to receive payouts from your coverage in the event of your death. Moreover, you can expressly dictate in the policy or charge a beneficiary with the responsibility to pay for your funeral expenses.

Final Expense Insurance

Final expense insurance is a bare-bones version of a life insurance policy. The average final expense insurance policy rarely exceeds $25,000. More expensive policies require higher premium payments. Although you can name beneficiaries and use the policy as a loan, a final expense policy is more useful to pay final expenses or any unpaid bills you may expect. You can name a beneficiary to be charged with making sure that all of your funeral expenses are paid for in full.

Funeral Home Prepayment Plans

You can pay the funeral home of your choice for funeral expenses before your death. All you have to do is make arrangements with the funeral home. You can pay in full or make recurring payment arrangements. You should only do this if you have no plans to move in the foreseeable future. There probably won’t be a refund policy. Also, the funeral home has no obligation to extend your prepayment arrangement outside its facility to wherever you move.

Why It Pays To Plan Ahead

You are the only one who is responsible for planning your funeral arrangements. The funeral industry financial infrastructure is designed to receive payment up front. Before your funeral, a funeral home is paid via cash, insurance payout, or prearranged payment plan to perform your funeral. Also, ask yourself, who will pay for your funeral after your death?
Even if you trusted someone to make such a payment posthumously, you are taking a risk. You would be hard pressed to find a funeral home who will wait for payment after the service. The funeral business is a business. Make your final expense arrangements as early as possible in life.

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Ross Quade
Ross Quade has been a licensed insurance agent since 2008. State of Texas license #1702965. He has a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from University of Minnesota and minored in Applied Economics. He has been quoted in several online publications including Huffington Post, Young Startups and various financial blogs. Ross frequently writes about issues related to the insurance and finance industry.
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About FinalExpenseInsurance.com

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