While you may understandably be hesitant to contemplate arranging your own funeral and burial, there are compelling reasons to incorporate funeral planning into your comprehensive estate plan. In fact, it can be your final gift to the people you love. The attorneys at Legacy Estate Planning, LLC explain how funeral planning can be a gift to yourself and to your loved ones.
Facing the Financial Realities of Death
Considering the financial implications of your death and funeral might make you feel uneasy, but the truth is that funerals and burials can incur substantial costs. As of 2023, the average expense of a modest funeral hovered around $8,000, with potential increases for upgrades or more elaborate services. By addressing these financial realities in your estate plan, you not only ensure your wishes are honored but also provide your loved ones with the means to navigate decisions and provide the funds to cover the expenses associated with your passing.
Give the Gift of Funeral Planning to Your Loved Ones
For those who have experienced the loss of a close family member, the subsequent days, weeks, and months can be a blur of grief. Recognizing that your surviving loved ones will likely undergo similar emotions underscores the numerous and varied benefits gained by incorporating funeral planning into your comprehensive estate plan, including:
- Relief from Decision-Making: As much as we may not like to admit it, grief and heightened emotions hinder sound decision-making. Moreover, vendors and salespeople with less than honorable intentions know we are vulnerable following the death of a loved one. Pre-arranging your funeral relieves your loved ones of the burden of making challenging decisions under emotionally charged circumstances.
- Prevention of Exploitation: Unfortunately, some individuals in the funeral and burial industry exploit grief and take advantage of the vulnerability of surviving loved ones by upselling or inflating prices. Funeral planning safeguards against such practices by making it clear what you want and providing your loved ones with guidance that helps them steer clear of questionable salespeople.
- Conflict Prevention: Emotional turbulence can lead to family conflicts when multiple individuals believe they know what your wishes are regarding the disposition of your body, the type of service you would want, and other decisions related to your funeral and burial. Creating a funeral plan eliminates ambiguity and significantly reduces the likelihood of disputes that could cause division in the family, right when everyone should be pulling together.
- Relief from Financial Burden: In addition to emotional turmoil, your loved ones may face financial hardships when faced with the need to cover your funeral expenses. Funeral planning can alleviate this potential burden by arranging for the funds to cover your funeral and burial. A pre-paid funeral contract is one option; however, establishing an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) is often a better option.
How Funeral Planning Becomes a Gift to You
Incorporating funeral planning into your overall estate plan not only bestows a lasting gift upon your surviving loved ones but can also be a gift to yourself. If you have clear preferences for how your body is handled or the service conducted after your passing, detailing these wishes in a funeral plan ensures they are honored. Moreover, establishing a funeral trust can financially support your funeral and transform your wishes into legally enforceable trust terms that the Trustee is obligated to honor.
Can We Help You with Funeral Planning?
If you are interested in incorporating a funeral planning component into your estate plan, contact the experienced Bellevue estate planning attorneys at Legacy Estate Planning, LLC by calling (425) 455-6788 to schedule an appointment.