Is A Prepaid Funeral A Good Idea?

A growing number of people are paying for their funerals in advance. But there is some question over whether this is a good idea.

English: Flower arrangement for funeral. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Flower arrangement for funeral. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An article on AARP.com told the story of a woman who had done just that — decades before she actually died. But she never told her family. When she did die, the family bought a funeral package. Later, going through her stuff, they found the documents showing that she had indeed paid for her funeral.

A fight ensued with the funeral director over a refund.

The average price of a burial with vault is $8,000, the article says. Many of these prepaid plans have the person buying them pay over time.

However, Josh Slocum, executive director of the Funeral Consumers Alliance, doesn’t recommend buying a prepaid plan. He says some prepaid plans can actually cost you more in payments over time than the amount a funeral would cost if it had not been paid for in advance.

Rather, he recommends setting up a “payable upon death” bank account. It will earn interest, be available in an emergency, and still provide financial support for your family when you pass away.

Either way, he says, make sure to talk to your family about your funeral wishes.

 

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