If you prefer not to think about your own funeral and burial, you are hardly alone. Most people don’t want to dwell on the reality of their own mortality. You should, however, know enough about the practical expenses involved in a funeral and burial to recognize the wisdom of including a funeral planning component in your comprehensive estate plan. With that in mind, the Indianapolis estate planning attorneys at Frank & Kraft explain that dying is expensive and how funeral planning can help.
What Will Your Funeral and Burial Cost?
According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the average cost of a funeral has jumped from around $6,000 in 2013 to over $10,000. Of course, the overall costs incurred when planning a funeral will depend, to a great extent, on how elaborate of a funeral is planned. There are three basic options:
- Traditional Funeral Services — usually include embalming, dressing of the body, funeral home rental, a viewing, body transportation (via a hearse) to the funeral site, casket cost, and a cemetery plot or crypt.
- Direct Burial — a simpler version that would likely include a simple container, no viewing or visitation, and no embalming. A memorial service would still be held at the graveside if desired.
- Cremation — the body is cremated after death without embalming and the remains are kept as the family desires.
The cost of a funeral will also depend on the specific services and “add-ons” you choose to include as well. All too often, grieving family members get talked into purchasing a whole host of add-ons that the deceased would not have wanted.
How Does a Funeral Planning Component in My Estate Plan Help?
Thinking of your death in terms of the cost of your funeral may be difficult to do; however, the reality is that dying is expensive. Moreover, if you put off thinking about how expensive your funeral will likely be, it will be your loved ones who will be forced to scrape together the necessary funds to pay for your funeral and burial – all while they are at the height of the grief process. Including a funeral planning component in your estate plan removes the stress and pressure from your surviving loved ones while ensuring that your wishes will be honored at the same time.
An Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust, or ILIT, is a commonly used estate planning tool that can help you plan for the costs associated with your funeral and make clear your wishes regarding the details of that funeral. An ILIT is a special type of irrevocable living trust that is funded by the proceeds of a life insurance policy. The funds held by the ILIT are then available to cover the expenses relating to your funeral. At the same time, the terms of the trust agreement can be used to include details about the funeral and burial that are important to you. Legally, the Trustee of the trust must abide by those terms, thereby ensuring that your wishes will also be honored.
Contact Indianapolis Estate Planning Attorneys
For more information, please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you have additional questions or concerns about including funeral planning in your estate plan, contact the experienced Indianapolis estate planning attorneys at Frank & Kraft by calling (317) 684-1100 to schedule an appointment.
- What Is an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust? - May 12, 2022
- Dying Is Expensive – How Funeral Planning Can Help - May 10, 2022
- Can the Proceeds of a Life Insurance Policy Be Paid to a Trust? - May 5, 2022