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Paying for a funeral and other unexpected expenses

by : Norm Bowen - 09-Feb-2018

Paying for Funeral

When a loved one passes away, there are some significant expenses that arise from carrying out the various end-of-life events and tasks.  These expenses can be overwhelming, and especially so if the passing was totally unexpected.

You should stay focused on keeping costs within your budget.

The average traditional funeral cost approx. $7,500.  But with the very basics, a funeral can cost approx. $3,000.

You can also consider a cremation, where a basic cremation cost approx. $1,000.

Make sure to get a full and complete estimate with itemized costs from the funeral homes or crematories you are considering. Get at least 2 estimates.

Stay focused on what you need and avoid unnecessary services that the funeral home may try to upsell you.


Share the costs

When applicable and possible, split the costs among a few close family members.  For example, for the funeral of an elderly parent, the adult children can choose to split the funeral expenses in some way, easing the burden on any one person.


Check with the employer of your loved one

In some cases, the employer of a person who has died may have benefits that cover some funeral expenses.


Check the Social Security Benefits for the survivor of your loved one

If the person that has died was receiving Social Security Benefits, the surviving spouse may be entitled to a one-time benefit of about $250 to help with funeral expenses.  Although this is not a large amount, it can still be very helpful if you are on a tight budget.


Benefits for Veterans

There are some benefits available for veterans for funeral expenses.  If your loved one was a veteran, you should find out what benefits are available and take advantage of them – your loved one earned it.


Create an online memorial fundraiser

Create an online memorial fundraiser, such as the Tribute Fundraiser on the Remember Always site, to secure donations from family and friends.  These people will be honored to help in any way they can.  And many small donations can add up to a significant amount of money, while not being a burden to each donor.


Get a funeral expenses loan

There are several companies that offer loans for covering funeral expenses.  You can also get a personal loan. However, in this age of social media and crowd-funding, why would you not do a memorial fundraiser instead?


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