We all know that there is an end of the road when our life on earth comes to an end. However, many of us have not planned for how to pay for our funeral. Most of us acknowledge the importance of preplanning our own funeral, but still leave the planning undone. Let’s look at why it’s important to plan for how to pay for a funeral.  

Why Plan Ahead for Funeral Expenses?

According to PRNewswire.com, “This year’s findings reveal that 62.5% felt it was very important to communicate their funeral plans and wishes to family members prior to their own death, yet only 21.4 percent had done so.”

We fail to realize how important it is to plan for this expense. Our family members get caught off guard with how expensive a funeral can be. This can create family disagreements and financial struggle for your surviving loved ones. Most traditional funerals typically run around $8,000. This is no small chunk of change.

Many of us assume that the money in our estate will take care of the funeral expenses, but oftentimes, probate holds up the estate money and family members must pay for your funeral expenses out of their own pocket. What happens when there are disagreements? Your son may think a green burial is the way to go while your daughter wants the traditional vault and a nice casket. 

Making your funeral plan and knowing how you will finance it can keep your family focused on helping each other grieve rather than on disagreements about how to handle your funeral service and burial. Let’s look at ways to pay for a funeral so that your family doesn’t carry that burden while grieving your loss.

What Are You Paying For?

Expenses for a funeral cover a myriad of services including these: 

  • Embalming or preserving the body
  • Services of the Funeral Home Director and Staff
  • Casket
  • Flowers
  • Cremation costs
  • A burial plot
  • The cost of transporting the body
  • Headstone with carving
  • Payment to minister or priest
  • Rental costs for the venue where the memorial service is held
  • Cost to open and close the grave
  • Musicians
  • Grave vault and/or grave liners

Life Insurance

You can choose to take out a life insurance policy or use one you already have. Look at what benefits are provided. You may be able to choose a beneficiary for a lump sum pay out immediately after your death. This money does not have to be used for your funeral, but you decide who it goes to. You can talk with your beneficiary about what you desire the money to go for after your death. Because it is a beneficiary account, life insurance does not go through probate.

Burial Insurance

Burial insurance coverage is specifically for the costs associated with funeral and burial or cremation. According to the Bankrate.com, “Your burial insurance premiums are determined by your gender, age, the size of the policy and other factors, so the amount you pay will be specific to your own situation. The National Funeral Directors Association states that the average cost of a funeral with a vault is $9,135, and with cremation is $5,150.”

Costs vary according to the company, but many life insurance companies also sell burial insurance. With burial insurance, there are no health questions asked. A man age 50 can expect to pay $16- $20 and a woman age 50, $14-$15 per month. A man age 75 can expect to pay $51-$63 while a woman age 75 could pay $38-$46 per month. (1)

Plan with Your Funeral Home

Another option to plan and prepare for your funeral and burial is to work with your funeral home. Most funeral homes will work with you to make a plan that includes type of music, who will officiate, type of casket, type of burial plot, types of flowers or decorations, etc. When you make a plan that is detailed, you give your loved ones a break from worrying about or disagreeing about what should happen to honor your life. 

Families often struggle with grief to the point that planning a funeral is more than they can bear. It can cause stress in their daily life but also on the entire family because there can be disagreements about music or flowers or who will officiate. Family members often get worked up over these issues because of the overwhelming grief that they feel. This grief can often manifest itself in irritability and frustration with others. 

Whatever plans you make regarding your eventual death, take into account your loved ones and how to help them rest and grieve without the stress of planning and paying for funeral or memorial services. Planning your funeral is a last act of love for your family.

Seek Help

If you would like to preplan your funeral or need help finding burial insurance, contact us at Renaissance Funeral Home. We work with you to make a plan that suits your budget and tastes so that your family can grieve your loss without worry. We would be glad to discuss any questions or concerns you might have about making a plan and would also be glad to give you a tour of our facility, including our state of the art cremation tribute center that includes an area for family to be a part of the process.


  1. https://www.bankrate.com/insurance/life-insurance/burial-insurance/