Should I make arrangements to pay for my funeral costs?

During the estate planning process, it is important to think about your funeral and burial. Write down any wishes that you have with regard to your services or the handling of your body. Regardless of the decisions that you make, you will also have to decide whether or not you should make payment arrangements. The following is an overview of your options.

Making Arrangements for Funeral Expenses

When it comes time to make arrangements for the payment of funeral expenses, you essentially have two options. These options are as follows:

Pay the Costs of Your Funeral and Burial or Cremation in Advance

Paying funeral costs in advance can often feel like a relief since you will not have to worry about the expenses being paid. Since you will be making these arrangements directly with a funeral establishment, it is important that you choose a reputable establishment. Write down all of the plans that you make so that your loved ones can carry them out. While California law does require funeral service providers to carefully manage clients’ money, there are still risks. For example, if the funeral home goes out of business, you may be out of luck.

Set Aside Enough Money for Your Survivors to Pay These Costs

Another option is to set aside money to pay the costs of your funeral expenses. Since there is no risk of a funeral home going out of business, this plan may be safer than pre-paying costs. Funds can be placed in a bank account that is easily accessed by your designated beneficiary tasked with paying your funeral expenses. It is important to note, however, that the beneficiary is under no obligation to use the funds as you directed.

Regardless of which option you choose, our office is here to help. We encourage you to view our client testimonials page today to learn more about how we have helped other families who are working to create their estate plans.

James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm