You may think that a loved one is prepared for their final arrangements and the costs of those arrangements. But the truth is, many people planned for their end of life expenses a decade or more ago before their retirement and the money that was set aside is not enough to cover current funeral expense costs. This can leave you with unpaid expenses, including headstones, vaults, and even casket costs. If you are left with some of these expenses, and you aren't sure how to handle them and make sure your loved one's end-of-life expenses are covered, here are some methods to consider.
Rearrangement of Pre-Planned Options
If you are the next of kin or executor of the will, you may be able to rearrange pre-planned options that were decided and paid on several years ago. This may afford you some options that are lacking from the basic funeral expenses, including the funeral chapel service. In these cases, the funeral home will work with you within the amount that has already been pre-paid and move those payments to other packages or options they may have. What this will do is either cover the basics, such as a casket and chapel service, or it will leave you with less out-of-pocket expense than you started with.
Spaced Out Services
Spacing out the services can also help with unexpected funeral expenses. Your funeral home or funeral chapel can space out certain services, such as placement of a headstone, until a month or more after the funeral. Keep in mind, some religions wait for up to a year to have a headstone put in place, so this is not an odd request for the funeral home to assist with.
Bring a non-Family Member with You
This may sound odd, but if you have a trusted friend of the family, then you may want to consider bringing them with you to take care of the final planning. The reason why pertains to the extra expenses that families tend to purchase without thinking them through. For example, the death certificate will be issued by the state and you can make official copies at most copy stores. You may be offered this copying service at a funeral home, but it is not necessary. It is simply an extra that helps people make this transition in their lives easier. A non-family member may be better at discerning what services are really necessary and which may just offer sentimentality that you may be vulnerable to. Having a friend with you to help you avoid purchasing extras like this can help immensely.
One key method that many people do not think of when they are dealing with unexpected funeral expenses is a payment option. In fact, most funeral homes may have a small advertisement regarding financing or in-house financing, but people in grief may overlook this. If you are in a situation where you have to face paying out of pocket for unexpected expenses, ask your funeral director about a payment or financing option.
For more information and options, talk with different funeral homes in your area.