The pros and cons of prepaid funerals
May 7, 2012, 6 a.m.
If you've ever had to plan a funeral for someone close to you, you know that doing so is stressful at best. Who wouldn't want to spare their relatives that chore if they could? Still, prepaying and preplanning your funeral has its downside. Be sure to consider all of the pros and cons of prepaid funeral plans before you write that check.
Advantages to prepaid funerals
The chief advantage to prepaying your funeral is that you will save your family and/or friends the task and expense of choosing a casket, deciding on a service and handling the myriad of details that come with even the simplest funeral. Another advantage is knowing that your preferences for the type of service, clothes, music and cemetery location will be honored.
Why you might not want to prepay for your funeral
Prepaying your funeral expenses also has disadvantages. As with any product or service for which you prepay, you run the risk of the company you've chosen going out of business before you die...and taking your money with it. In addition, if you prepay your funeral expenses many years before you die, the funeral director you dealt with may predecease you and his successor may be unaware of your prepaid plan. That possibility is more likely if the family members you make aware of your plan also die before you.
While prepaying your funeral may seem like a thoughtful way to handle your final expenses, it's important to sit down with your family and weigh the benefits and risks before making such a large expenditure.
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