How to ease your family's financial burden
Beyond pre-need contracts, there are a few ways you can make the financial aspect of your funeral easier on your loved ones.
- Payable on Death (POD) accounts: Once you finalize your funeral wishes and the estimated costs, you can open a POD account at a bank or credit union. You name a beneficiary who will gain access to the account when you die, not before. The account doesn't have to go through probate, and your beneficiary will present a death certificate to access the funds.
- Savings accounts with rights of survivorship: You can use a regular savings account to save the funds to pay for your funeral if you open a joint account with survivorship rights. You can make the joint account holder the person who will be handling your funeral. Note, however, that the other person on this account is also an account owner and has access to funds while you're alive.
- Life insurance: Since life insurance passes outside of probate, a small life insurance policy can ensure a beneficiary has relatively quick access to funds after you die to cover funeral costs. Some funeral homes will even accept a life insurance policy as payment, with the beneficiary receiving what's left over. Check with the funeral home and the terms of your insurance policy for more information.
Your best bet to ensure that your wishes are carried out is to have a candid conversation with your loved ones, do your research, and then make arrangements to have the costs of your funeral covered in the manner that's most comfortable for you and your family.