While many people today plan ahead for the cost of their final arrangements, death does not always wait until these plans are completed. This can mean that a decedent's family must find a way to pay for a funeral in situations where the death was unexpected.
If the surviving family is struggling financially, they may not be able to easily come up with the amount the average funeral now costs. If you have recently suffered the unexpected loss of a loved one and are struggling to find a way to pay for the funeral, here are some possible ways to reduce those costs while still properly honoring their life.
Set a firm budget limit
The first thing to do when facing the cost of a loved one's funeral is to decide how much you can afford to spend. Once you have a firm upper limit in mind, it will be easier for you to find ways to stay under that amount when making the funeral plans.
Seek help from close relatives
Chances are that other close relatives may be willing and able to help fund the cost of a funeral for a loved one who has unexpectedly passed. It is perfectly acceptable to ask close relatives if they would like to help with funeral expenses when you make the call to notify them of the death.
Request donations in lieu of floral arrangements
It is not uncommon for newspaper obituaries today to include a request for donations to defray funeral costs. An example of this wording might read "in lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to help with funeral expenses". Most funeral homes will assist families in setting up this type of arrangement and act as a collection point for the funds as the donations arrive.
Look for cost-cutting opportunities when making the arrangements
A caring funeral director can also play an important role in helping families find ways to economize on a loved one's funeral. Some of the ideas they may suggest might include:
- opting for cremation instead of interment after the service
- opting to skip the embalming
- opting for a no-frills casket, such as one without protective seals or decorative upgrades
Additional ways to save may include opting to have a graveside service, instead of one in the funeral parlor, or purchasing a casket on your own directly from a warehouse to save on markup.
Working closely with the funeral director of a trusted funeral home is the best way to get the help you will need to plan a fitting funeral for your loved one at an affordable cost. For more information, reach out to funeral homes like Danks-Hinski Funeral Home.