The Importance of Funeral Education

by M-Gillies

Planning the details of your sendoff will help take the burden off your family when the time comes.

One of  the most overwhelming and often overlooked topics of discussion when it comes to funeral planning is the cost of paying for a funeral memorial. While everyone knows that funeral homes exist and that they play an important part in remembering a loved one, death and funeral planning are seldom considered until the time of actual need.

When it comes to any product or service, people are either well-informed on what their purchase is going to be, or they will know nothing at all, and often this is the case with funeral planning and funeral finances. Death is such a permanent thought that it has grown into a taboo topic within our society. To discuss death and funeral arrangements has become comparable to admitting defeat, even when it shouldn’t be that way.

Funeral planning shouldn’t be seen as acknowledging mortality and the inevitability of death but rather, should focus on the responsibility of ensuring loved ones – family members and friends – not be over-burdened with the onerous task of organizing and arranging religious or memorial ceremonies. Funerals are an emotionally turbulent experience for many and should be addressed before one’s death to allow latitude for a family to grieve and find solace in their personal loss.

Often this kind of assuagement is frequently delayed when funeral arrangements haven’t been organized beforehand, but more importantly, they meet turbulence when funeral finances haven’t been addressed.

In the media and frequently through hearsay, the funeral industry has been regarded as a service of exorbitant expense. Though the costs of funerals have only increased to reflect the inflation within the economic market as salaries increase and more people find employment, the average cost for a funeral can range between $7,000 to $10,000 – three times less than purchasing a vehicle… or rather, a fraction of what an average person would spend on a vehicle in a year when totalling the monthly payments of said vehicle with the cost of gasoline, oil, insurance and regular maintenance.

It isn’t that funerals are expensive, but rather that they are one-time expenses, paid at-need. What this means, is while your house may cost roughly  $150,000, your monthly payment on a thirty year loan is roughly $650. It doesn’t seem like much at first glance, but imagine if you had to unexpectedly pay $10,000 on your house – the cost now appears staggering.

One important thing to remember is, funeral homes do not hide the prices of their services. Just as funerals can be customized to fit someone’s personality, they can be tailored to fit their budget also, and many funeral homes do this by offering packages at prices less than the services would be individually. Through these offers, packages can range from simple, immediate burials to cremations, and even traditional funeral services (which includes a viewing, services at a church or funeral home, and a graveside service).

However, above all, it is important to continue to educate oneself about funerals, funeral finances and funeral arrangements. The best decisions made are informed decisions, and in order to be informed, we shouldn’t be afraid to seek out our local funeral professional to see how they can best assist us for making our future preparations.

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