According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the average funeral cost is now $6,560. Do you have that kind of cash available? If you don’t have life insurance to pay for final expenses, insurance earmarked for a funeral or burial can help direct the money according to your wishes.
It's not a fun subject to consider, but insurance expert Linda Rey explains that funeral insurance can make a big difference at a very difficult time for a family.
State laws allow funeral home directors to sell pre-need insurance to those who want to plan their funerals. The funeral director writes the policy, files the claim, receives the policy benefit amount, and carries out your wishes per the arrangements made in advance. Before you sign anything, review with the director what happens if you change your mind or decide to use a different funeral home. Pre-need insurance laws vary by state. For example, New York does not allow the sale of pre-need.
You also have the option to make prearrangements with a funeral director and establish a trust that is funded with cash. The money is held in trust until your death and is then dispersed to the funeral director.
If you or a family member are considering funeral insurance, check out Linda Rey's full blog, which includes a checklist of points to think about before you buy a plan: http://insurance.equifax.com/2010/12/checklist-for-buying-funeral-insurance.html
Ilyce Glink is the author of several books, including 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask and Buy, Close, Move In!. She blogs about money and real estate at ThinkGlink.com, The Equifax Personal Finance Blog and CBS Moneywatch She is Chief Content Strategist at RealtyJoin.com, a community for real estate investor