The Cost of Dying
Unfortunately, death is inevitable and one of the occurrences in life that at some point we will all have to face. Arguably the most difficult things to deal with during death are the intense emotions of grief and loss, facing an uncertain future without one of our loved ones.
When a death occurs one of the last things people want to consider would be finances and costs associated with death, in particular the funeral costs. Although it may not be an initial priority we all need to be realistic. It is useful to have an awareness of the costs involved and be in a state of readiness for what will ultimately become inevitable. Financial implications associated with death are not just to do with the monetary value but also the associated burden to those who may hold the responsibility for the administration of the funeral and the estate.
1. Funeral Services: An Expensive Necessity
The cost of dying often begins with paying for a funeral service, which can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars or more depending on the services requested and the location of the funeral. Those costs can include everything from burial plots, caskets, and headstones to embalming and mortuary services. Additionally, many families choose to have a reception following the funeral service, which can include food, drinks, and decorations that add to the cost.
2. Caring for The Deceased’s Final Wishes
When someone dies, their final wishes must be taken into consideration when planning their funeral. This could mean anything from requesting a specific type of flower arrangement or casket to wanting their ashes scattered in a particular place or having certain songs played at their service. Depending on the complexity of these requests and whether they require special arrangements such as travel or hiring additional vendors, it can quickly increase the overall cost of dying by thousands of dollars more.
3. Medical Bills: An Unexpected Cost?
Though not always considered when thinking about the cost of dying, medical bills are an expense that cannot be forgotten. If someone is in hospice care or requires medical treatments prior to death, those costs can quickly add up and must be accounted for when planning how to pay for end-of-life expenses. In addition to any medical bills accrued while alive, some treatments or medications may still need to be purchased after death in order to prepare a body for burial properly.
4. Estate Taxes: An Unforeseen Expense?
If someone has an estate worth more than $11 million (or double this amount if passing it onto their spouse), then those assets will incur estate taxes upon death that must be paid out before any other end-of-life expenses can be taken care of. This tax rate varies by state but is generally between 15% – 40%, making it one of the most expensive fees associated with dying that many people are unaware exists until it’s too late – potentially leaving little money left over for other things like loved ones’ inheritance or settling outstanding debts such as mortgages and credit cards balances owed by the deceased person.
5. Grief Counseling & Support Groups: An Investment In Mental Health
In addition to the financial cost associated with dying, there is an often underrated emotional toll as well – particularly on family members who are left behind after someone dies suddenly or unexpectedly. To help cope with this trauma, many individuals decide to seek out professional grief counseling or join support groups made specifically for those coping with loss – both of which come with additional costs that should not be ignored when considering what goes into “the cost of dying” as a whole picture.
Dependent on the plan you choose funds are either automatically transferred to a funeral director who would take care of the arrangements or in the case of Over 50’s funeral life insurance, a cash lump sum or monthly installments can be paid to your loved ones. It is important to note that the Life insurance option is a lump sum cash payment and is not always guaranteed to cover funeral costs. Regardless, it may still provide your loved ones with some excess and reassurance that some, if not all of the costs are covered.
The important thing with any plan is to ensure they are tailor-made to allow you to personalize every aspect of the day in a manner that suits your individual circumstances. Doing so gives you the ability to create a funeral that’s just how you want it to be.