When a loved one passes away unexpectedly, it can definitely be one of the most emotionally trying times in your life. If there were no prior arrangements made for the funeral and no life insurance, it can definitely be financially challenging for you as well. With the average funeral bill costing somewhere around $7,000, not everyone has this kind of money lying around to spare without notice. If you find yourself in a bind to come up with the money to pay the funeral expenses for your family member, there is no doubt you will have questions about what you can do.
Are there programs available to help people pay for funeral expenses?
Some states do have programs available that are in place to help low-income individuals pay for funeral expenses. For example, in the state of Vermont, you may qualify for $1,100 to cover the costs of a funeral or burial service. Additionally, some counties offer aid even when state governments do not. To find out about the programs that may be present in your state or county, contact the local human resources department or ask the funeral director about information they may have.
Is it possible to pay payments on a funeral?
Some funeral homes do allow people to set up a payment plan when a loved one leaves unexpectedly and someone else has to take on the bill. If this is a possibility, you will still usually be required to pay a deposit. Not all funeral homes have this option, and some will require that all of the costs be paid up front.
What are some of the easiest ways to keep the bill low but still have a tasteful service?
Going in debt to pay for a funeral is never a good option, and therefore, it is always best to do what you can to keep the bill as low as possible. Keep in mind that a nice funeral that will still honor the life of your family member does not have to be elaborate or expensive. There are ways to cut the bill that will not mean you have to have a skimpy or cheap service. For example, you could:
- provide your own music for the ceremony
- opt for a closed casket
- shorten the length of visitation
- arrange your own casket transportation to the cemetery
If you find yourself responsible for paying for a funeral unexpectedly, talk to the funeral home of your choice about what your options may be. In the end, the loss of a loved one can be extremely stressful, even without money being a factor.