Time after time families are surprised when there is a death when they find that charges are due before the burial can take place. Along with the grief and the stress of all the tasks to be accomplished in a very short period, there is the added stress of payment. In my experience, the financial burden can be the most difficult to carry throughout this process.
In one case I was working, the family was planning on an insurance policy to pay for the expenses. To their surprise, the deceased had taken a loan against the policy and there were no funds available to make the necessary purchase. That case resulted in delay of burial for a period of 6 weeks. Imagine the stress and guilt the family experienced during that ordeal.
In another case, the family depended on the person the power of attorney to have the funds available from the checking account of the deceased. The POA wrote the check, but we were notified that the account was closed. The family was very disappointed in the POA to say the least, and had to raise the funds through donations elsewhere. Again, more stress than necessary was felt.
In yet another case, the family had to take out a personal loan for the charges which could not be processed in sufficient time and led to a small delay of a couple of days. The loan was an extremely high percentage rate and the family resorted to a public fundraiser to get the loan paid off. The family admitted to me that it was hard to grieve properly with that issue hanging over their heads.
The best way to relieve your loved ones of the financial burden is to make and pay for your arrangements in advance. Health issues, borrowing against a policy, and many other factors can lead to a surprise to a family who was told not to worry the deceased had taken care of everything. Also, paying in advance freezes the cost at today’s rates. A reliance on insurance to pay will mean that the products purchased will be at the cost then, and the money will not go as far.
Make your plans today. It will be the greatest gift that your loved ones will receive even though they will not realize it until you pass.
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