You’ve probably heard about death and taxes. While having a plan for your death may not be a big priority, creating a plan for your family when you pass is something everyone should do.

WHNT’s recent article, “How to plan for life after death,” says the first step is having that conversation with someone you trust. It may be a close friend, a family member, or an attorney.

Next, think about some important considerations – like what you want in terms of a funeral service, burial or cremation, if you want life insurance to pay your last expenses, and how the distribution of your estate should be handled.

The National Institute on Aging has created a comprehensive list of considerations for those who are facing end of life decisions. It’s also a great resource for caretakers.

This planning may make the process easier for those you leave behind, especially if you work with an experienced estate planning attorney.

There are also some fundamental decisions that can ease the financial burden on your loved ones.

The average traditional funeral in North American costs between $7,000 and $10,000. This price range includes the services at the funeral home, burial in a cemetery, and the installation of a headstone at the cemetery.

The National Funeral Directors Association reports that the median cost to move the remains of a loved one to a funeral home in the U.S. is $325. Embalming can run about $725, and the average cost of a vault in the United States is $1,395 (as of 2017).

According to the 2018 NFDA Cremation & Burial Report, the 2018 cremation rate is estimated to be 53.5%, and the burial rate is projected to be 40.5%.

Forbes says that roughly 42% of people opt to be cremated because of the costs involved with a standard funeral in the United States.  Of course, there is no right or wrong decision, as long as your wishes are clearly expressed so your family is not left guessing what you would want.

Reference: WHNT (June 30, 2019) “How to plan for life after death”