Thursday, July 7, 2011

Death Costs...

Today I would like to take a side step from writing tips on living life well and discuss the inevitable topic of death. The business of dying is a painful and difficult one that will be experienced by each of us.

After losing several friends and family this year, I’ve more closely examined my own mortality and the funeral process. If you thought living was tough, have you considered the high cost of finding your final resting place?

For example; while publishing an obituary in your local paper is a good way to remember a loved one and to alert family and friends of the death, some newspapers may run an obituary for an average of $50. Other cities may charge hundreds of dollars depending on the length of the obituary.

Then, there are the costs of the funeral home and services; but not all funerals and funeral services are created equal. What’s the difference? Well, most funeral homes gain a loyal clientele based on family tradition. But you shouldn’t be married to any particular facility, especially if you are limited on finances. Instead, remember that different funeral homes can come with different price tags.

Believe it or not, while they may provide the exact same services and the same quality, two funeral homes located just minutes apart can be separated by thousands of dollars in fees.

On top of embalming and using the funeral home for the service, you'll be charged for limousine rental and other fees. To cut total costs as much as possible, I have personally opted for direct cremation which eliminates many costs and allows a dignified “memorial service” to be held anywhere.

I can imagine that it is often difficult to think straight about funeral plans immediately after a loved one's death. However, take a moment to pause and consider the options at your disposal, and ask for help when you need it.

In the event your loved one was employed at the time of death, his or her employer may owe the deceased loved one a paycheck. Social security and life insurance may also be due at the time of death. Having financial resources like these available will ease some stress and allow you to focus on your grief and not whether you can afford the funeral.

Death is probably the last thing on your mind right now, and that’s fine. Living life to its fullest should always be your first priority. So, until next time; go live your life – well,

John Aaron Villarreal
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