Understandably, no one wants to spend too much time contemplating their own funeral and burial. Nevertheless, it is something you should spend some time doing to spare your loved ones from additional grief and to ensure that your wishes are honored. Toward that end, the Los Angeles estate planning attorneys at Schomer Law Group, APC urge you to include funeral planning in your comprehensive estate plan.
The Reality Is That Death Is Expensive
Industry experts tell us that an average (modest) funeral and burial will run $7,000-$12,000 in 2022. That cost can easily double or triple if a more expensive casket or headstone is chosen or if a more elaborate service is held. Because you will obviously not be available to assist at the time, your loved ones will be responsible for making decisions and figuring out how to pay for everything involved in your funeral and burial unless you created a plan for them to follow. Moreover, the salesperson working with your loved ones understands the stress they are under and the grief they are dealing with and may use that knowledge to convince them to spend way more than they intended to spend. Many grieving survivors end up paying way more than they should for funeral and burial services simply because they weren’t thinking clearly when they were making the arrangements or because they were unsure what the deceased would have wanted so they purchase the best of everything.
How Can Funeral Planning Help?
Most people have an opinion regarding what should follow their death and how their passing should be honored. Some people are adamant about being cremated while others cannot imagine anything but being buried. Likewise, you may want a small, somber tribute with only close family and friends, or you may envision a large service with music and videos of your life. You might even want everyone to raise a glass to you and dance the night away instead of a traditional funeral service. Regardless of the type of service, is there someone you want to speak at the service or something you want to be read in your honor? These decisions and many more must be made shortly after someone passes away. No matter how frequently and thoroughly you have discussed your feelings on issues related to your own funeral and burial, there is a very good chance that your loved ones will not remember those details in the hours and days following your death. The only way to ensure that your wishes will be honored is to create a funeral plan and incorporate it into your estate plan.
Is a Funeral Trust Right for Me?
An Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) is a special type of trust that is funded by the proceeds of a life insurance policy. As the Settlor, you create the trust and appoint a Trustee to administer the trust. You then purchase or transfer in, a life insurance policy, the proceeds of which pay out immediately into the trust upon your death. Those proceeds then fund your funeral service. Along with providing the funding, however, you can also use the trust terms to ensure that your burial and funeral are carried out according to your wishes. For instance, you can use the terms to specify where you want to be buried or state that you prefer to be cremated and where to scatter your ashes. You can be extremely detailed by providing a list of music, dictating the guest list, and choosing the flowers or you can keep it general. Your Trustee will be legally obligated to abide by those terms once the trust activates. By including an ILIT in your funeral and burial plan you ensure that your wishes will be honored while simultaneously preventing family conflict by removing the need for loved ones to make decisions and struggle to locate funds.
Contact Los Angeles Estate Planning Attorneys
For more information, please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you have additional questions or concerns about how to include funeral planning in your estate plan, contact the experienced Los Angeles estate planning attorneys at Schomer Law Group APCby calling (310) 337-7696 to schedule an appointment.
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