Many Families Surprised By The Cost Of Dying

(Memphis) Having a loved one die is painful.

Sometimes, the hurt is more than emotional – it can also really hurt your wallet.

The cost of funerals is skyrocketing, and is already at an all time high.

Heather Quinn knows this first hand. Her cousin passed away unexpectedly at 34 years old.

“At a young age you obviously you don’t think you need life insurance yet, I’m very healthy,” Quinn said.

With no pre-arrangements, the family had to move fast planning his funeral.

“I only called a handful,” Quinn said.

It’s why those in the funeral service in industry say families, when they can, should always do their homework as early as possible to decide if there should be a burial or cremation, should a service take place at a church, graveside or funeral home and what are the cost options?

Brent Taylor is the owner of Hernando Funeral Home in Desoto County, Mississippi.

“Those funeral amounts starting in 1948 at $150 double every ten years,”  Taylor said.

It’s now more expensive than ever to bury a loved one.

The average funeral cost in 1948 was about $150.

The cost in 2014 is almost $11,000.

Cremations will run you about half that amount.

Taylor said families need to protect themselves from costly expenses.

“How to protect yourself from the funeral costs we know will double every ten years? So, we encourage people to pre-plan,” Taylor said.

Experts recommend visiting a funeral home & talking with a licensed professional.

“A funeral professional can advise what funeral plan best fits your budget,” Taylor said.

For example, Social Security won’t take care of all funeral expenses.

“If a husband passes away you’ll get a $255 death benefit from Social Security unless the surviving spouse remarries or have dependent children upon her death there’s no payment from Social Security,” Taylor said.

U.S. Veterans and their families need to mindful, as well. Veterans aren’t always covered either.

“What a veteran is entitled to is a grave space in a national cemetery, a headstone and open and closing of grave. The funeral expenses will be left up to surviving family,” Taylor said.

Taylor said families shouldn’t always count on employee life insurance policies, especially for retirees.

“If they happen to retire from their job that benefits from life insurance that employers offers as a benefit, it is either reduced significantly or eliminated completely for retirees,” Taylor said.

Taylor said the best advice for families is to plan ahead.

It can help save some heartache and money during a very difficult time.

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