Are you thinking you should write a cheque to a funeral home to prepay for your funeral or memorial costs? This may be a good idea for you, but have you done your research into other options?
The attached photo is of a bill for a “pre-need” funeral that was paid for in 2001, here in Nova Scotia. The good news is that the family was only charged an additional $87.27 for a “pre-need shortfall,” for the service in 2018. I am not exactly sure what the charge relates to. In total, the family had to pay an additional $382.80 at the time of need. It is good news in that I have heard of final bills being an additional $3-$4 thousand dollars over and above the amount that was paid for in advance. This usually comes as a shock and a burden to grieving family members.
The sad part is, in my view, the person who paid this bill in 2001 overpaid for a cremation container…assuming they did not know there were alternatives. For instance, a cardboard cremation container, in some places in Canada, sells for as low as $90.00…a cost savings of $450….which went up in smoke. Not to mention the environmental impact of cremating a box full of glue and likely formaldehyde. ..purely speculation of course, since I do not know anything about the box that was chosen in this instance. It is well known though that these “cremation containers” tend to have these ingredients, as do “traditional” caskets.
Pre-planning is definitely important, but pre-paying for containers maybe not so much. Better to set up a special bank account and put the money in it until it is time to pay instead of handing your money over to a stranger….in my opinion. Even a homemade urn by a special friend would have likely brought the cost down and provided more meaning….not to mention the cost savings if the family acted as their own funeral director and planned the event themselves…in advance. The big thing is you have to plan ahead to get the savings…not necessarily pre-pay…unless you want to secure a green burial plot.