You usually don't think about funeral expenses until you have to, like when you are diagnosed with a terminal illness. At this time in your life, you are ready to make end-of-life preparations and if possible, prepay for your funeral costs to take that burden off your loved ones. Making funeral arrangements and buying headstones are costly ventures. The average funeral can costs over $7,000 dollars, not including the monument. If you need money for your funeral expenses, you do have options.
Option 1: Burial Societies
If you want a traditional burial and funeral, but are low on money, consider joining a burial society. Burial societies are non-profit organizations that are able to offer you a lower-priced funeral and burial. They can offer lower prices because they buy and sell funeral goods and services in large quantities, which means they can pass on their saving to you.
To join a burial society, you must pay in a certain amount of money each year, but you can save on your overall burial costs.
Option 2: Viatical Settlements
If you've been diagnosed with a terminal illness and need money to quickly to finance your funeral costs, you may be able to sell your life insurance policy to a viatical settlement company and receive a lump sum of cash. The company will continue to make your life insurance premium payment until you die. You won't get the full amount of your insurance policy, but you could get a large portion of it. The shorter your life expectancy, the more the company will pay you, but you can sell your policy if you have a couple of years or less to live.
If you sell your policy to viatical settlement, the company becomes your beneficiary, so consider your original beneficiary's needs after you die before you decide to sell your policy.
Option 3: Accelerated life Insurance Benefits
If you are terminally ill, you may be able to get your insurance benefits accelerated. This isn't selling your policy. The insurance company itself pays you a percentage of your insurance policy proceeds. This option is generally not a benefit of a regular life insurance policy. It is often an attachment you can add on to your existing or new policy. You can call your insurance company to see if this feature is an option, and how much it will raise your premiums.
If you don't have this feature, and don't have time to add it on, your insurance company may loan you the money you need instead, but this depends on the type of insurance policy you have.
You do have options for financing your funeral when money is tight, or an unexpected diagnosis forces you to take care of the arrangements sooner than you planned. However, you should comparison shop, and if you have questions, seek legal advice or monuments.