Who Pays For a Funeral? December 17, 2020

who pays for a funeral

There are two sure things in life 1) You will die, 2) someone will pay for your funeral. So the question is who pays for a funeral?

Many of us, especially those of us who are young and healthy, do not want to think about our eventual death. When there are no red flags or reasons to believe you will pass before your time it is easy to avoid thinking about death and even more so who is going to pay for it. 


Times are crazy right now. 

A global pandemic, job loss, business closing and major loss of life, many of these factors may get us thinking about how unpredictable life and death is. Some of us may feel neck deep in what is going on in the world right now. There is no better time to take a more proactive approach to end of life decisions.

Who Pays for a Funeral?

  • You could pre-pay in payments as a part of prearrangement plan over time while you are still alive
  • Life Insurance policy
  • Leave money in a will to pay for it
  • Your “executor” or next of kin
  • “Public health funeral”


Funerals can range from $3,000 to $10,000. 

It can be easy to avoid thinking about who will pay for your funeral because, well, you will be dead. The reality is that whether you are there or not whether you have planned ahead or not, someone will pay for it.


There are so many great resources and services offered to help preplan funerals including paying for it over time. This option is the most proactive and takes the burden off of grieving family members. 


Many life insurance policies will dole out a lump sum to your chosen beneficiary. The payment is made shortly after you die and does not have to go through probate.


Money can be left in will specifically to be used for afterlife funeral costs. Family will likely have to pay upfront and be able to be “reimbursed” because the Will must go through probate. After it goes through the court and is validated as a true and legal document the funds can then be released. 


If there are no preplans, insurance or funds laid aside in a Will it then falls on the shoulders of the “executor” or the next of kin. In a nutshell it becomes the burden of the grieving family.


If there is no next of kin or there is no way for them to pay the local authority must bury or cremate them. It’s called a ‘public health funeral’.


No matter who pays for the funeral it is clear to see that someone has to do it. As you read through the list the options that include some form of proactive action including preplanning are ideal.


I hope that you now have a better understanding of who pays for a funeral and are encouraged to get started on your own preplan. 


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