What are the 5 Major Ideas for An End-of-life Plan?

by Taylor Evans June 24, 2022 4 min read

Grieving for a loved one is painful. However, when the person passes on, there are also major expenses that need to be met. Unfortunately, dying is expensive. The average cost of a funeral is over $8,100, and in some states, this cost is even higher.

You can cut costs with cremation urns or cremation jewelry, but death is still immensely expensive.

Creating an end-of-life plan is crucial to alleviating some of this financial burden on your loved ones. While there is a lot to consider, you’ll find that these five ideas cover most end-of-life scenarios.

5 Major Ideas for An End-of-life Plan

1. Start Documenting Your Final Wishes

Some people want to end their life quietly without making the event an extravaganza. But other people have a long list of final wishes. There's no right or wrong answer for final wishes, and you deserve to have the funeral or send-off that you’ve always envisioned.

However, if you’re on a strict budget, you may want to create a list of priorities.

A few things to think about are:

  • Type of burial you prefer
  • Casket or cremation
  • Funeral and/or ceremony

You may also want to send your closest relatives or family jewelry for ashes so that you can always be a part of their lives.

Ask for Help

If you want to include family members or a spouse in the planning process, you should. Your family or loved ones can help you through the process. For example, a family member may choose to have a special way to remember you that is different than others.

By allowing them to help with the planning process, you’re ensuring that they can say his goodbyes.

There’s also the benefit of taking the time to know and hear what your loved ones have planned when you’re gone.

2. Ditch the Burial

Cremation is one of the most cost-effective end-of-life plans that you can make. Cremation prices vary, but $2,500 is a good starting point. You’ll also find a wide range of urns for human ashes that will fit into your budget.

Marble/Stone and even wooden urns for ashes are available.

If part of your final wishes is to have your ashes immediately scattered after death, simple scattering urns may be a better option because it will reduce urn expenses. The nice thing about cremation is that it offers:

  • Affordability when you pass on
  • Ability for loved ones to celebrate your life
  • Ceremony options that can be more extravagant

You also have the option of having your ashes spread in a location that meant something to you. For example, you can have the ashes spread where you met your spouse, at the beach, in a lake or even in the garden.

3. Consider Creating Your Own Package Without the Funeral Home

Funeral homes are a business. These entities must pay their bills and workers. Unfortunately, no matter how nice the director may be, they need to make sure that their establishment turns a profit.

And how do they make their profits? By charging more for the services that they provide or procure for you.

For example, a funeral home will often offer you a package that includes:

  • Casket / Cremation Urn
  • Flowers
  • Tombstone

You may have to pay for the general funeral costs, but if you’re buying a tombstone or flowers through the funeral home, they're going to charge you a premium for this service.

So, what can you do?

Instead of paying a service premium, you can decide to shop around and cut out the middleman. Contact a florist to schedule flowers and give the information to your loved ones. Order a tombstone or urn directly from the manufacturer or main retail seller rather than going through the funeral home.

However, choosing to do everything on your own does cost you something very important: time.

Depending on your situation, if you have little time left and would rather spend it with family than working out all of these logistics, it may be worth paying for a funeral package.

4. Compare and Shop Around

One funeral home or crematorium may have drastically different prices than another. You should take the time to call each funeral home in town to better understand their:

  • Prices
  • Packages
  • Offers

You're in charge of your end-of-life procedures, so don’t be afraid to tell the funeral home your budget and see if you can work together to remain in this budget. Often, you can negotiate with the funeral home, remove items or do other things to lower the cost of the entire funeral.

And in the worst-case scenario, you tried to negotiate and failed.

5. Don’t Have a Funeral at All

Funerals are very expensive, and you don’t need to have one if that’s your choice. Instead of paying a funeral home, you can have everyone gather at your house, a rental hall or even a church.

The idea of a funeral home as the location everyone gets together at to say “goodbye” is engrained in many people’s heads. But it’s also nice to choose a location that isn’t a funeral home.

For example, you can save money by:

  • Requesting everyone go back to your home to pay their respects
  • Ask family members to bring food and celebrate your life together

Your loved ones may appreciate the choice of not having a funeral because it leaves more money to your estate. If you do opt to have your final goodbyes in a church, you may still have to donate money for the ability.

End-of-life planning is complicated and taxing on the people that you leave behind. If you want to make the process easier on your family, you can do the planning on your own. You can even set funds aside or take out insurance that will cover the cost of the funeral.

Plus, when you do all of the planning, you have control over your final send-off and can ensure that your final wishes are met.

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