In the light of our mortality, it is not just the memories we leave behind that count but also the comforts we can provide for those we part from.
In the TV show "Frasier," (anyone remember this show? If you do, you should definitely have your estate plan in place!) we chuckle at the onscreen portrayal of a family fumbling with Great-Aunt Louise's final wishes, but this dark comedy mirrors a reality we often overlook: the costs of dying and the importance of pre-planning our own farewells.
Embrace the Kindest Gesture: Preplan and Pre-Pay Your Funeral- Yes, you can lock in today’s rates for your funeral/ burial/cremation/composting/etc.
We seldom wish to ponder our last departure, yet in this moment of contemplation, you can provide your loved ones with an act of kindness -by orchestrating the details (and payment) of your farewell.
You are basically taking out the guess work, handling the organization, and the payment for your final wishes – what a final gift! Also, you get to set out what you want, where you want, and how you want. Don’t want that gaudy casket that looks like your great aunt’s coffee table doilies? Yep, you can choose the sleek classic casket instead as your final resting place. Want to be cremated, composed, turned into a tree, or shot into space? You can make sure that happens. I had one client who is donating her body to the forensic farm so law enforcement and crime professionals can determine times of death better.
All jokes aside, there is a tangible relief that clear instructions provide, simplifying choices while preserving your legacy. Having experienced it myself, having a pre-paid plan laid out takes one more difficult decision off the plate of your loved ones to deal with. And let’s be real, the expense of it all too.
How Much does it Really Cost to Die? - Who’s got a coupon?!?!
I’ve attached a price schedule from a local mortuary below. To be fair, they are a great business and are very helpful, compassionate, and caring. . . but they are still a business. Some of these prices will shock you. But think about inflation, the cost of everything going up, what are these prices going to look like in the future. 20 years, 30 years, 40+ years from now? Get this pre-purchased and lock in today’s rates now instead of having your loved one’s shoulder that burden down the road.
What are the Options?
Cremation or Burial: Understanding Your Options
Tides are shifting towards cremation, with projections from the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) estimating that 60.5% of farewells in 2023 will embrace this form. With the median cost of a traditional burial nudging over $7,000, it pays to consider greener, more economical alternatives that leave both your spirit and the planet at peace.
For example, instead of a ground burial, specify natural organic reduction; instead of flame cremation, alkaline hydrolysis.
Natural organic reduction is the process of converting a person’s body into soil, and alkaline hydrolysis is a water-based dissolution process for human remains. Your family or loved ones then have the choice of the final disposition of the “green remains” either bury, retain or scatter your ashes in an appropriate manner and place.
Your Life, Your Legacy: Assemble Your 'Funeral Folder' – (nudge nudge, we have a very special, handy dandy, Legacy Vault for you to store all this information in for when the time comes) – learn more about our one-time payment for lifetime access HERE
Begin your journey by composing a "funeral folder"—a testament to your life's narrative, crystallized into high-resolution images and resonant words. Choose those who will speak on your behalf and express your preference for an in-person gathering, a celebration across digital realms, or a hybrid of both.
Ways to Keep a Lid on Expenses
As we step thoughtfully into our estate planning strategies, we invite you to contemplate the balance between personalization and financial prudence. From selecting your memorial's accouterments online to considering home funerals or nature-aligned options like organic reduction, there are ample avenues to ensure your final farewell honors both your essence and your estate.
Or, if you are planning this yourself and you want to go out with a bang and a huge party, then you can make that happen for your loved ones and be sure they are left with one last parting gift. . . not having to foot the bill for you.