Aside from the lighthearted ghostly costumes and zombie themed parties on Halloween, no one wants to talk about death. It’s an uncomfortable subject for many reasons, but we have to face the fact that one day, it will happen. The question is, can you actually afford it?
Now, don’t get us wrong, we’re not here to scare you with this post, nor do we take pleasure in knowing we might cause a possible spike in blood pressure. We’re writing this because we want to help you become more prepared to plan for the unexpected.
Death has a Monetary Price
A good financial plan includes a future in which you are no longer present. The reality is that someone has to pick up the tab when you check out. There’s no dine and dash here. Let’s take a look at the basic necessities of a funeral and, on average, how much it will cost:
- Casket – $2,300
- Funeral director’s basic services fee – $1,500
- Embalming and body preparation – $600
- Funeral ceremony and viewing – $1,000
- Miscellaneous fees (hearse, death certificate, obituary, etc.) – $600
- Grave plot – $1,000
- Cost to dig the grave (sometimes called the open/close fee) – $1,000
- Headstone – $2,000
- Grave marker (flat granite or bronze plaque) – $1,000
- Total: $10,000 – $11,000
Depending on where you live, your religion, preferences, final resting place, etc., these costs will vary. But as a general rule of thumb, it’s going to cost you and/or your loved ones a staggering $10,000-$11,000 once you’ve passed on…not a price tag to take lightly.
To the Living
In order to make sure that all of your belongings go to the right person or charity, you will need a Final Will and Testament. If you die without a will, intestacy law takes precedence which only recognizes relatives. Depending where you live, this can get hairy. It is in your best interest to work with financial, legal and tax advisors to have a will drawn up and updated periodically. While you will be able to find online templates to create your own, this may not sufficiently cover your needs, so it’s best to get professional estate planning assistance.
The Average Cost of Final Will and Testament
- Will – $150- $600 ($375 on average)
- Power of Attorney and basic estate planning – (starting around) Single $1,000, Joint $1,500
- Attorney – $100 – $400/hour
Prices will vary. This is just some average costs to consider. While some may think this is “just another thing to spend money on”, we urge you to reconsider the effects of not having one once you’ve passed. Death can emotionally take its toll on your loved ones, having this squared away ahead of time will allow them to get through their grieving without the worry of handling your estate.
Everything has a price tag, even death. Don’t be caught unprepared. Not only for yourself but for your loved ones. While this is a tough subject to face at any age, we hope this was eye opening and has you thinking about the inevitable future.