Planning for costs and estate value is an important part to finalizing a funeral. You don't want to leave any burdens behind.

Funerals can end up costing over $10,000 in some cases, but it doesn't have to be this way. You can find different ways to save money when you prepare and research all of the resources that you need for an adequate burial. The key is to think ahead about property, care and probate fees. Funeral planning often goes hand in hand with estate planning, because it will take away the fears of legal hassles. There are also other things to think about such as memorial services, funeral etiquette and costs of services and products.

There are a few serious problems that come with inadequate preparation before someone's death. If you don't have a will, it will lead to even more issues. Wills create a binding legal document that sets up different parameters for your death and how to distribute your assets, as well as create trusts if needed by those who have survived the deceased. Getting this resource together is the first step to making the transition easier on your family.

If you have life insurance, then you also want to get something known as a viatical, which is created to help with mortgage foreclosure, medical bills and relieving other financial problems after death. This time can be incredibly confusing, so having something that actually prepares to pay for these financial distresses will provide a sense of insurance to pay for the different debts and costs from your life insurance policy.

Estate Planning

As mentioned before, estate planning covers three things: property, care of surviving members in your family, and probate fees. You can save your family from falling on hard times simply by creating a will and distributing your assets and using your life insurance in the right way. Wills also don't have to be hard to create. There are many tools online to help you write a will, including ones that simply allow you to fill in the blank. As part of estate planning, you'll need to gather all legal paperwork, such as real estate deeds, bank account statements, stocks and bonds, insurance policies and any other investments. You'll take an inventory of different expensive items and collectibles as well. In addition, you'll need to take care of liabilities, including credit cards, mortgages and loans in your name. With proper estate planning, you can also plan your entire funeral, arrange how to pay costs, state where you'd like to be buried and how. This is incredibly important to include in your will.

Funeral Etiquette

There are some general guidelines that every funeral needs to follow. You are commemorating the life of someone, so it can actually be very offensive when you fall out of funeral etiquette. For guests, there will be some guidelines for expressing sympathy, attending memorial services, calling the grieving party, dressing properly, viewing the body and just being appropriate at the different events in this period. Expressions of sympathy should be brief. When calling a grieving family, it's also important to be brief and simply state your condolences. Subdued colors are appropriate for most funerals, unless specified otherwise. When viewing the body, it's important to take a moment to say your piece or pray for the individual, but especially if you are in a line, it's going to be incredibly rude to stay longer than five minutes. For those who are setting up the events, you should read our article on funeral planning to properly prepare each event and write an appropriate obituary. Thank you notes are also a good way to be grateful towards those who did help or came to the funeral.


A memorial celebrates the life of a departed loved one. Memorial services can be public or private, but this is normally a public event where the many people who knew the deceased will visit and give their condolences by leaving flowers or saying something special to remember the departed. Memorial services can be incredibly expensive, particularly if you plan on setting up the entire thing yourself. Memory tables and memory boards are important to show different aspects of the deceased's personality and achievements. You can use pictures, favorite objects, or written words. In some cases, a video may be played that will commemorate the person's life. Memorial notecards are another way to allow the visitors to participate. These notecards are 3 by 5 standard and allow visitors to take one, fill out something that they admired, liked, or wished to say to the departed, and then leave it with the grieving. Since not everyone will get a chance to say everything, these notecards can be a way to express gratitude and sorrow.

Funeral Costs

Planning out funeral costs can make things easier on your family. If you are receiving help for the cost, it's essential that you create a checklist and itemize all the things that are necessary to building different funeral events. In most cases, you need to plan for the obituary, memorial service (if applicable), viewing service and burial. If you are having the body cremated, that is another cost to be discussed with your family. In addition, your family may have some ideas on what is appropriate and may want to be involved in the process, but you do not have to allow them if it is too much hassle. However, you can still make your plans public and keep others informed so that it is understood what is happening during this confusing time. In addition, there are all the different costs that are necessary in burial or cremation of the body.