Unfortunately as a funeral director, I often see families who have lost a loved one without the necessary funds to provide for his or her final expenses. The problem is that there is a dead body and something must be done within a short period of time, to properly accomplish final disposition with kindness, dignity and respect.
What are survivors finding themselves in this very undesirable situation supposed to do for funds? If the funeral home accepts credit cards, the survivor can utilize his or her pre-established credit and then make the necessary payments to the credit card carrier. For some reason, I find that survivors do not like this option. It is possible that most of them think the interest is too high, or they do not carry enough space on their credit cards to be able to afford such a substantial expense.
The funeral funds, however, must be provided before services can be rendered. If the next of kin is unable to raise the necessary funds through his or her own credit, they may choose to ask additional family members and friends to contribute. This can be embarrassing and many survivors do not care for this option either.
Some families are under the misconception that if they refuse or cannot provide the necessary funds, the government will cover their loved one’s funeral expenses. While it may be true that some counties have funds for paupers, these funds are reserved for indigents. If a decedent has family members or relatives, he or she does not qualify for the funds. Loved ones are not considered paupers, they are considered family members and as such, they have family that will be called upon to carry their financial burdens.
Unfortunately, funds that must be quickly obtained usually end up carrying extremely high fees. Whoever loves the decedent enough to step up to his or her deserted plate, usually ends up paying a far greater price and burden than the decedent would have if he or she had just taken care of this issue before his or her inevitable death.
The easiest and most cost effective way to provide funds for one’s funeral expenses is called pre-need insurance, and it is purchased prior to one's death. Paying for a decedent's funeral after his or her death is called an expensive burden. If you are setting your loved ones up for this very unfair situation, they will be suffering the burden of your debt for a very long and laborious time.
My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a funeral director, author and freelance writer. I write books, weekly articles and brief tips on understanding and coping with grief. It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.