Part of effective end-of-life planning includes figuring out how your loved ones will have immediate access to cash right after you are gone -- including enough money to pay your funeral expenses.
That can be a little trickier than it sounds. The average price for an adult funeral with cremation is $6,078. With a burial, you can expect your loved ones to have to pay $8,508.
There are several ways you can go about making sure that your loved ones aren't struggling to pay the bills right after you are gone. Keeping in mind that anything that goes into your estate may get tied up in probate, here are some ways to make sure that your funeral and your family's regular bills are covered in the meantime:
1. Buy a pre-paid funeral plan
Many funeral homes offer pre-paid plans that allow you to pay for your services in advance. This is generally only a good option, however, if you are older and absolutely sure that you won't relocate before you die. Otherwise, you're taking a chance that the funeral home won't be easy to access when the time comes.
2. Make sure you have a payable-on-death beneficiary on your cash accounts
Payable-on-death beneficiaries don't have access to your cash while you are alive, so that can give you peace of mind about your financial privacy -- while still ensuring that the cash in your accounts is quickly available to your loved ones after your passing.
3. Make sure that your spouse has access to credit
Your spouse may need to put a few things on credit until payments from the insurance company arrive. If you've generally kept the cards in your name, it's wisest to make sure that your spouse is also on your accounts.
4. Check the beneficiary designation on your insurance policies
The odds are good you bought your insurance policy years before you ever expected to use it. Do you remember how it was set up to disburse? Check to make certain the designated beneficiary is correct.
You don't have to manage all your estate planning on your own. An experienced attorney can help you manage the task with ease.