How To Find The Best Burial Insurance Policy

Finding a Burial Insurance Policy

Sadly, the world we live in today has many seniors who are without the means to ensure their final expenses are all taken care of financially. Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult and emotionally stressful things anyone can endure. This incredibly challenging time is only further complicated when a family must scramble to come up with money they flat out don’t have. Additionally, funerals are extremely expensive, the overwhelming majority of people simply don’t have $10,000-$15,000 just laying around.

No family wants to see their loved one sit in a morgue or go without a proper service to commemorate their departed. As a result, families will often take on debt or employ other creative means to gather the necessary funds to pay for the funeral.

This situation has created high levels of demand for what are called burial insurance policies. Interestingly, burial insurance is not an official type of life insurance. It’s more of a marketing term. In fact, you will often hear burial insurance be frequently referred to as “funeral insurance” and “final expense insurance”. At the end of the day, they are simplified issue whole life insurance policies. They won’t ever expire, the price per month never increases, and the benefits never decease.

These burial insurance plans offer instant peace of mind to those who are eager to ensure they don’t leave their family with the burden of their unpaid funeral costs. If you are approved for immediate protection (most are), your policy will fully pay out even if you have only had it for one day.

If you are one such person who is searching for peace of mind, burial insurance is the product for you. With that, the question you must be asking yourself now is: How do I find the best burial insurance policy for me? Well, this article will show you just how to do that.

The Impact of an Independent Final Expense Agency

You might think this task will require dozens of phone calls, and endless amounts of research. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, you alone are not able to find all the various burial insurance companies that offer these plans, and consequently diagnose which one is best for you.

Here’s the bottom line.

You need to lean on an expert that will find you the best policy possible. With that, the only “work” you need to do is whatever it takes to find the expert needed to complete the task. Think of going to the dentist. You rely on their expertise to fix your teeth because they are experts at it. Not to mention, working on your own teeth sounds like a very bad idea that likely won’t end well. In short, here is what you need to look for:

Above all else, finding a properly equipped and highly experienced independent burial insurance agency is the single greatest action you can take to ensure you secure the best burial insurance plan.

You might be wondering, what do you mean by “properly equipped”?

That simply means the agency must have access to multiple insurance companies. Only independent life insurance agencies can freely represent lots of different insurance companies. The whole idea behind an independent broker is their ability to impartially shop and compare rates from all the various companies they represent. Every smart consumer today realizes the need to shop around to get the best deal. Well, in essence, working with an independent broker is shopping around (only they do it for you).

It gets even better.

Working with an agency like this won’t cost you any money, and the insurance will cost the same as if you went directly to the insurer. Talk about value. When it’s all said and done, it’s just like having a personal burial insurance shopper on your side. They do all the work, but you are the one who walks away with a burial insurance plan at the lowest cost possible.

Experience is Critical

At first, you may think it’s obvious to select a broker that is experienced. While experience is usually a very good thing in business, it’s especially true when it comes to burial insurance. The thing is; all these insurance companies have vastly different underwriting. They all accept and reject different health conditions. At the end of the day, which funeral insurance company looks at your particular health profile most favorably will likely be the company that will offer you the best plan on the market.

Now,

This is where the experience becomes so paramount. Only after years of helping people acquire final expense insurance, can an agency finally become fully aware of how each insurer responds to health issues. That knowledge is key. It’s what allows the agency to recommend the proper burial insurance company after learning about your health issues, if any. Without a thorough understanding of underwriting for each carrier, it would be a guessing game. That  wouldn’t end well for you.

It’s no secret that when companies compete for your business, you, the consumer, win. This is why working with an independent agency is so effective. The put the free market to work for you. We highly recommend Choice Mutual as a great burial insurance agency to work with. They are a very well respected nationwide agency that can surely help you if you need a plan. However, as long as you find an agency with attributes like we suggest, you will be in good hands.

How Much Money Do You Need For Your Funeral?

You must figure out what kind of a funeral service you would like, so you can determine how much coverage you need. Decide whether or not you want to be cremated or buried. Decide what kind of a service you want. Figuring out these things will help you determine how much burial insurance coverage is required, so you’ll know you have enough coverage to pay for everything. Remember, the goal is to ensure your loved ones don’t have to come out of their own pockets for your final expenses.

  • A traditional burial funeral today can cost anywhere from $7,000-$15,000.
  • A cremation funeral today can cost anywhere from $1,000-$8,000.

In addition to these numbers, you should also factor in inflation. Presently, the funeral industry experiences a rate of inflation of about 5%. Basically, this will mean that funeral costs will double 20 years from now. An experienced final expense agency should be able to help you factor in inflation.

In the end, you basically choose between buying enough coverage for today’s costs or buying enough for the future cost. If you can’t afford to buy enough protection that factors in inflation, just buy what you can today. You can always add more coverage in the future.

Mind Your Budget

Burial insurance is no different than any other kind of funeral insurance in that you are only protected as long as you make your premium payments. The moment you stop paying your car insurance, home insurance, or health insurance,  your protection ends. The same is true for final expense life insurance.

Before you sign up for your policy, you must ask yourself the following question:

“Can I afford this payment every single month for all 12 months of the year regardless of what happens in my life?”

If you can’t say yes to the question, you should not be enrolling in the plan you are considering. It’s critically important you choose a benefit amount that has a monthly payment that is ultra comfortable in your monthly budget.

If you your budget is such that you can’t afford as much coverage as you would like, do not let it throw you off. Don’t get caught up in the fact that you simply can’t afford the coverage you want. Many American’s would love to drive a Lamborghini. The problem is affording a Lamborghini is not realistic. As a result, most people drive Fords, Chevy’s and Honda’s because that’s what they can afford. They definitely don’t choose to go without a car simply because they can’t afford the care they really want.

Buy what you can afford because your family will greatly appreciate what contribution you have made. Not to mention, you can always add more coverage in the future too if you budget changes.

Final Thoughts

Finding the best burial insurance plan isn’t rocket science. As you can see, it’s actually quite simple. If you follow this advice, you put yourself in position to get a really good policy that has a very competitive price. In addition, you will very likely receive an immediate benefit.

There are many providers of final expense out there, but they are not all created equal. Make sure you qualify the agency up front before you decide to do business with them. You can check the BBB, or your state department of insurance to verify they are licensed and appointed with multiple carriers. Once you have found a qualified agency, put your plan in place as soon as possible, and make sure it’s completely comfortable with your budget.

Your family will one day appreciate what you are doing right now. When they receive that check which will pay for the funeral, a massive weight will be lifted off their shoulders. They will be able to peacefully mourn your parting without any added stress.

By |October 7th, 2016|Categories: Blog, burial insurance, Burial Insurance Policy, funeral insurance|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on How To Find The Best Burial Insurance Policy

Final Expense Insurance

Final Expense Insurance

Is it Ever too Late to Insure for Final Expenses?

You’ll be happy to know that it’s never too late to insure for final expenses; however, it’s not the type of purchase you make every day, so it’s always best to consult with a knowledgeable professional who can guide you towards the best choice for your circumstances. By its very definition, insurance is an agreement where someone pays a premium in exchange for a guarantee of compensation at an unknown future time of loss, like death.

With regard to purchasing insurance for final expenses, the general rule of thumb is to buy it when you are young and healthy. There is good reason for that.  Nearly all life insurance and final expense polices require some degree of underwriting. Generally, rates are based upon age and health, so older individuals will almost assuredly pay higher premiums.

What is Final Expense Insurance?

Final expense insurance policies are not one-size-fits-all. Here’s a quick preview of a few different types of policies:

  • Preneed Funeral Insurance – a policy, linked to a specific funeral service provider, that is in effect for your entire life once premiums are paid in full.
  • Final Expense Insurance – a policy that isn’t linked to a funeral service provider and can be either term or permanent insurance.
  • Burial Insurance – usually a term life insurance policy for a specified amount that is payable upon death to a named beneficiary.

Funerals are Expensive – and Prices Will Only Grow Higher

Few things are certain when planning for end-of-life expenses. However, one thing that is certain is that funeral expenses are increasing. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the cost of a funeral with burial has risen 28.6% over the last decade. Considering  current funeral costs of about $10,000 and future rising costs due to inflation, you’ll want to consider purchasing a policy sooner rather than later. As with any type of insurance, there comes a point where the cost of insurance surpasses the benefit that it provides. That’s the point where wise consumers choose to self-insure from their personal savings or other assets.

What is the Best First Step?

How do you decide which plan to purchase or if it makes sense to buy one at all? This is the time that it makes sense to consult with a funeral insurance professional that specializes in final expense planning—one who can review your individual needs, present you with sensible options, and guide you towards the best decision for your family. The best time to make insurance decisions is when you are calm and clear-headed. Give yourself peace of mind in knowing that you already have a plan for final expenses, so that you can focus on more important things at a future time that is sure to be wrought with emotion.

10 Advantages to Burial Insurance and End of Life Planning

Burial Insurance

10 Key Things to Know About

Burial Insurance

 

The Average Cost of a Funeral: $7,000-$10,000
The Average Cost of a Burial:  $5,000-$7,000
TOTAL Funeral and Burial Costs:  $12,000-$17,000

 

According to AARP (www.AARP.org), the average cost of a funeral for most families is approximately $10,000.  Depending on a wide variety of individual factors and circumstances, this average cost could arguable by much lower…or much higher.  However, when you consider the fact that your family and loved ones could be forced to deal with a large number of financial choices and decisions that add up to such significant funeral costs, creating an end of life plan and looking into burial insurance is something that nobody should overlook or ignore.

Top 10 Advantages of Burial Insurance:

 

1.) NO medical exam required

2.) Premiums NEVER increase

3.) Accumulates CASH value

4.) Insurance NEVER decreases

5.) EASY to obtain up to age 85

6.) Protection is GUARANTEED

7.) Prepays ALL funeral costs

8.) Prepay OTHER outstanding debts or expenses

9.) Your beneficiary can ALWAYS be changed

10.) QUICK and EASY protection from $2,500 to $50,000

Click Here for a FREE Burial and Funeral Insurance Quote

 

 

By |November 20th, 2013|Categories: average funeral costs, Blog, burial, burial insurance, end of life, Funeral Costs, Funeral Insurance|Tags: , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on 10 Advantages to Burial Insurance and End of Life Planning

Funeral Insurance

End of Life and Funeral Insurance

Everything You Need to Know About
Funeral Insurance

The Average Cost of a Funeral is $10,000 (AARP.org)

 

10 Important Things to Know About
Funeral or Burial Insurance:

 

1.) NO medical exam required
2.) Premiums NEVER increase
3.) Accumulates CASH value
4.) Insurance NEVER decreases
5.) EASY to obtain up to age 80
6.) Protection is GUARANTEED
7.) Prepays ALL funeral costs
8.) Prepay any expenses or debts
9.) Your beneficiary can ALWAYS be changed
10.) QUICK coverage ranges from $2,500 to $50,000

Additional Helpful Resources:

3 Most Common Ways to Plan a Funeral

How to Prepay Funeral Expenses

Key Burial Insurance Details

Top 10 End of Life Plan Benefits

 

Funeral and Death Estate Tax Planning

Funeral Estate Tax Planning

Estate and Inheritance Tax Questions to Ask

After Grieving the Death of a Loved One

When suffering from the grief and loss of a loved one, it can be the most painful and stressful time in our life. It’s important to surround our selves with close family or friends as a support system.

The experience is one that can seem like time is standing still because of the grief, but at same the time, it can be quite overwhelming and as if time were flying right past us. When someone we love passes away, there are so many details that need to be considered while grieving. That process in-and-of-itself can be painful. Funeral arrangements, memorial services, obtaining death certificates, and legal matters are all part of the details involved in losing a loved one.

Things like inheritance and estate tax issues don’t need to be addressed immediately. Focusing on our friends and family are obviously more important. But eventually the details will need our attention.

Helpful Considerations When Facing a Loss:

Is Life Insurance Taxable?

While life insurance proceeds are included in the estate, they are not taxable (as income) to beneficiaries. However, you should contact the life insurance company to understand the procedure to cashing in their policy. Typically insurance companies will require a claim form and death certificate. But generally, life insurance is not taxable to inheritors. (Click to learn more about burial insurance and/or funeral insurance)

What is My Inheritance Tax Rate?

Inheritance tax will vary from state-to-state. Typically if the value of the estate that’s being inherited is high in value, your tax rate will be higher as well.

For example, tax preparers in Indianapolis, Indiana will tell you that Indiana’s inheritance tax system breaks the heirs or inheritors into three classes or groups. Systems in Pennsylvania are very different. For Indiana, each group has different rate schedules and exemptions. Here’s how this looks according to the Indiana Department of Revenue:

•  Class A – direct ancestor or descendant, stepchildren, direct descendant of a stepchild: $100,000 exemption.
•  Class B – siblings, descendants of sibling, spouse, widow or widower of your child: $500 exemption
•  Class C – anyone else excluding spouse: $100 exemption

Are Bank Accounts Taxable?

Revenue-producing assets like bank accounts and stacks are not taxable upon inheriting them. However, the income that these assets generate is taxable to the recipient.

What About Pensions and IRA’s

A person inheriting a pension or IRA is required to pay taxes on the amount received, as the decedent (person who is deceased) would have during their life. An IRA or similar fund can be rolled over tax-free into the beneficiary’s name and treat it as their own.

While things like estate and inheritance tax is, by no means, the most important item to address when we suffer the loss of a loved one, it is important to understand what is and is not taxable during these times. Estate and inheritance taxes can be burdensome and stressful, but in some cases, an inheritance is not taxable to you.

Estate lawyers are available to help guide us during times of funeral estate planning, but they can often be costly. Check with your tax preparer or attorney handling the estate as to what you need to know when sorting out inheritance and estate issues.

Best Ways to Prepay Funeral Expenses

How to Prepay Your Funeral Expenses…
And Why?

According to AARP (www.aarp.org), the average cost of a funeral today is approximately $10,000.  So by preplanning a funeral and creating an end of life plan, your are certainly doing a wonderful thing by helping to alleviate many of the funeral planning challenges.

Therefore, over 60% of people who are willing to selflessly take the time to create an End of Life Plan will also choose to prepay their funeral expenses.  By taking care of your funeral costs and expenses in advance, this is yet another added value.  Prepaying your funeral costs is another way of leaving behind a memory of how much you cared for your family and loved ones, rather than leaving them to deal with these financial challenges.

While you need to learn and understand the three most common ways to preplan a funeral, you should also be familiar with the various ways of prepaying your funeral expenses, since this is  one of the fastest growing and widely-accepted aspects of the funeral planning process.

Similar to preplanning your funeral, most financial professionals agree that prepaying your funeral expenses should be a standard topic of discussion when creating a financial plan and estate plan.

The most common and widely used strategies to prepay your funeral expenses are savings, life insurance, and funeral insurance (also referred to as burial insurance), mainly because they tend to be deemed the most reliable and readily available. However, there are several other finance advice strategies to consider when prepaying your funeral costs or expenses:

Savings

Although many people choose to set aside savings to pay for their end of life plan and funeral expenses, there are several reasons this does not always end up working out as originally planned. First, the savings can be depleted based on unexpected financial circumstances, such as health or financial issues. Second, these funds are not always readily available and liquid upon death due to the challenges and restrictions often found in estate planning. Third, the funds set aside can often be insufficient due to inflation and the rising cost of funeral expenses. Finally, it should be noted that savings are included in a part of one’s estate, and, thus, the taxable consequences can often come into play.

Life Insurance

Term Life Insurance is widely considered to be a flexible, simple, and affordable way to pay for your final funeral expenses. Although Term Life Insurance has a set term, or set number of years, it also has multiple uses in prepaying for your funeral. Because upon your death it becomes a liquid asset that is usually not part of your estate, it can be used for many things such as your funeral or memorial services, burial expenses, cremation, liquidity, and many other things, including debts or obligations.

In addition, there are some types of life insurance that allow the funds contributed to these policies (either in lump sum, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually) to grow and accumulate as a cash value that can be accessed if necessary. Therefore, these policies can not only be used for funeral expenses, but also for other financial planning options that may arise such as financial emergencies, and college.

Funeral Insurance

Funeral insurance is an insurance policy which is specifically designed to cover any costs or expenses which are directly related to your funeral. If you purchase one of these policies, one of the options you have is to determine exactly which funeral costs or expenses are to be covered, such as funeral flowers, burial plot, grave marker, and much more. Another option you have is for the policy to be paid out in a single lump-sum, which can be used to cover your pre-determined costs or expenses, or simply help your loved ones financially as they plan for you. There are many insurance companies that offer funeral planning packages, and certain funeral homes or funeral companies also offer funeral insurance policies.

Pre Need Trust Agreements

Another alternative to prepaying your funeral is to consider a Pre Need Trust Agreement to pay for your costs or expenses. Generally speaking, these Trust accounts are typically funded with monthly payments that are invested in a fund which is designed to grow over time. Although a Trust account is designed to provide the potential for protection against inflation, it is not guaranteed to do so.

Get Help

Although the large majority of the funeral industry will tell you that most funeral costs can range anywhere from $5,000 – $10,000, it is very common for funerals to cost much more or maybe even less.

Also, as with any important financial decision or investment, there are many advantages and disadvantages to each of the options mentioned above. Before choosing a policy, it is important to consider many things, including but not limited to your age, health, financial status, objectives, liquid assets, tax issues, estate tax issues, family needs, etc.

In summary, although nobody likes to think or talk about dying, it is one of the facts of life we all must eventually face. If you are trying to build a successful financial plan, the only way you can be sure your plan works smoothly and efficiently is to be proactive about your planning process. This is particularly true and necessary when creating a proper plan of succession, and everyone should consider including an end of life plan.

Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor before applying or purchasing any of these policies, pay close attention to your specific state requirements, and also the financial strength and claims paying abilities of each company, funeral home, etc.

 

Your End of Life Plan is the Gift of a Lifetime

End of Life Plan

Creating an End of Life Plan…

And Leaving the Gift of a Lifetime!

Sometimes I feel as if I am the only person in America who is speaking about one of the most important plans you can create, an End of Life Plan. The harsh reality is that very few individuals, families, or even financial professionals are regularly teaching, practicing, or implementing End of Life Plans.

Nothing Good Comes Easy

Why is that that more than 80% of people in America die without leaving behind their End of Life Plan and preferences?  I believe it is because these are the only types of plans that directly addresses death and dying.  Therefore, most people would prefer to overlook or ignore this type of conversation.  The problem is that, in doing so, you are leaving these matters to your spouse, children, and/or family members – to pile on top of what is already one of the most difficult times of their lives.

The fact of the matter is that an End of Life Plan should be a standard and routine part of a comprehensive financial  or retirement plan.  Period.  It is the missing piece to the financial services puzzle that needs to be fixed.

Fact:  Some Day You Will Die

Sure, the last thing any of us want to do is talk or think about is how to plan a funeral. And this is not just “a funeral”, but rather your own personal funeral.  So I get it.  I fully understand why an End of Life Plan is not such an easy and comfortable discussion.  However, some day every single one of us will die (hopefully later versus sooner), but we will die.  So this means that “someone” is going to be forced to deal with planning your End of Life Plan and preferences.

So ask yourself this question; “Would you rather take care of your final arrangements yourself, or leave it to your loved ones who are already suffering from the grief and loss of your death compounding insult to injury?”

We all know for a fact, with absolute certainty, that we are all going to die some day, right?  So why is it that most people are not talking about this?  Why are financial planners not learning the best ways to plan their clients and families for their inevitable death?  Why is it that, at the very least, everyone is not taking a few minutes to simply document their End of Life Plans and preferences for our loved ones?

 

Financial Planners Should Encourage an End of Life Plan

In addition to being the Founder of this website, I have worked as financial planner for over 23 years and currently own my own Wealth Management practice.

I mention this because, for the most part, the financial planning industry overlooks and ignores End of Life Plans, Pre Need Plans, and Final Expense Plans.  These plans are not widely-recognized as an all-important additions to a comprehensive financial and retirement plan.

To prove this point, here is a fact:  Prior to losing a loved one and experiencing how to plan a funeral myself, I had never heard some talked about this subject.  This includes all of my 20+ years of studying, training, attending classes, getting licenses and certifications, and more.

How About You and Your Financial Plan?

Has your financial planner discussed this with you? Does your financial plan include your End of Life Plans and preferences?  Are these details documented and written down in a safe place?  Do you currently have a plan in place for your pre-arranged funeral or cemetery arrangements?  Have you created a plan to specifically designate which monies will prepay funeral expenses and funeral costs?  Do the people you love know what you really want?  Have you notified them regarding the fact that you have taken care of these End of Life Plan details?  Do they know where these plans and details are located?

You are Not Alone

If you do not currently have an End of Life Plan in place, you are not alone.  Given my personal experience, I can tell you that losing my mother was, by far, the toughest day of my life. And like our situation, here is what happens in most cases.  Just about the time when it starts to “sink in” that your loved one is really gone, and your emotions begin to elevate, all of a sudden you find yourself sitting in a Funeral Home or Cemetery, reviewing all of their funeral home services and planning a funeral.  This is probably the last thing anyone wants to be doing during a difficult time like this. 

Just Some of the Funeral Planning Challenges

• How do you transport the body?  Where do you transport it?  How soon?
• What vital statistics do we need to gather, and how soon?
• How soon afterwards should the funeral and/or memorial service be?
• How do you determine which Funeral Home, Cemetery, or Funeral Director?
• What if the deceased lives out of town?
• Sitting down with a Funeral Director to review all the details and options
• Try to figure out what your loved one “would have wanted”
• Making some incredibly difficult financial decisions
• Trying to figure out what type of memorial service your loved one “would have wanted”
• Did they want to be cremation or traditional burial?
• Choosing among many different types of caskets or cremation urns
• Where should the final resting place of their body or ashes be?
• How do you coordinate this with your religion/Church?
• Who should be invited, and how do you invite them?
• Arranging travel and accommodation plans for out-of-town guests
• Who will give the funeral eulogyHow to give a eulogy?
• How will this be paid for?  Were there any burial insurance or funeral insurance policies?
• Who will speak at the memorial services? Which songs and prayers do you use?
• Do you have a gathering afterwards?
• How do you place an obituary? Who does this?
• Do you want funeral flowers or donations?
• Arranging funeral programs, sending “thank you” cards, and much more…

End of Life Plans Save Money

Another huge benefit to creating an End of Life Plan is that, in addition to saving your family from going through emotional challenges and making difficult decisions, you could very likely save your family thousands – or even millions – of dollars. The reason why is when someone dies, there are many financial matters that accompany the funeral planning such as funeral estate planning, estate taxes, death taxes, capital gains taxes, income taxes, insurance policy proceeds, investments, real estate, bank accounts, mortgages, other debts, and much more.

Plan Now – Don’t Wait!

A wise man once said, “The difference between failure and success is largely determined by the amount of time and preparation put into preparing for the future.”  By creating a solid End of Life Plan – and then adding this as a part of a sound and comprehensive financial plan – nothing could be further from the truth!

Christopher P. Hill, Founder
FuneralResources.com