Your Guide to Funeral Planning | 12.24.2022

What Happens If You Can't Afford A Funeral?

What Happens If You Can't Afford A Funeral?

Reviewed By: Scott Ginsberg

Cross Checked By: Joshua Siegel

Here’s What To Expect If A Funeral Seems Too Expensive For Your Budget

Depending on the kind of ceremony you opt for, funerals can be quite expensive. So, what happens if you find yourself at the threshold of planning a funeral service for a loved one who has recently passed away, and if you cannot afford the funeral costs? If that’s the case, you will have to look for other options to make affording a funeral easier for your family. While it may be natural to panic initially, all you need is a cool head and a better idea of what your next course of action should be. 

In case you are unable to pay for a funeral by any means, the body of the deceased person can be turned over to the state. You may need to take care of some essential paperwork for this. The state will then bury or cremate your loved one. In case of a cremation, you may even have the option to retrieve the ashes. However, before you opt for this course of action, there are some things you can do to make it easier to cover the costs. You can do this in one of two ways — by finding other sources of funds to afford the costs, or by cutting down some of the expenses to make the funeral more affordable. Let’s take a closer look at these options.

Affording A Funeral And 5 Solutions To Pay For A Funeral 

You can consider the following courses of action to cover the funeral costs when a relative passes away and you are planning a funeral ceremony

  1. Check if they have funeral insurance

Funeral insurance or burial insurance is essentially a kind of life insurance that also covers the cost of burial. If the person who passed away had a funeral insurance cover, that saves you a ton of trouble because you can use the insurance coverage to afford the expenses related to the funeral. On the other hand, if they only had a regular life insurance policy that offers no exclusive coverage for funerals, you may not receive the payouts in time to cover the funeral expenses. In this case, you may have to temporarily arrange for some funds, perhaps by availing a loan. 

  1. Ask friends and family to chip in 

In case the person who has passed away had no funeral insurance coverage, you cannot rely on any insurance provider to cover the costs. Affording a funeral in this situation may be harder, but you can ask family and friends to chip in small amounts. You can start by reaching out to relatives that you are particularly close to and have a good equation with. The same goes for friends of the deceased person. Even small sums can add up to a sizable corpus that can cover most or all of the funeral expenses

  1. Or start a fundraiser

If you are kind of apprehensive about reaching out to people close to you, you can look beyond friends and family and enlist the help of kind strangers online or within your community. A fundraiser is a great way to get started if this is your preferred course of action. You can balance this out with other ideas on this list, so the overall cost of the funeral becomes more pocket-friendly for your family.

  1. Look for low-cost funeral options

Another great way of affording a funeral is to choose low-cost options like a green funeral, cremation or a burial without any embalming. By cutting down costs that you may not deem necessary, you can make the total cost of the funeral more reasonable for your budget.

  1. Seek help from government organizations or charities

Check if you qualify for any government programs that offer burial benefits, like the program for veterans. Here, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs typically reimburses the funeral expenses for eligible candidates. There are also various charities, non-profit organizations and religious organizations that you can reach out to for help.

Plan Ahead To Reduce The Financial Stress On Your Loved Ones

Often, when someone passes away unexpectedly, it can put undue financial stress on the surviving members of the family. Funeral pre-planning can be a viable solution to avoid this problem. You can help your loved ones steer clear of this issue by planning your funeral and paying the funeral costs, at least partially, in advance. One way to get started with this is to take care of the bigger expenses — like the cost of a casket — sooner than later. 

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Titan Casket’s  pre-planning contract can help you with this. You can lock in today’s prices for your casket, so you need not worry about the effects of inflation. Check out the details of this plan and take the first step towards making a funeral more affordable for you and your family.