Many people do not realize that payment for a funeral is due prior to services being rendered. So, having a financial plan in place to pay for a funeral is essential for every adult. There are many ways to pay for a funeral, in advance or at the time of need. However, not all payment methods are created equal. Each method has its own risks and benefits, so it is up to you to decide which payment method is right for you.
1. Prepaid Funeral Plans
Pre-Paid Funeral Costs & Expenses. Most pre-paid insurance policies range from $10,000 to $25,000. When buying one, you can pay the entire amount up front, or you can arrange to make payments with a three, five, or 10-ten year plan. City-Data Forum General Forums Politics and Other Controversies: 23 mega churches in Alabama but it was a casino that stepped up to pay for funerals of tornado victims! (dollar, money).
Many people choose to pay for a funeral in advance with a prepaid funeral plan. Funeral plans with a special “preneed” contract funded with an insurance policy, trust, or annuity offer several benefits. Some funeral providers will offer a guarantee that “locks in” the cost of the selected funeral goods and services at the current price. If you expect to live another 10, 15, 20 or even 30 years, this type of contract could save your family money.
Preneed policies can be paid in full or set up on installment plans with a set number of payments that fit into your budget. The funds go to a specialized insurance company and offer growth with certain tax advantages. The plans are also transferable to another funeral home should you move away.
Funeral trusts also offer the benefit of some growth, depending on the underlying investment, so they are a popular option for those planning ahead as well. Some states require funeral homes to deposit 100% of funeral funds, and other states require only a percentage. Be sure that you clearly understand the terms of your funeral trust before entering into a contract, and pay special attention to the portability of your trust funds should you move.
Irrevocable prepaid funeral plans can also be set up as Medicaid-exempt assets to help an individual qualify for Medicaid later in life.
In the case of using an insurance policy to fund a prepaid funeral plan, it’s best to speak with a preplanning consultant who can review all of your options and answer any questions you may have.
2. Life Insurance or Final Expense Plan
Families often plan to cover funeral expenses with a life insurance policy or final expense policy. The truth is, there can be many unexpected complications. To learn more about these complications, take a moment to read The Truth About Life Insurance and Funeral Expenses. Even if your policy is problem free, it may take 6 to 8 weeks to receive payment.
Some funeral homes will agree to file the life insurance claim on your behalf, or they will partner with advance funding companies (also called an assignment company) to help families access life insurance policy benefits faster. Similar to a rapid refund on a tax return that you might receive from your tax preparer, advance funding is an advance on your life insurance policy benefits. The assignment company contacts the insurance company and verifies that the policy has not lapsed and has no other issues. You will receive funds within 24-48 hours of verification of the policy. The assignment company will deduct a small fee to cover administrative costs.
3. Personal Account/CD/Pay-on-Death Account
Some families choose to set up a pay-on-death account with a named beneficiary. This option allows your assets to be available to your heirs without having to go through probate. However, there are a few disadvantages to maintaining a personal pay-on-death account. With each year that goes by, the purchasing power in your account actually goes down. In addition, these types of accounts do not generally offer a sufficient amount of interest to offset inflation over time. Personal accounts are also not considered Medicaid-exempt should you require long-term care assistance. Personal accounts are also at risk of being used or seized due to civil judgments, bankruptcy, or divorce.
4. Credit Card or Funeral Loan
Another possibility to pay for a funeral is using a credit card or taking out a personal loan. Obviously, this is not the best option since it includes the possibility of paying interest on the funeral amount. Some lending companies offer families funeral loans, often with no interest for the first few months. Ask your funeral director about funeral lending companies, if interested.
5. Crowdfunding Website
If no financial plan in place at the time of need, families can use a crowdfunding website to pay for a funeral. Some of these websites are general fundraising platforms that can help you raise money for a funeral. GoFundMe.com, in particular, has become a very popular way to campaign for a service. Other websites such as Funeral Fund are specifically tailored to funeral fundraising. These sites provide efficient ways to receive the financial support needed to craft a meaningful ceremony.
Consider the Pros and Cons of Each Payment Method
With any option that you choose, you must weigh the risks and benefits of each. On one end of the spectrum, you have fully-insured prepaid funeral plans. These plans offer the highest amount of protection. On the other end of the spectrum, you have personal accounts. These offer the least amount of protection for funeral funds. In the end, it’s up to you to decide which option is the best for you and your family.
A Symbol of Hope
A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam
And for a brief moment its glory
and beauty belong to our world
But then it flies again
And though we wish it could have stayed…
We feel lucky to have seen it.
Am Always With You
When I am gone, release me, let me go.
I have so many things to see and do,
You mustn’t tie yourself to me with too many tears,
But be thankful we had so many good years.
I gave you my love, and you can only guess
How much you’ve given me in happiness.
I thank you for the love that you have shown,
But now it is time I traveled on alone.
So grieve for me a while, if grieve you must
Then let your grief be comforted by trust
That it is only for a while that we must part,
So treasure the memories within your heart.
I won’t be far away for life goes on.
And if you need me, call and I will come.
Though you can’t see or touch me, I will be near
And if you listen with your heart, you’ll hear
All my love around you soft and clear
And then, when you come this way alone,
I’ll greet you with a smile and a “Welcome Home”.
Messenger of God
Oh, Little Butterfly, Messenger of God,
When I see you in the sky I cannot help but nod.
You bring me respite from grief and despair
Every time I see you sailing through the air.
You renew my faith in all God’s wondrous plan,
And I know it’s all in FAITH,
Not in what I understand.
Kathryn Poland (4-12-01)
I am Not There
Do not stand by my grave and weep
For I am not there.
I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am diamonds that glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning hush
I am the swift uplifting rush of butterflies in joyous flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there.
I did not die.
Butterfly Memorial Poem
A rush of wings they flutter high
to touch the sun and kiss the sky
A butterfly is with us now
No more a caterpillar upon a leaf
(Person’s Name) with angel wings
A soaring butterfly with us they sing
Lili Pintea-Reed copyright 2002
for the IBBA
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May the morning sun caress you,
The rains of change refresh you,
And the gentle breeze of His Spirit
Lift the wings of your transformation.
by Richard D. Breen, copyright 2003
Dedicated to my mother,
Frances F. Breen, 81
On The Wings Of Hope
As an ancient legend goes;
If anyone desires a wish to come true,
they must capture a butterfly and whisper that wish to it.
Since butterflies make no sound,
They can’t tell that wish to anyone but the Great Spirit,
So by making the wish and releasing the butterfly,
It will be taken to the heavens and be granted.
Although this legend implies that we should keep our wishes silent,
there are some wishes that need to be expressed out loud.
To those that have been touched by the disease we are helping to fight today,
We wish the caregivers strength and tranquility,
and thank them for their gifted labor of love.
We wish the survivors a long and happy life,
and thank them for showing us how to fight with courage and determination.
We wish those currently fighting the battle energy and hope,
and thank them for showing us what true bravery is all about.
And finally, we wish the victims peace and love,
and thank them for the joy and happiness they brought to us.
With this symbolic gesture, we honor those that have left us and encourage
those left behind to continue the fight “On the Wings of Hope”.
As you release this butterfly in honor of me,
know that I’m with you and will always be.
Hold a hand, say a prayer,
close your eyes and see me there.
Although you may feel a bit torn apart,
please know that I’ll be forever in your heart.
Now fly away butterfly as high as you can go,
I’m right there with you more than you know.
By Jill Haley
While Waiting for Thee:
Don’t weep at my grave, for I am not there,
I’ve a date with a butterfly to dance in the air.
I’ll be singing in the sunshine, wild and free,
Playing tag with the wind, while I’m waiting for thee.
~ We are as the wings of a butterfly,
bound together with the love of God~
Jenn, The Butterfly Box
This Butterfly Story was sent in by Tammy
in honor of her son Christopher
In a green meadow filled with Milkweed and flowers there lived a colony of
caterpillars. They were a happy colony, living a quiet life in the cool
shade. For many months they were very busy,
scurrying around and munching on the soft Milkweed leaves.
They did notice that every once in a while, one of the colony seemed to lose
interest in crawling around with its friends. It would go off alone and
crawl high up in the trees. It gradually moved out of sight and was seen no
“Look!” said one of the caterpillars to another, “one of our colony is
climbing up to the tops of the trees. Where do you think he is going?” Up,
up and up it slowly went…even as they watched, the caterpillar disappeared
from sight. Its friends waited and waited but it didn’t return.
“That’s funny!” said one caterpillar to another. “Wasn’t he happy here?”
asked another. “Where do you suppose he went?” wondered a third. No one
had an answer. They were greatly puzzled.
Finally one of the caterpillars gathered its friends together. “I have an
idea. The next one of us who climbs to the tops of the trees must promise
to come back and tell us where he or she went and why.”
“We promise…” they all said solemnly.
One spring day not long after the caterpillar who had suggested the plan
found himself climbing high up into the trees. Up and up he went, higher
and higher into the trees. Before he knew what was happening, he had broken
through the canopy of leaves into the warm sunlight and fell into a deep
When he awoke, he looked about in surprise. He couldn’t believe what he saw.
A startling change had come over his old body. He now had beautiful wings!
Even as he struggled, he felt an impulse to move his wings. The warmth of
the sun soon dried the moisture from his new body. He moved his wings again
and suddenly found himself flying into the blue sky.
He had become a butterfly. Swooping and dipping in great curves he flew
through the air. He felt exhilarated in the new atmosphere.
By and by the new butterfly landed on a leaf to rest. Then it was that he
chanced to look below to the bottom of the meadow. Why, he was right above
his old friends the caterpillars! There they were, crawling around and munching on Milkweed, just as he had been doing before.
Then the butterfly remembered his promise. Without thinking the butterfly
darted down. He landed on a flower and looked into the grass. Now that he
was a butterfly he could no longer go back.
“I can’t return!” he said in dismay. “At least I tried, but I can’t keep
my promise. Even if I could go back, not one of the caterpillars would know
me in my new body. I guess I’ll just have to wait until they become
butterflies too. Then they’ll understand what has happened to me and where
And the butterfly winged off happily into its new world of sun and air.
Dear God, please remember those who have left the meadow we live in…and
remember us who are still here.
MY FIRST CHRISTMAS IN HEAVEN
I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below
With tiny lights like Heaven’s stars, reflecting on the snow.
The sight is so spectacular, please wipe away the tear
For I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.
I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear
But the sounds of music can’t compare with the Christmas choir up here.
I have no words to tell you, the joy their voices bring,
For it is beyond description, to hear the angels sing.
I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart.
But I am not so far away, We really aren’t apart.
So be happy for me, dear ones, You know I hold you dear.
And be glad I’m spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.
I sent you each a special gift, from my heavenly home above,
I sent you each a memory of my undying love.
After all love is a gift more precious than pure gold.
It was always most important in the stories Jesus told.
Please love and keep each other, as my Father said to do.
For I can’t count the blessing or love he has for each of you.
So have a Merry Christmas and wipe away that tear.
Remember, I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year
As the Lord had finished creating the earth, something was missing
so he chose pieces from all the flowers, threw them into the sky
and blew life into them and the butterflies were born.
From an Easter service attended by
Penny Wilson of Monarch Meadows.
Ten Years Without You
The time with you was all too brief
Ten years have passed but we still grieve
Missing you is still very strong.
Although the years have come and gone
Your memory is deep within our hearts
Until the day we are no longer apart
Still Missing You
They say there is a reason
They say that time will heal
But neither time nor reason
Will change the way we feel.
For no one knows the heartache
that lies behind our smiles,
No one knows how many times
we have broken down and cried.
We want to tell you something
so there won’t be any doubt,
You’re so wonderful to think of
but so hard to be without.
We cannot bring the old days back,
when we were all together
The family chain is broken now,
but memories live forever.
Smile because he Lived
You can shed tears that he is gone,
or you can smile because he lived,
You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back,
or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him,
or you can be full of the love that you shared,
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember him and only that he is gone,
or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn back,
or you can do what he would want:
Smile, open your eyes, love and go on.
One Day at a Time
You lived your life one day at a time.
The words you shared were always kind.
You loved us all with your whole heart.
It saddens us to be apart, and forever we
hold you in our hearts
Today you stand in God’s bright light.
Watching over us day and night.
In our hearts you will remain
Until the day we meet again…
Forever Your love will live on in our hearts
and the hearts of those you touched.
We are so grateful to God for blessing our lives with
the beautiful gift of you.
We miss you sweet angel,
more than you can imagine.
A Bouquet of beautiful memories,
Sprayed with a million tears,
Wishing God could have spared you,
If just for a few more years.
We love you, we miss you and
We are proud to keep your dream and vision alive.
Little Did We Know
Little did we know that morning that God would
call you name. In life we loved you dearly, in death we do the same.
It broke our hearts to lose you, you did not go alone. For part of us went
with you the day God called you home. You left us peaceful memories,
your love is still our guide. And though we cannot see you, you are
always on our side. Our family chain is broken, and nothing seems the same.
But as God calls us one by one, the chain will link again.
I am home in Heaven, dear ones
Oh, so happy and so bright!
There is perfect joy and beauty in this everlasting light.
All the pain and grief are over, every restless tossing passed:
I am now at peace forever, Safely home in Heaven at last. Did
you wonder how I so calmly Trod the valley of shade?
Oh! But Jesus’ love illumined every dark and fearful glade.
And he came himself to meet me in that way so hard to tread.
And with Jesus’ arm to lean on, could have no doubt or dread.
Then you must not grieve so sorely, For I love you dearly still:
Try to look beyond earth’s shadows, Pray to trust our Father’s will.
There is work still waiting for you. So, you must not idly stand:
Do it now, while life remaineth – You shall rest in Jesus’ land
when that work is all completed. He will gently call you home:
Oh, the rapture of that meeting, Oh, the joy to see you come!
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My Beautiful Baby
I thought that the night you died was the worst of my life.
But that night I was able to hold and kiss you.
I have wished every day and night since then to be able to do the same,
but can only dream of it now.
Some nights my dreams are so real, I awaken expecting to find you here with me.
Dreams and memories can make you sad for not having future times together
but they can also bring back happier times
like the day that did bring us together 44 years ago.
It’s been seven years since that tragic day. Physical tragedy brings pain
and suffering, but for us Christians there is a supernatural strength
that brings us hope, courage, and joy to keep perspective the
reality that since we are immortals in the will of God, our meeting in
Heaven is waiting for us: yes, one day we will be together again.
It is our blessed hope, and because we were saved in this hope,
we eagerly wait for our new bodies, bodies that will never be
sick again and will never die.
With Love Today
We thought of you with love today,
But this is nothing new,
We thought of you yesterday and the days before that too.
We think of you in silence and
often speak you name.
All we have now are our memories,
and your picture in a frame.
It broke our hearts to lose you,
But you didn’t go alone.
A part of us went with you
The day God took you home
God picks a flower
Sometimes God picks a flower that’s still in full bloom.
Sometimes the flower that is chosen, we feel He’s picked to soon.
We’re at peace knowing; in God’s heavenly garden,
He has placed the ones we treasure.
You have changed our lives forever.
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A place is vacant in our home
A place is vacant in our home. A voice we love is still.
An emptiness within our hearts, the world can never fill
Our only comfort is to know You are in God’s loving care
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The Soul Takes flight
On the wings of death the soul takes flight
into the land where there is no night,
For those who believe what the savior said
will rise in glory though they be dead.
So death comes to us just to open the door
to the Kingdom of God and life evermore.
We all need time to grieve
We all need time to grieve
A time to let tears flow,
A time to just be;
God gave us the gift of time
in heaven it still shines
and the beauty it revealed
to us lives and always will.