Are Prepaid Funerals a Good Idea?

Dave's wife passed away in February at 43 years old. Now he's getting solicitations from the funeral home to prepay his own funeral. He's 45 years old. Dave warns him away from this.

QUESTION: Dave in Pennsylvania says his wife passed away in February at 43 years old. He paid for the funeral in full, and he made the cemetery arrangements. Now he’s getting solicitations from the funeral home to prepay his own funeral. He’s 45 years old. Dave warns him away from this.

ANSWER: No. Preplan but don’t prepay.

Here’s the deal. With what you pay today at 43, if you live to 70, had you invested that amount of money, you could’ve buried King Tut.

It’s good to preplan and have everything picked out because as you know, having to make all those decisions yourself in the middle of grief is tough, and you can make mistakes sometimes making decisions in that. It takes some of the pressure off of your family if you do that. To preplan—preselect—all of those kinds of things, that’s all a very good thing to do. Prepaying I would never do.

It does make you realize that we need to plan these things, but I don’t prepay them ever. Funeral people don’t like me because they make a lot of money on prepayment.

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