Tag Archives: financial planning

One on One Funeral Planning Consultation

As of December, 2016, I have temporarily removed my book from sale while it’s undergoing revision.  In the meantime, you can still get excellent Funeral Planning Advice from me by making an appointment to talk with me on the telephone for a maximum of one-half hour for $35.00.  During that time I will show you how to save money when making Funeral Arrangements, among other areas of importance.  Doing it this way will be faster than the consumer sitting down and reading a book.  We can get to your areas of interest right away.

Please contact me for more information.  Just email me at mikeboyd@askthefuneralexpert.com.

Mike

Will Your Death Put Your Family in Debt?

The cost for a traditional type funeral plan can be substantial, a major expense comparable to purchasing an automobile, furniture, or even a home, but it is the least researched purchase made by most consumers. Generally speaking, consumers look at talking about funeral planning prior to death as taboo, and this type of thinking can cause overspending and other problems, including how to pay for the funeral plan without running up debt they cannot afford to pay back. I advise consumers to look at funeral planning like any other financial investment and include it in their retirement savings plan. Funeral planning and how to pay for it should be included in financial planning matters and should be offered by financial planners to their clients.

If a death occurs suddenly and without warning, such as due to an accident, then a financial burden can occur within the family. When death occurs, many times family members want the best funeral plan available to honor their loved one, possibly never thinking about how it will be paid for. They pay the funeral director, cemetery or other facility with a credit card or other financing option; then the bills come due!

The death of a family member could cause a negative financial situation for the survivors if the deceased did not have any life insurance, death insurance or money in an account such as a Totten Trust which could help pay for funeral and final disposition expenses. This is why it is so important to become as educated as possible about the funeral planning process prior to a death.  Visit funeral homes, get price lists, visit cemeteries and mausoleums and get their price information, so you can be as educated as possible about making a funeral arrangement either at need (a death has occurred) or pre-need (a death has not occurred or is not even anticipated in the immediate future) and stay within your particular budget.

Generally the funeral home will want full payment at the time of death. Even if the deceased had a prepaid funeral plan, paying for it in monthly installments, if death occurs before all the payments have been made, they will usually be due in full at the time of death. So this can be a challenge for many families who do not have cash available to pay off the amount due.  Also, the deceased’s assets and accounts may not be available to the family until the estate has been settled.

There are many ways to save on the cost of funerals, including direct cremation options. Please check out my website, www.askthefuneralexpert.com, and my article “Frugal Funeral Planning” for tips and suggestions.

Have questions about funerals and funeral planning for both humans and pets? Contact Mike at mikeboyd@askthefuneralexpert.com.

 

U.S. News Article on Planning for Funeral Expenses

I was interviewed recently for an article in US News about the importance of planning for funeral expenses.  Here is an excerpt:

Death and funerals are taboo topics but ones worth learning about, says Mike Boyd, a former funeral director who founded the website AskTheFuneralExpert.com. “Funeral homes can capitalize on a family member’s unfamiliarity with the products they’re purchasing,” he says. “Odds are, they will make funeral arrangements one to three times per lifetime, so consumers should become as educated as possible.”

This is the message I am constantly trying to get out.  Consumers need to learn about the economics of funerals before the need arises.  The more you know, the more you can save, and the less are your chances of overspending or being taken advantage of when purchasing funeral goods and services, at a time when you are grieving.

If you wish to read the entire article, here is the link. http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2014/10/07/how-to-handle-funeral-costs?int=aa6a09&int=a86509

Have questions about funerals or funeral planning for either humans or pets?  Email mikeboyd@askthefuneralexpert.com.

 

Court Rules Remains Can’t Be Divided

A recent Fourth District Court of Appeals ruling in Florida said that a deceased’s ashes are not “property” and cannot be divided between his feuding parents.

The young man was tragically killed in an automobile accident, and his parents, who are divorced, have been fighting over his ashes, disagreeing on where they should be buried.  Fortunately the court recognized that these are, in fact, the remains of a human being, not the family silverware.

The three-judge panel then issued an ultimatum: find a way to dispose of the remains in 30 days or the court would appoint somebody to do it instead. The case will now likely go back to the lower trial court.

Have questions about funeral planning for either humans or pets?  Email Mike at mikeboyd@askthefuneralexpert.com.

 

 

 

Airlines Cancel Bereavement Fares

I discussed airline bereavement fares in my book, “How to Bankroll a Funeral Without Breaking the Bank”, but times have changed, and discounts may no longer be available.

Most airlines have eliminated these discounts, since lower-priced tickets are usually available with online purchase anyway.  You must check with a particular airline to find out their bereavement fare, if it exists at all.

Have questions about funeral planning? Email me at mikeboyd@askthefuneralexpert.com.

Undercutting the Undertaker

I was recently interviewed for an article in the Deseret News entitled “Undercutting the Undertaker: Reducing the unavoidable expenses of dying”.  I want to thank the reporter, Michael De Groote, for a good article featuring Funeral Director Ron Henderson and myself.

You can read the entire article here:  http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865594665/Undercutting-the-undertaker-Reducing-the-unavoidable-expenses-of-dying.html?pg=all

If you have any questions about funeral and funeral planning for both humans and pets, contact me at mikeboyd@askthefuneralexpert.com.

FTC Fines Funeral Home for Noncompliance with Funeral Rule

A New York funeral home and its funeral director/owner agreed to pay a $32,000 civil penalty to settle Federal Trade Commission charges for violating the agency’s Funeral Rule, which requires funeral providers to provide information consumers need to compare prices and buy only the funeral goods and services they want.

The FTC conducts undercover inspections every year to ensure funeral homes are complying with the Funeral Rule, which gives consumers important rights when making funeral arrangements.  The Rule, issued in 1984, requires funeral homes to provide consumers with itemized price lists at the start of any in-person discussions of funeral arrangements, caskets, and/or outer burial containers.  The Rule also requires funeral homes to provide price information by telephone on request.  It also prohibits funeral homes from requiring consumers to buy any item, such as a casket, as a condition of obtaining any other funeral good or service.

(Source:  ftc.gov)

Airline Death Refunds

Although airlines are not required to issue full refunds for a ticket paid for, then not needed because the person named on the ticket dies prior to the flight, the airline should issue a refund for good customer relations. Offering to issue a credit to the person named on the ticket will not work, as the person has died and cannot use the credit.

If you have experienced this problem and have not been able to receive a refund for the ticket price, please contact me with complete details, and I will contact the airline for you in an effort to get the money paid for the ticket refunded .

 There is no charge for this service.   Just email me at mikeboyd@askthefuneralexpert.com.

Mike

Financial Planning Should Include Funeral Education

Financial advisors are branching out!  They are even advising clients how to stay healthy, as your health can affect the cost of life and long term care insurance, and a prolonged illness can quickly eat up your savings.

Another important part of Financial Planning should be Funeral Education.  If you fail to learn the facts about this eventuality, it can end up costing you more and reducing the amount of money available to pass on to your heirs.  So start finding out about this important subject today!