Planning for Funeral Costs With Trusts

Estate planning typically covers a last will and testament and other topics like guardianship for dependents or conservatorship after a person’s health declines. One subject that people often overlook is the cost of their funeral.

Taking care of these costs ahead of time may help ease the grief of those living loved ones left behind.

Options for funeral trusts

A funeral trust, as details, is an agreement between people and the funeral homes they wish to work with. Money sent into these trusts often goes to pay some or all of the funeral costs. Anything remaining may go to additional beneficiaries.

One important detail is whether to keep a trust revocable or irrevocable. Revocable trusts allow for more flexibility in case people have changes to implement. Irrevocable trusts put those assets out of a family’s hands until a certain time stipulated in the agreement. These irrevocable trusts may also help some spend down to qualify for Medicaid.

Costs of funerals

According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the average cost of a funeral in Michigan ranges between $6,953 and $7,868 depending on whether people opt for cremation or burial respectively. These costs include basic services, a casket — rental or burial — and use of facilities. Some funeral homes require embalming for open caskets and some cemeteries require cement vaults for burials.

When planning for the inevitable, it is important for people to get their wishes conveyed clearly in these contracts. Anyone navigating these complex legal agreements may wish to lean on their resources to clear up any confusion about these arrangements.