How to Plan and Pay for Your Own Funeral


How do you Plan and Pay for Your Own Funeral? Planning your funeral has to be right up there with going to the doctor for a full-blown physical. I have insurance coverage, and that’s full insurance coverage.  

When I pass away, my loved ones will have plenty of money to handle this, because unlike about 70% of the population in the United States, I truly do believe in taking care of these things in advance. Get your free insurance quote today, and follow our funeral planning guide. 

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Why Do You Need to Plan Your Funeral?

Planning your own funeral

When we pass, our families have to deal with so many things including planning and paying for our funerals

You might not appreciate it because your family can be the best thing in the world to you during normal life, but you always worry about everything that affects them.

You would be surprised when you pass how much it is going to affect people who love you. So, it makes more sense to know how to plan your own funeral to ease this burden to some extent. 

Think of it as a car traveling 60 mph that suddenly slams on the breaks for a full stop. That is what your family will be going through.

If you care about the planning part of things, you need to document it.  I have a will (with two notarized signatures) and two policies.

Document Your Plans

If you want your loved ones and survivors to follow your funeral wishes, document them on paper. No matter how you transcribe your final wishes, keep them accessible to your family. This is to ensure that your family can find your instructions easily after you pass away. It will ease their worries as they have lesser decisions to make when they are mourning your death. 

How Should You Plan Your Funeral?

How Should You Plan Your Funeral?

A funeral is a significant end to your life. So it has to be planned (including things like vehicle type for funeral service) in advance with factors like:

  1. The budget for your funeral must be calculated.
  2. Do you want a car, truck, or limo?
  3. Where will the service take place?
  4. Will there be dinner afterward?
  5. Are there expenses that we have not considered?

*As a rule, usually there are more costs associated with planning your own funeral than might be considered.

Do You Want Burial Cremation or Donation?

Planning my own funeral

In the old days, most people got buried.  It’s just the reality.  Today with costs out of site, about 70% of people are actually going with cremation.

I am going to be honest, as I always am.  I am a cremation guy.  Sprinkle my ashes in a place that has significant meaning to me. But some people prefer something more ceremonial and formal.

In fact, I made the case earlier that I wouldn’t want to be my funeral planner, aside from the generous insurance coverage I have. I am writing this hoping to explain that we all shoulder the responsibility of planning for the inevitable.

Everything should be written down … Insurance policies, last will, directions what to do with business affairs, etc.

I believe the most important thing is to have the policy in place.  With the money, a family has the power to take care of things properly. And if you have a funeral planning guide, all is better!

What Do You Plan for Your Remains If You Choose A Cremation or Burial?

Funeral planning guide

If you want to be buried, you have to decide what needs to be done with your casket. However, if you want a cremation, choose your urn or tell your loved ones what to do with your ashes. Your options are:

Burial in a Vault

The traditional in-ground burial in a vault roughly six feet beneath the ground is the first option that comes to your mind.

Using a Lawn Crypt

You may also use a pre-made tomb or crypt of steel or concrete for your in-ground mausoleum. This will keep your remains in an enclosed shell that preserves your casket. 

Above-Ground Lawn Crypt

You may also choose an above-ground crypt with adequate water drainage to preserve the enclosed casket.

Above-Ground Private Mausoleum

If you have a private mausoleum that holds remains of your ancestors and other deceased family members, you may choose it for privacy and exclusivity. If you want to build a mausoleum, understand that the costs can be high. 

Community Mausoleum

Some cemeteries have community mausoleum where anyone can place their remains. These are above-ground features that will cost much lesser than the private mausoleum.

Green Burial

If you choose eco-friendly or green burial services, it entails using non-toxic chemicals for embalming and body disposition. 

Natural Burial

In a natural burial, the remains are directly buried in the ground without any casket, burial vaults, or embalming fluids. The body will decompose naturally. You may also use a bio-degradable casket or shroud that will not hinder the decomposition process. 

Spreading the Ashes

If you want your ashes spread after the cremation, choose the location where you want your remains to be scattered. But, the laws may differ in your state, so check them before making a decision.

Building a Memorial Reef

This is a unique method of infusing the ashes with concrete and shaping them into any structure. It is then placed on the ocean floor. Since you wouldn’t expect your family to do this without help, get in touch with a provider offering memorial reef services. 

Do You Want Viewing of Your Remains?

Funeral pre planning guide

When planning your own funeral, it is a personal choice whether you want your loved ones to have a chance to look at your body before it is buried or cremated. You can arrange a viewing at a church, funeral home, or any place of your choice. 

Making a Checklist

After you decide whether you want a burial, donation, or cremation, you should make a checklist of your plans to finalize the details. Here is how to plan your funeral checklist according to your preferences.

  • Type of casket
  • Memorial service
  • Flowers
  • Name of attendees
  • Music
  • Headstone or market preferences
  • Obituary preferences
  • Name of people responsible for arrangements
  • Jewelry, clothes, and accessories for final resting or viewing
  • Pallbearer preferences
  • Reception arrangements post-funeral
  • Military preferences if any for veterans

How to Arrange Funds to Pay for Your Funeral?

How to plan your own funeral checklist

Once you have everything chalked out, you need to arrange the funds to make sure your family doesn’t have to worry about the funeral expenses. You will not saddle your loved ones with a financial burden amid emotional turmoil with a proper plan.

Most families don’t have enough cash for the entire funeral. They may have to take a debt to give you a respectable memorial service. Your financial planning and our funeral planning guide will save them all these hassles and much more. Consider these options to pay your final expenses before the day comes.

Liquidating Your Estate

Your family can liquidate your estate, including your investments and property, to pay for your final expenses. However, probate is a lengthy process that takes months, and your family eventually has to generate temporary funds for the funeral. So, keep this option only as a last resort.

Purchasing Life Insurance

Life insurance is the best way to pay for your final expenses with immediate effect. There are burial or final expense policies that specifically cover the end of life costs. These are small policies that provide sufficient coverage for final expenses, especially for seniors above 80 who cannot qualify for traditional life insurance plans. 

Drafting a Pre-Need Contract

A pre-need policy or contract works between you and a chosen funeral home depending on the services you need. The policy has some form of life insurance element where you can stop making payments on a pre-need contract during the term. The monthly payments are costly, depending on the type of funeral and policy tenure.


Unless you are financially stable and disciplined, you can’t really set aside fixed savings every month to cover your final expenses. And if you pass away before saving enough, your family will still struggle to arrange the funds.

Create a Living Trust or Will

How to plan your funeral

The best thing you can do to plan your funeral and pay for it during your life-time is creating a will or a living trust with legal help. Have a will in place and get it notarized by two people- the notary and a witness.

Consult an attorney to choose the best option or make your will on your own. 

Gary P. Cubeta



(Serving Americans In All 50 States)