Funeral Insurance and FinancingFuneral PlanningLife InsuranceCan Life Insurance Be Used to Pay for Your Funeral?

March 2, 2020Obitia

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Why Buy Life Insurance? | Get a Quote | What If I Already Have Life Insurance? | What Are Other Options for Paying for Funeral Expenses? | Notify Beneficiaries of the Policy



In fact, life insurance is one of the most convenient and affordable ways of ensuring that your funeral costs will be covered, allowing your family to deal with their grief in their time of need rather than worry about covering burial expenses.

The average funeral in the United States can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 depending on the location, services, and type of disposition requested. For many families, this can be a very large, and unexpected expense.

While some people pre-plan their own funerals and put aside money to pay for them, the vast majority of Americans do not and will not. Life insurance is one of the easiest and most straightforward methods for ensuring your funeral costs will not fall on others.

It is worth taking a moment to get a free quote to see if this option will work for you and your family.


Why Buy Life Insurance?

If you have not put aside money specifically for your funeral or if you are concerned that you will not have enough money left over in your estate to pay your final expenses, outstanding debts, leave an inheritance for your loved ones, as well as pay funeral expenses, then life insurance is likely to be the simplest, cheapest, and most effective way of paying for your funeral (as well as your other final expenses, and leaving an inheritance to your loved ones).

By obtaining a life insurance policy you can ensure that your family will receive the policy proceeds upon your death and be able to use that lump sum payment to take care of your final expenses, especially funeral costs.

The added benefit of life insurance is that the proceeds are distributed immediately and they do not have to go through the probate process like your estate, which can be costly and take several months before the money can be disbursed to loved ones. If the money to be used to pay your funeral and memorial service must go through the probate system then your loved ones would have to pay for your funeral arrangements out of their own pockets or put it on a credit card until your probate process closes and the estate can disburse the money and assets to them. Depending on your family’s particular situation this can lead to intra-family strife and arguments over who should bear the financial burden until the probate process is complete.

It is for the reasons above that life insurance is often used in estate planning and for those who are planning their own funeral. It is the most common and simple financial solution for covering final arrangements and expenses.


Compare Quotes and Get Covered

Life insurance can vary in average cost, depending on several factors such as age, health, the type of the policy (term or whole life), the length of the policy, and the payout amount.

We highly recommended Policygenius as the best resource for obtaining whole life quotes. They work with top insurance companies and allow you to quickly see a variety of quotes from around the country. They offer a simpler, quicker, and more straightforward online process.

It’s worth taking a few minutes to get a couple of quotes and see if life insurance makes sense for you and your family’s financial situation and goals.

Many people find life insurance to be surprisingly affordable. If you would like to see several no-obligation quotes from leading national life insurance companies now, simply fill out Policygenius’ insurance cost estimator below.

Since 2014 they have placed $45 billion in coverage and helped over 30 million people shop for life insurance while maintaining very high customer ratings and reviews: Trustpilot Rating: 4.9/5 (1,347 Reviews)


What If I Already Have Life Insurance?

If you already have life insurance, then you are well set up to make sure your funeral expenses will not be a burden on your family and your funeral can be a fitting remembrance of your life. Make sure to review your policy and especially your beneficiaries on a regular basis to make sure that it fits with your plans. You can always make your estate your beneficiary; however, the money may then have to go through probate.

Also, make sure to consult an estate planning attorney before making any big estate planning decisions. Laws and rules can change (especially at the State level), and an estate attorney will know the most efficient and effective way to accomplish your goals. If you need help finding an estate planning attorney, please use NOLO’s Attorney Search. They match over 50,000 people a month with lawyers throughout the United States.


What Are Other Options for Paying for Funeral Expenses?

Some people may choose to pre-pay for their funeral with a funeral home. We caution against this for the simple reason that in the event the funeral home goes out of business you may lose your deposit. This happens, unfortunately, more often than you would hope or think.

Others may choose to get funeral insurance (or burial insurance) to cover funeral and memorial costs; however, these types of insurance products are generally more expensive than life insurance and do not give you the flexibility that a life insurance policy has for how to use the policy proceeds. To learn more about funeral insurance, please read our article “What is Funeral Insurance?

Finally, you can look to death benefits, to pay for part or all of your funeral expenses, if you qualify. Please read more about death benefits in our article: “Death Benefits Explained“.


Notify Beneficiaries of the Policy

A few years ago, it was reported that 1 billion in life insurance benefits had not been claimed from life insurance companies. This happens because life insurance companies don’t always have up-to-date contact information on beneficiaries and they aren’t always notified if a person has passed away.

It is therefore very important to make sure your beneficiaries are aware of the policy, and who to contact in the event of your passing.



Life insurance is a simple and cost-effective way to make sure your family will have the money to cover the costs of your funeral services and pay any outstanding debts. It will also make it more likely that your funeral plan if you have one, will be carried out the way you want because the costs and expenses of it will be covered ahead of time when you choose what amount of policy benefits are most appropriate.

In short, life insurance is a flexible, affordable, and simple way to cover the costs of your funeral and make sure your family will not be burdened with these large expenses during such an emotional and difficult time.


The information provided does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal, accounting or tax advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.




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