The Burden of Burial

The National Care Planning Council often receives requests that ask questions similar to the one we received today, “Is there any help in paying for my burial?”

According to the Federal Trade Commission, the average cost for a funeral in the United States can be well over $10,000. Many families have already spent to their limit to keep their loved ones comfortable, well-taken care of, and alive as long as possible. When faced with the huge cost of burying a loved one, many family members may feel overwhelmed.

Pre-planning your own funeral can help lower costs drastically and take away the stress from your family members. Many who did not take this pre-planning step, try desperately to find other options to avoid the high costs of burial.

Just recently, Steve Fidel wrote an article about a man in Holladay, Utah who decided that the best way to save on burial costs for his wife was to bury her in his backyard. This man called the city and they told him “no.” As Fidel said, “That was the end of the call but the beginning of a dialogue inside City Hall that caught the attention of many, including the city attorney.” The city attorney did some digging, but couldn’t find anywhere in the law that it specifically said “no” to backyard burials and nowhere that it specifically allowed for a “yes.” In the end, Holladay decided to pass an ordinance that prohibited burials inside the city except in the cemetery.

A man in West Jordan, UT commented on Steve Fidel’s article. His voice is one of the many that we receive in our request forms and over the phone. His comment was as such: “I think the real motivation for some of the newer burial practices are because they are more economic. Funeral costs are high these days, and I think a lot of people (including the deceased themselves) don’t want their families left with the burden of an expensive funeral. I know I personally don’t want my family to spend a lot when I go. I’d rather them spend that money doing something fun to remember me by than spending thousands of dollars to preserve a corpse that’s just going to stay in the ground.”

Faced with the burden of paying for your loved one’s funeral, what would you consider doing? With not much money in your pocket and a dead body that must be taken care of, you might find yourself thinking like the man from Holladay. Be careful what you choose to do as the laws differ by state and region. Before making any decisions on a burial site, make certain to contact your state government offices to see what is legal in your state. You might be surprised at what you are allowed to do.

If you still have time, prevent the worst from happening and help your family by planning for your funeral now before the cost and many other decisions are left as a burden on your family’s shoulders after you’re gone.

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About National Care Planning Council

The National Care Planning Council and its affiliated members are dedicated to helping families recognize the need for long term care planning. We are committed to raising awareness and providing information on common eldercare issues. Integrity, honesty, and a genuine concern for the elderly and their families are at the heart of our services.

Posted on February 21, 2012, in Death/Burial/Funeral Preplanning and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. There is definately a great deal to find out about this topic.
    I like all of the points you have made.

  2. Wow, this post is pleasant, my sister is analyzing such things, therefore I am going to
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  3. I used to be able to find good info from your articles.

  4. Thanks for a marvelous posting! I actually enjoyed reading it, you may be a
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  5. Happy To Do Eldercare

    Wow, that’s crazy. Imagine burying someone in your backyard! Funerals are certainly a huge expense. I’ve seen a lot of children struggle to scrounge up money for their parents’ funerals. All I can say is, I’m certainly planning ahead and you should too.

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