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Final expense insurance is a helpful tool for paying for a departed family member or friend’s funeral, memorial service, headstone, urn, and other final expenses. It is a whole life insurance policy with a much smaller benefit amount than traditional life insurance. Final expense insurance is usually purchased to cover final arrangements, but can also be used to pay the deceased’s debts, including medical bills, credit card bills, mortgage loans, and personal loans.
Coverage is best suited for people ages 50 to 85. This type of insurance has no term to it and is considered paid-up at age 100 in many cases. Plans get more expensive the older you are, and most providers have a maximum age limit for buying one, so it’s a good idea to look into getting one as early as possible.
Most people over 50 look into final expense options when drawing up a will, thinking about power of attorney documents and assigning beneficiaries to retirement accounts.
The average funeral in the United States ranges from about $5000 to $15000 according to the National Funeral Directors Association. This includes funeral home services, burial or cremation, a casket or an urn, and the purchase and installation of a headstone at the cemetery. You may need more or less than this to carry out your final wishes, but in general, getting a burial insurance policy for $20,000 should cover these expenses.
The federal government pays $255 for survivors of individuals who received to help cover final expenses, but only if they meet certain requirements.
You can’t convert a life insurance policy into a final expense policy. You can use the proceeds from life insurance to pay for the expenses of a funeral but you may not be able to control how quickly the policy can pay. If you plan to use life insurance proceeds to cover funeral expenses, its best to research how to file a claim, understand the timing and document your final wishes for your family and friends.