Understanding Family Connections

2 Affordable Funeral Options

by Sonia Prescott

If you are looking for a way to keep your funeral costs down so that you aren't leaving your family with a huge funeral bill, you have some options open to you. 

Body Donation

One thing you can do is to donate your body to science. That is a broad term that covers several things. One of those is donating your body to a medical school. That will allow students to get a hands-on lesson on anatomy. They will be able to study your body and become better doctors. Another thing you can do is to donate your body to a research facility. This is a good idea if you have cancer, a rare disease or disorder, or something that is being researched. The researchers will be able to see how the condition affects your body and use your organs to test various things that might help. Once the researchers or medical students are done, their facilities will generally cremate your remains and give them to your family. 

If you have decided to donate your body to science, make sure that your family is aware of your decision because the facilities will want to get your body as soon as possible. 

Direct Cremation

Direct cremation means that you have arranged to go straight to the cremation facility. You don't want to have any funeral or viewing. Those services tend to be the things that run up a bill. Going straight to the cremation facility will save your family a lot of money. You can also choose to have your cremains returned to your family in a simple cardboard box if the plan is to scatter your ashes somewhere. If the decision is to keep your cremains, your family may still request that your ashes are returned in a cardboard box, if they already have a container such as an urn or box. The cremation service can also offer your family a variety of urns that they can purchase if that is the plan. 

Funerals can end up being very expensive. Your family may have to borrow money in order to pay for the funeral. The death benefits from the Social Security Administration is only $255, which won't go very far when paying for a full funeral. If you are a veteran, your family can get a little more, but it still isn't as much as a full funeral would cost. You can help them by planning ahead and coming up with affordable options.