Cost of dying: How to prepare for funerals

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 31 2016 10:03 AM

Cost of dying: How to prepare for funerals 1

MANILA - This week, many will be trooping to cemeteries across the country to pay respects to dearly departed family members and friends. As thoughts turn to death and the passing of loved ones, you may ask yourself if you are financially prepared for death in the family.

Death, of course, is inevitable. This is why financial experts recommend preparing for a possible death in the family, no matter how morbid it may sound. From a practical standpoint, it makes sense to have some preparations, regardless of the ages and health of family members. 

That’s because expenses associated with death are almost always unprogrammed and may be substantial. Being financially prepared for these can help minimize stress levels during this emotionally draining period.
 
The costs of burying the dead can be quite astronomical, with costs affected by the preferences of the family of the deceased. 

Cost of dying: How to prepare for funerals 2

Here are at least 10 items you will need to prepare and what they may cost you:

1. Funeral services. This includes the set-up for viewing arrangements, which will cost anywhere from P15,000 for a simple set-up all the way to hundreds of thousands for those who prefer more grandiose services. 

2. Burial services. Depending on your service provider and the package that you avail of, expect to pay anywhere from P5,000 to P20,000 for these services. The package may include prayer services, music, transportation, and security support.

3. Cremation services. A popular alternative to burial, cremation services cost around P10,000-P20,000 among the various service providers.

4. Caskets. The simplest of coffins costs P8,000 at a small funeral parlor while more elaborate ones, such as those made with bronze or gilded with gold, can run into the millions. The price will depend on the material the casket is made of.

5. Urns. As with coffins, there’s a wide range of prices, with a simple urn fetching P2,500 and more elaborate ones, usually made of porcelain, going from P25,000-P50,000.

6. Memorial lot. Memorial lots measuring about 5 square meters cost a low of P65,000 to hundreds of thousands, depending on your choice of cemetery and the type of memorial lot. If you prefer to go for a mausoleum type, expect to pay in the millions. Public cemeteries offer a more affordable option, going for as low as P1,000 for an apartment-style niches.

7. Crypts. A more affordable alternative to memorial lots, these vaults can still set you back from P25,000 upwards.

8. Death certificate. The issuance of a death certificate costs P330, but you need to get documents from a physician which can easily set you back a few hundred pesos.

9. Flowers. A simple bouquet can cost a few hundreds, but depending on the family’s tastes, the cost of more intricate flower arrangements can run up to about P10,000 for a single flower arrangement.

10. Food. Funerals are a family affair, and expect to shell out money for refreshments. Some families are content to serve simple snacks and juices, but others prefer to avail themselves of catering services. Depending on the length of the wake, the number of guests, and the type of food served, expect to pay from P3,000-P20,000 for food.

For convenience, consider getting funeral packages which are offered by most memorial service providers. Prices can go for a low of P15,000 at smaller and government-subsidized funeral parlors, to a high of P250,000 among the higher-end providers, again, depending on the family’s choice of services. 

What can help is for you to be financially prepared for the cost of dying and below may help:
 
· Prepare for the inevitable by having an emergency account.

· Having life insurance is an effective way to prepare for death in the family. Always update your insurance and add to your coverage as your family’s needs grow.

· Having medical insurance will help your family defray costs that come with hospitalization and other health expenses of the deceased.

· Buy a memorial plan. They are easy on your pocket as they are usually paid through installment terms, and spare you from the trouble of coughing up a huge amount for funeral expenses when death comes.

· Have a list of records. Make sure you know how to gain access to important records of each family member such as SSS numbers, insurance coverage, memorial plans, financial records, real estate titles, and the like. 

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