Funerals can be expensive, especially when the loss is unexpected. Often, people don’t have a plan in place to pay for a funeral and it can be extremely stressful to be faced with a large bill they had no idea they’d be paying.  

In reality, there are many ways to defray the cost of a funeral. Your first step should be to look into benefits you may be owed. If your loved one was a veteran, for example, he or she is entitled to certain privileges. When a life insurance policy is in play, it can often be used to pay for a funeral. Social Security also pays a lump-sum death benefit to put toward funeral costs.  

If none of these options covers what you need, you might consider fundraising or financing. If you’re a church member or live in a tightknit community, you may be able to get help hosting a fundraising event. Online crowdfunding — through platforms such as GoFundMe, Fundly or YouCaring — is another way to raise money for funeral expenses. If that doesn’t appeal to you, you could consider a loan or inquire about payment options with the funeral home.  

Of course, it’s also smart to cut costs where you can. Keep the service simple, and find things you can do on your own such as decorations or displays. Consider a potluck reception instead of having it catered. Remember that the important part is the people who are gathered, not the extras at the funeral.  

When it comes to your own funeral, you can save your loved ones from financial stress by preplanning. When you preplan, you have the option of pre-payment so that no one has to think about where to find the money once you’re gone. Even if you don’t pre-pay, preplanning allows you to lock in today’s prices for tomorrow’s need to ease the burden on your family.  

Whether you’re planning a funeral or preplanning for your own future need, Chapel of the Chimes can help.  Our setting is exquisite, with sweeping views of the Bay Area and stunning pastoral scenery, and our compassionate, professional staff strive to meet the needs of every person in our care.  

You might be surprised to learn there are 100+ decisions that have to be made when someone dies — but when you make use of our free preplanning guide, your wishes will be in writing and your family won’t be burdened with decision-making at a very emotional time. Get your free guide here or call (510) 400-4442 for more details.