The last thing anyone wants to think about after the loss of a loved one is finances, but funerals do cost money. In South Carolina, for instance, the average price of a burial in 2019 was $7,461 while the average cremation was $5,021, according to the National Funeral Directors Association.
Unfortunately, though, not everyone can afford that price out of pocket. A 2018 survey from the Federal Reserve found that 40% of Americans would struggle to cover an unexpected bill of just $400.
Planning ahead is a crucial element of handling the costs of a funeral.
“Preplanning your funeral allows you to customize the service to fit your budget and here at Stuhr, we can help with that. It can also save you money in the long run because you can pay today’s prices for a future need,” says Brian Calhoun, Funeral Director at Stuhr Funeral Home.
Of course, not everyone has the chance or the means to preplan their funeral arrangements before they pass. These unexpected costs are why many people are increasingly turning to crowdfunding platforms to source donations to cover funeral-related expenses. One of the biggest sites, GoFundMe, hosts over 125,000 memorial campaigns and raises more than $330 million each year, which includes fundraising for funeral arrangements.
Before you start an online fundraiser or make a donation, though, it’s important to keep these tips in mind:
Read the fine print
Every platform has its own rules and guidelines, so be sure to review them carefully before launching your fundraiser. Some sites, for instance, collect fees and/or a small percentage of donations. GoFundMe, for instance, charges 2.9% and $0.30 per donation for processing but the use of the platform is free itself for personal and charity campaigns. You’ll also want to take note of any deadlines, like withdrawal deadlines, to avoid automatic refunds or other issues.
Be specific in your asks
Use this opportunity to tell your loved one’s story and why you’re trying to raise this money. Did they pass away suddenly? Were they the main source of income for their family? Are there unexpected costs related to their passing?
It’s also important to be transparent about how much you’re asking for, what the money is going toward and what any extra funds will be used for if your goal is surpassed. Is it for funeral expenses? Or will some of the money go toward a scholarship fund or a related charity?
Additionally, consider including suggestions for other, non-monetary ways for people to help, such as mowing the family’s lawn or drop off a home cooked meal.
“It’s amazing, though bittersweet, to see how a community can come together after a loss to support one another,” says Calhoun. “And as part of the Charleston community, we try our best to offer our support – whether that’s by creating a service to fit your budget or connecting you with support resources.”
Stuhr Funeral Home, a trusted name in funeral service for more than 150 years, cares for families of those whose lives have ended. Stuhr Funeral Home is committed to providing quality arrangements to honor loved ones and family traditions. To get started with your pre-planning arrangements, visit preplanafuneral.com/stuhr.
For more information about available funeral services, visit JHenryStuhr.com or call (843) 723-2524.