C&J Financial guidance on funeral costs


Beneficiary Advance Guest Post: How To Best Pay For A Funeral

Dec-02 2021

This article is a guest post from C&J Financial Services. Founded in 1996, C&J has become the largest provider of insurance assignment funding in North America.

What are acceptable payment options for funerals?

Fortunately, the reality is that most people plan a funeral for deceased loved ones only once or twice in a lifetime. But because of the minimal occurrences of this life event, there is often unfamiliarity with the process that's compounded by grief from loss. Those emotions increase stress from an already challenging event and can paralyze any decision-making. 

One area of funeral arrangements many people incorrectly assess is payment for services rendered and products provided. We're here to help.

Although all funeral homes in the U.S. are required by the Federal Trade Commission to provide a General Price List, understanding payment options are often misunderstood prior to engaging with them. The General Price List is a document that must be provided to consumers that list goods, services, and prices of the funeral provider prior to any funeral arrangement discussions. 

However, the General Price List is separate and apart from a funeral home payment policy.  The vast majority of funeral homes, cremation providers, and cemeteries in the U.S. require payment in advance of services rendered and do not offer any payment programs.  As a funeral consumer, it’s important to know which forms of payment are acceptable at funeral homes and below are customary methods to pay for funerals.

  1. Pre-Need (Pre-Planned, Pre-Paid) Insurance or Trust.


    In the funeral profession, this option is known as “Pre-Need.”


    Consumers take advantage of this method by making their own personal funeral choices while living and pay for their own services/products in advance.


    Pre-Need is a safe choice of payment as the majority of states in the U.S. highly regulate all pre-need transactions. As a point of fact, GoodTrust provides options to securely store pre-need documents for future use.

  2. Life Insurance.


    More than 65% of adult Americans own some form of life insurance whether individual or group policies.


    Using life insurance proceeds for funeral payment provides survivors a financial gift by not having to use high interest credit cards or reduce personal cash reserves.


    Unfortunately, collecting life insurance proceeds from life insurance companies is an arduous process, most taking more than 6 weeks or even months to receive funds.


    GoodTrust provides an option to receive life insurance proceeds within 24-48 hours with their partner, Beneficiary Advance.

  3. Credit Cards.


    Use of personal credit cards are a popular form of payment for funerals, however, many consumers do not have enough credit balance on their credit cards to pay for services, products, cemetery charges, and cash advance items such as obituaries.


    Another issue using credit cards for funeral payments is high interest charged by credit card companies.


  4. Check.


    Some funeral homes will accept personal or bank checks for payment for services/products provided.


    Using a check as a form of payment also decreases personal savings and or cash position.

  5. Cash.


    All funeral homes accept U.S. currency for payment although the result is the same as payment from a check: reduction of personal savings accounts.

The best options for funeral payment is planning ahead of death occurring.  Taking advantage of the tools provided by GoodTrust such as creating a will, securing closure options for digital accounts, storing important documents, and quickly receiving life insurance proceeds are a gift to those left behind.

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