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Your story is unique… and like most people, you probably have certain ideas about how you want your life celebrated and remembered. As with all the important milestones accomplished over your lifetime, planning your end-of-life celebration should be done with careful thought.

The death of a loved one is a very difficult time for everyone. Yet, during this period of grief and emotional readjustment, family members and friends are often confronted with dozens of decisions about the memorial services.

  • What would our loved one have wanted?
  • What kind of funeral should it be?
  • What should be included?
  • Who needs to be notified?
  • How much will it cost?

By preplanning, these questions and many more will be answered in advance so your family is relieved of that burden.

Preplanning involves making choices about your end-of-life celebration. This is best accomplished by working with a funeral planning advisor who has special training and expertise. They can assist you in creating this personalized celebration of your life.

Many people have already been through the preplanning process. An AARP study showed that 34% of people over the age of 50 have already preplanned a funeral for themselves and/or someone else.*

*AARP, Funeral and Burial Planners Survey (2007)

Let NGL Answer Your Funeral Questions

Sometimes it is difficult to know exactly where to start in the funeral planning process. That's exactly why we designed the Funeral Answer Book. It walks you through questions such as: What are my funeral options? How do I select a funeral director or funeral home? What goods and services should I consider? How much is it all going to cost?

The Answer Book also includes a write-in section for you to store your choices all in one place.

Download the Funeral Answer Book.

Not everyone wants the same type of funeral ceremony. The choices people make can be influenced by a variety of religious and cultural traditions, as well as by cost and personal preference.

Traditional Burial

Often considered a traditional funeral, this option refers to a "full-service" funeral involving a funeral director and other funeral service professionals who specialize in this area.

Funeral Service with Cremation

Cremation is a final disposition method in which the body is heated to cremate the remains. The remains can be placed in an urn, scattered, or entombed in a mausoleum or columbarium.

Direct Burial

This means that the burial occurs shortly after death and embalming is not necessary to preserve the body for visitation and viewing.

Direct Cremation

This means that the cremation happens shortly after death and embalming is again not necessary to preserve the body for visitation and viewing.

Veterans Burial

Burial benefits may be available to honorably discharged veterans of the U.S. armed forces.

Benefits vary so the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) should be contacted for more details.

Green Burial

A green burial is a burial that does not involve embalming with chemicals, metal caskets, or concrete burial vaults.

By preplanning your funeral, you relieve your family of having to make important financial decisions during a period of great stress and grief. Preplanning is easier than you might think. Listed below are the steps involved in the preplanning process.

1

Gather Your Personal Information

Before you begin to plan, it's important for you to consider how you want your life to be remembered.

To help you with this process, NGL offers a free Answer Book for Funerals. This guide allows you and your family to record how you would like your life to be remembered and celebrated.

2

Make Arrangements

You can meet with a planning professional who will explain the various options available.

You will decide on what type of funeral you want, what other events (if any) you would like to include and any personal touches you want. Use our Answer Book to help you plan how you want your celebration of life to be remembered. 

3

Prefund Your Funeral

Lastly you will review prefunding payment options. Funeral expenses, like many other valuable services, increase over time.

By prefunding at today's prices, you can be assured that the money will be there to cover future funeral costs. We will ensure that your wishes, and assets, are protected.

With these three easy steps you will be amazed at the peace of mind you will gain by going through this process. Your family will appreciate your thoughtfulness to preplan and prefund for your end-of-life celebration.

 
Top Ten Reasons to Preplan
Learn about how preplanning can help and protect you and your family.

Set aside money today

More and more people are making the decision to prefund their funeral arrangements. Prefunding is setting aside funds today, at today's prices, so you can be certain the money will be there to pay for your services in the future. Funeral costs, like many other valuable services, increase over time and are expected to continue to increase significantly over the next decade. In fact, funeral related expenses have nearly tripled over the past 25 years.

Benefits

There are a number of benefits to prefunding your funeral:

  • Funeral services may be carried out at little or no additional cost to your family
  • Funds are immediately available to pay funeral costs, with no waiting period due to probate or other delays
  • Flexible payment options are available to meet your needs today
  • You may be eligible for full benefits even before all your payments are made
  • The benefit amount grows over time to help offset inflation and that growth is not taxable to you

National Median Cost of a Funeral (Historic)

The list below represents the National Median Cost of an Adult Funeral with Viewing and Burial: 2004 vs. 2014 according to the National Funeral Directors' study. 

These numbers do not include cemetery, monument/marker costs or miscellaneous charges, such as for flowers or obituaries.

Item 2004* 2014* % Increase
Nondeclinable basic services fee $1,460 $2,000 37%
Removal/transfer of remains to funeral home $195 $310 59%
Other preparation of the body $498 $250 42.9%
Use of facilities/staff for viewing $339 $420 25.3%
Service car/van $100 $143 42.5%
Basic memorial printed package $95 $155 63.2%
Metal casket $2,100 $2,395 14%
Median Cost of a Funeral with Viewing and Burial $5,582 $7,181 28.6%
Vault $998 $1,327 33%
Total with Vault $6,580 $8,508 29.3%

* Median Price – The amount at which half of the figures fall below and half are above. 2004 prices have not been adjusted for inflation.
*Source: 2015 Member General Price List Survey

Average Cost of Funeral with Cremation (2014)

The list below represents the most commonly selected services and merchandise according to the National Funeral Directors' Association 2015 study. 

These numbers do not include cemetery, monument/marker costs or miscellaneous charges, such as for flowers or obituaries.

Item 2014 Fee
Nondeclinable basic services fee $2,000
Removal/transfer of remains to funeral home $310
Other preparation of the body $250
Use of facilities/staff for viewing $420
Service car/van $143
Basic memorial printed package $155
Cremation fee (if firm uses a third-party)** $330
Cremation casket $1,000
Urn $280
Median Cost of a Funeral with Viewing and Cremation $6,078

* Median Price – The amount at which half of the figures fall below and half are above.
**65% of respondents use a third-party crematory (i.e., the funeral home does not own a crematory)
*Source: 2015 Member General Price List Survey

Rising Rates of Cremation

The rate of cremation has surpassed that of burial in 2015 according to a report released today by the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA). According to the data in the report, the rate of cremation is projected to increase each year.

  2017
(projected)
2020
(projected)
2030
(projected)
Cremation 51.6% 56% 71.1%
Burial 42.3% 38% 23.2%

*Source: 2016 NFDA Cremation and Burial Report

*Some states may vary on Medicaid rules and eligibility is not guaranteed; please consult an elder law attorney in your state for assistance. Trust limits may vary by state, due to individual state regulations.

**Not available in Indiana. Indiana residents may use the NGL Final Expense Trust, which offers similar benefits using an Indiana-based trust.