Planning Ahead: Numbers You Should Know

My 96-year-old grandmother passed away this spring. During her final days, I remember my aunts finding her funeral wishes written on a piece of paper and tucked inside her Bible. She had written down her favorite Bible passages to be read, songs to be sung and even a request for my brother to sing a hymn. Luckily, my dad and my aunts knew exactly what she wanted for the celebration of her life and had time to plan a beautiful service.

Even though my family had the time to prepare and knew my grandmother’s wishes, not all families have that luxury. The process takes an emotional and financial toll on those left behind. Planning ahead can help relieve that burden from loved ones. Here are a few numbers to consider when thinking about or discussing advance funeral plans.


Number of tasks that may need to be completed after the death of a loved one.

As many as 125 actions need to be taken following the death of a loved one. These tasks can range from securing vital information, to notifying loved ones and business organizations, to selecting funeral service options and paying bills. Making arrangements in advance can eliminate some of this burden.  

$7,640 - $9,135

Median cost of a funeral in 2019.

According to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), the median cost of a funeral service with a viewing and burial in 2019 ranged from $7,640 - $9,135. These prices can vary depending on the options selected. Making plans for funeral costs is another way to help remove burdens from loved ones.


Percentage of policy owners who indicated that eliminating emotional burdens from their children was an extremely important factor in their decision to prearrange.*

When asked to rank the importance of certain factors in their decision to prearrange, 92% of policy owners surveyed indicated that eliminating the emotional burden from their children was extremely important. Other factors that were ranked as extremely important include, but are not limited to: eliminating the financial burden from children (88%); fulfilling their responsibility (87%); and choosing arrangements they wanted (84%).


Percentage of policy owners who indicated satisfaction with their decision to prearrange.*

After all was said and done, 100% of the policy owners surveyed were satisfied with their decision to prearrange their funeral. It can be comforting to know that those who have completed the process are happy they made that choice and 97% would at least consider recommending prearrangement to others.

The next step is to get more information about advance funeral planning. Talking to friends and family can be helpful – even though this is a very personal decision, 54% of policy owners* found out about prearranging from someone they knew. Getting details about the planning process from a trusted funeral service provider can also help make decisions about how to proceed.

Giving loved ones the gift of advance funeral planning can ease the emotional and financial stress they experience during the most difficult days of their lives. And even though it’s tough to consider, those who prearrange can also gain peace of mind knowing that they are still taking care of them, even after they’re gone.

* Based on survey responses from 1,116 Homesteaders policy owners who prearranged and prefunded during 2019.

Questions about funeral planning? Every year, thousands of people make their final wishes known by planning their funerals in advance. Learn More

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