PREPARING for your last rites does not have to be a stressful occasion for your family if plans are put in place to ease the financial burden, says Othneil Blagrove, senior manager, sales, JN Life Insurance.
Blagrove notes that in preparing for death or a funeral, there are many things to consider.
"Most people believe that planning for death is just the funeral. However, it's more than that. Preparing for death also means putting the necessary financial plans, such as your estate, the right insurance plans, the type of funeral you want, where you want to be buried, or if you wish to be cremated," said Blagrove.
"All of these plans come with a cost, which should not leave your family in debt. Rather, they should be able to send you off without wondering how they're going to do it," he stated.
Blagrove also explained that, in addition to leaving a will, persons should invest in insurance, especially a Family Indemnity Plan or a Whole Life Burial Plan, to offset the cost of burial.
"These burial plans are affordable for persons, regardless of their income; and can be paid weekly, fortnightly, monthly or annually," said the JN Life manager.
"Our Family Indemnity Plans also allow coverage for up to six people, including in-laws, and a beneficiary can receive from $250,000 up to $1.5 million, depending on the contributions," he added. "Also our whole life burial plans offers insurance coverage up to $5 million."
Blagrove added, however, that cost of funerals vary among funeral homes.
"The lowest cost funeral is somewhere between $100,000 and $200,000 while the very expensive ones can be over $1 million. This cost may include imported caskets, type of casket, mode of transportation and other requests that the client may have," he said.
He said that although Jamaicans prefer burial as a way to send off their loved ones, cremation should be considered.
"Cremation can be less expensive than burial, therefore, it should be given some thought. Depending on the last request of your loved one, he or she may wish that the cremated remains be disposed of in a certain manner and that would incur additional costs. But, if the family wishes for a normal cremation, it may work out to be less than a burial," he added.
He added that families should consider insurance and other payment options to cover funeral expenses.
"Some funeral homes offer packages where you pay for your funeral in advance. With this plan, you pay a set figure and the cost remains the same, even if the person dies years later. We find that some persons do this, because they want to be "sent off," in a particular way," he stated.
"Others have funds set aside in fixed accounts for when that time comes. However, we always encourage families to 'stick with their budgets', when the time comes to plan a funeral," he advised.