Nobody likes to think about the eventualities of life. But planning for your end of life is a responsible way to ensure that your family is taken care of in a time of need. Most people think of end-of-life planning in terms of their financial legacy. It is important to prepare a will so that your children or other heirs don't have to wonder how you want your estate handled. And, of course, one of the most common ways of planning for what will happen when you are gone is to invest in life insurance to ensure that your loved ones have some amount of financial stability when you are gone. But one area that many people don't think about is the cost involved in death itself—specifically, the expenses of a funeral and burial.
A Wise Investment
Rust Paul is the mayor of Sandy Springs, but he has his roots in small-town Alabama. His mother was born, married, and died in the same house about three miles outside of Oneonta, Alabama. And when she passed at age 94, she left a legacy of good works and cherished loved ones. But her family didn't realize that another legacy she left would save them thousands of dollars in a time of need.
Nearly a century ago, Mayor Paul's grandfather purchased a burial policy for his daughter, Paul's mother. And every week, he paid the insurance man ten cents, until the policy was paid off in 1942. In all, Paul's grandfather paid about $87 for a policy with a face value of $250.
When Mayor Paul's mother passed away, they pulled out the old burial policy. It was clear that the face value was $250, but the policy terms said it covered almost all of the funeral costs plus the casket. It turns out that the $250 face value was just an estimate based on funeral costs in the mid 20th century. But the coverage was good even today.
The original insurance plan was sold by a company that now owns Lindley Chapel. Their funeral director, Jason Thomas, confirmed that this old policy was still good and his chapel would honor its terms. So a policy that cost $87 many decades ago will actually cover thousands of dollars worth of funerary services today. And these policies are not rare. According to Thomas, there are thirty to forty years worth of these policies still waiting to be used.
A Good Lesson
While we may not all benefit from century-old investments, the lesson here is clear. Taking care of your family and investing now can have huge payoffs, even if those payoffs don't come for many decades.