Burial Plot Now or Time of Death

Updated on April 09, 2011
P.O. asks from Antioch, TN
15 answers

What do you think is the better option? Buy term life insurance and in the event of death pay for the burial spot at the time of death or buy the plot now and make incremental payments so that at time of death it is paid off?

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So What Happened?

I guess the point of the question was to clarify in my mind what would be better. My mom paid for a plot years ago and since the time she paid it and the time she needed it, the price was significantly higher. I know life ins would pay for the cost of the other expensive stuff, but I was more concerned about "inflation", availability, choice in spot for family versus just randomly getting one at the time of death and paying much more for it.

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answers from San Francisco on

I'm leaving it up to my kids. I really don't care what happens to my body. I assume they'll cremate it and throw the ashes somewhere. On George Clooney, maybe.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I would say do the life insurance. You never know what the future holds and having the money at the time of need is often most helpful. You may not be living in the same state at time of death and then a plot would be of little use. Coming from some one who buried a parent at a young age, I suggest go for the insurance.

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answers from New York on

This is a very strange question b/c one has very little to do with the other. Term life insurance is in place to help your survivors pay bills and depending on your current health and age can cost very little annually. At the time of your death, the insurance company write a check to your family so that they can pay off your debts. At the end of the "term" (if you are still living), I believe you get "back" what you paid. Either way- cash.

Buying your burial plot would come from that money. Just my opinion here, but I would buy the life insurance and pay off the burial plot in increments. Not being morbid here, but you could get hit by a car tomorrow and the life insurance will be worth significantly more than the burial plot- we just learned this lesson last week. My father-in-law was killed in a head-on collision. No life insurance, but the plot was paid for. Wonderful- wrote a check for $7,000 to pay for the funeral, but didn't have to "worry" about the $500 plot. Mother-in-law may have to sell her house, but at least their plots are paid for!

I'm ranting b/c we're trying to figure this all out too... needless to say we bought our life insurance two weeks ago and I am so glad that we did.

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answers from Dallas on

Life insurance. You can buy a term policy for you and add a burial expense rider to your policy for your children that way, God forbid, if anything ever happens to your child, that is taken care of as well.

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answers from Dallas on

A burial plot is what $1,000? If you preaarange the entire funeral it's what $10,000? A life insurance policy is going to be $100,000 minimum. So, if it's the same amount each month go for the insurance. But if you are young, go for term to help raise the kids and pay off the debt if something happens to one of you while you have young children. By the time you need burial, the term will likely have ended and you are still stuck with no burial. You can buy a small $10,000 final expense policy that lasts your whole life.

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answers from Allentown on

Hi, A:
Buy term life insurance and
buy a plot on a lay away plan.
After all when one is grieving the
thinking becomes clouded by
the loss.
Just a thought.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Redding on

In my opinion, pre-planning is always better. I used to work at a cemetery and families who have an "at-need" situation have less options in that everything has to be paid for. They can't repossess a casket and burial plot once someone is in it if the bill isn't paid.
You can save yourself a lot of money and have the peace of mind knowing that your arrangements are taken care of.
Again, just my opinion.

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answers from New York on

I would do it now. This way it's done and one less thing that your family has to worry about. This way you are where you want your final resting place to be. Plus now will be cheaper then in the later years.

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answers from Chicago on

Now, it is much easier on the kids, family, friends whoever is in charge of the arrangements. The more you have paid for and done before hand the easier the process. I have been involved in funerals where NOTHING is done before and NOTHING she wanted was done for her services because her daughters (in their 20's) could hardly affoard to pay for it, she was buried in a cemetary she did not want to be buried in, she did not have type of casket she wanted etc. I have also been involved in funerals where everything was paid for and mapped out and it was smooth and easy for all considering. So, I would say get the plot, choose the casket and the trimmings, and slowly pay for what you can while you can and keep the insurance going if you can. I know it seems morbid but it makes things easier and more cost effective in the long run.

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answers from Philadelphia on

If you can ever afford to pay for that now, do it. And you will still need life insurance, but try to get whole life. Term is for a short period of time and the price is not fixed. We had term life insurance years ago and as we got older the rate got higher, but we didn't want to pay more per month so the amount of the policy went down. It kept going down until it was gone. It costs more for whole life but will not go up in price and not down in value for as long as you have it.

If you can afford to buy the plot and anything else now, the money you get from your policy at time of death will be yours (beneficiary's). The cost of funerals keeps going up so you will get less and less of your policy to keep.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

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answers from Appleton on

I would not do term life insurance. Term life insurance runs out at the end of the term, you don't get a refund. So if you are 30 now and take out a 20 yr term policy and wish to renew for another 20 yrs, you will pay the premium of a 30 yr old for the first 20 years and the premium of a 50 yr old for the next 20 yrs. That is if you qualify for life insurance at 50. If you develop a heart condition or cancer at 45 you may not be able to get life insurance. A term policy does not build cash value, a whole life policy builds cash value. After a few years you can borrow on the cash value of your life insurance. If you can not re-pay the loan it is taken off the death benefit. I advise you to sit down with an insurance sales person or two- three, different companies and have them explain in detail. Insurance agents are licensed by the state they work in, if they give wrong information or try to scam you they can lose their license and not be able to sell insurance again. If a person wants to become an insurance sales person they often have to go to school to be licensed and pay for the test, on their own. They have to be licensed in every type of policy, they sell, life-health-auto-home ect. This can run into the thousands of dollars to get licensed.

AS for the burial plot, you can purchase the plots for you and your kids, just in case and go to a funeral home and have a pre-paid plan. But.... one of the funeral directors near me got caught embezeling the money from the pre-paid plans and the customers had to prove they had pre-paid in order to get the services they had already paid for. It was a total mess and the director lost his license and could never work in the funeral industry again. The funeral home was sold to another funeral director. So.. keep your records.
I wante to add The benefit from a life insurance policy is not taxable. There is no income or other tax on a life insurance benefit.

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answers from Williamsport on

I can't fathom having money for health insurance, life insurance, retirement, savings account, emergency account, notice I'm not even pretending to try for any kids college accounts. Burial plots? Get in line! Obviously I'd be one of those people ripped of for the "at need" price. But hopefully someone will be able to get away with some sort of illegal way to dispose of me for free. Wishful thinking, I know. God knows nothing should be free in life-not even kicking the bucket. Someone needs to invent a service for people who just want to "disappear" when they die that costs like $50. By the way, I laughed out loud at Page's.

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answers from Washington DC on

I haven't read your responses thus far so forgive me if I repeat an answer. We found that when my Mother passed away the graveyard can charge you an "at need" rate which is considerably more than purchasing in advance. Apparently it is perfectly legal and they have two standard rates, pre planning and at need. We purchased adjoining plots for my father, myself, and my sisters (and our hubbys) shortly after my Mom's funeral so that we could all be together and so that we could get them at a decent price. Most funeral homes and graveyards will hold the services for you without paying up front if you give them the life insurance policy to make a claim against. They call the life insurance company and arrange to have a check made out to them and the remaining balance will come to you. However, keep in mind that opening/closing fees MUST be paid in advance. I hope this helps in your decision making process. Good Luck and God Bless.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

You should have term insurance which is designed to replace (if invested properly) an income (Get 10x the person's annual salary).

And, yes, you would be wise to pre-pay for lots, vaults, memorial marker/stone, opening, closing costs for the grave and casket.



answers from Minneapolis on

IMO this is a no brainer, Life insurance enough to pay off the house mortgage in full, or if you don't own a home enough to purchase a home that fits a family's need in cash.

Next question: Sorry If It's Morose... Burial/disposal Options?