Crowdfunding for Funerals- What Happened to Planning?

Crowdfunding for Funerals- What Happened to Planning?

September 17, 2017

Discussing death is a very sensitive topic. This subject hits close to home for me. People do not want to talk about it, let alone face it. Regardless of your income status, race, or religion, there is one thing that is certain in our lifetime.  We are all going to die! There, I said it. Why are we afraid to discuss this guaranteed event?

Were Elders Better Planners?

As a child growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, I remember going to my grandmother's house and the insurance salesman coming by to collect her insurance premium. She had this pocket envelope that held the policy and on the outside of the envelope, I vaguely remember seeing pencil markings. The outside of the envelope appeared to be some sort of a ledger that showed her premium payments and the remaining balance on her policy. Back then, people paid off their life insurance policies. My grandmother was not a rich woman by no means but planned for what she knew would eventually happen. In her case, she met her maker in her eighties. She knew that someone would one day plan her funeral and she did not want to be a financial burden to her family. My grandmother was born in 1919. 

Crowdfunding

Let's fast forward nearly one hundred years from my grandmother's birth!  Our priorities have changed. We live in a microwave society and everything is immediate. Many people simply do not care about the impact their demise will have on their survivors. I'm bothered about this fact. It seems pretty easy to spend your money on what you want and let someone else worry about you when you have taken your last breath.  Is that fair?

Many of us have had this conversation with our family. I personally think it is embarrassing for a family to use crowdfunding (GoFundme, Giveforward, Fundly...etc) to bury a loved one. I don't want you to read this blog and think that I have an issue with crowdfunding. Absolutely not!  I love the concept. Crowdfunding provides options for all sorts of funding projects, funerals being one of them. I've been a contributor to several GoFundme accounts. I simply think the convenience of these accounts, especially for funerals have made many people lazy.  I'm not sure if lazy is the right word for what I'm describing. Perhaps the lack of pride is a better way to describe the attitudes of those who do not care about the impact their death will have on their survivors. Has crowdfunding become a substitute for lack of planning?

I'm asking, are you prepared for your death? Please consider the following questions:

  • Do you have life insurance in place to cover my burial expenses?
  • Do you have enough cash set aside to cover the funeral expenses if insurance is not an option?
  • Have you had a conversation with your loved ones regarding your burial wishes?
  • Would you feel comfortable with your family asking strangers to cover your funeral expenses?

Let's use crowdfunding, but not as a replacement for our failure to plan responsibly.

About Terrell Dinkins, MBA, ChFC®

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Terrell Dinkins, MBA, ChFC® is an investment adviser representative of and offers investment advisory services through OBN Wealth Advisors, LLC, a registered investment adviser offering advisory services in the State of Georgia and other jurisdictions where registered or exempted. Main Office: 950 Eagles Landing Pkwy, Suite 216, Stockbridge, GA 30281. Tel: 404-723-9780. Website: OBN Wealth Advisors