Does your family own a car? If you are like most Americans, you also have a car loan. New car payments in America have crept above the $500 per month mark, (USA TODAY Peter Dunn, 2016). And the average length of a car loan was quoted as 68 months… nearly six years!

Yet very few families have a plan in place to pay the final expenses for each of them when they die. Death is not just a personal loss; it’s a financial crisis. Historically, the funeral industry did not offer financing. It was cash, check or charge – and someone related to the deceased needed to put up the money. Some have endured the embarrassment of a neighborhood car wash to raise money to bury a loved one. Others turn to online crowdfunding sources like GoFundMe to ask for contributions toward funeral expenses.

Websites such as Plumfund, YouCaring, ALittleHelp and HelpAFund are mentioning final expenses specifically in their statement of purpose. And a new company, Fund A Funeral, is working directly with funeral directors to help families finance merchandise and services at the time of need. But why wait?

There is a better way. Plan ahead. Just as you researched the car you planned to buy, and found good terms for your car loan… budget for final expenses and plan for the entire family. It won’t amount to saving $500 per month either!

Don’t leave your family without the means to provide final disposition: cremation or burial. Don’t expect your adult children to foot the bill. Don’t imagine that your young family won’t experience loss: death knows no age limits. And don’t leave your spouse to worry about paying the bill after you pass away. It’s not fair to impose such financial stress on top of grief.

If you need ideas about planning and saving for your final plans, contact me. Attend one of my presentations, or invite me to speak to your family or group.