Mom's "burying money" is at risk so we're trying to get her to prepay for her cremation (her choice) and then use the rest of the money to benefit her by paying off her car loan and freeing up $200/month for her to use for other stuff.
This is a summary of what I've learned so far:
- Prepaying funeral homes is not necessarily a great idea. They can go out of business, things you pay for may no longer be available (applies more to caskets than to urns) and the new models may be more expensive, etc.
- Direct cremation skips the funeral home entirely and is less expensive.
- There are a number of options for urns. Each pound of person's weight will equal one cubic inch of space, so use their weight to determine how large of an urn they need. (I believe a 10" urn holds up to 175 lbs of person?)
- Not all prepaid plans include transportation of the body, an urn, or a staff that's available 24/7. Many do not list prices online, though some do.
- There are far more creative ways to dispose of ashes than I had known about. However, we're going to keep her ashes and my father's ashes. I like the idea of the cremation reef, though. The diamond idea seems fairly shady (how do you know that you're getting your loved ones back?) but interesting.