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Avoid confusion, financial burden of your funeral with a trust

You may not know this, but Houston is home to the National Museum of Funeral History. According to the museum's website, visitors will see a collection of funeral service artifacts -- the largest in the U.S. -- and will tour exhibits about mourning rituals going back to ancient times. Visitors will also learn about the history of the funeral industry and get a look at items that were used in the funerals of presidents and popes.

A funeral is an extremely personal rite for the deceased and the mourners. It can also be just as expensive to bury someone as it is to marry him. We seldom want to burden our loved ones with these bills. We would rather give them time to mourn or even to celebrate our lives. The focus should be on the "who" and the "what," not the "how much will it cost."

There are a few ways to prepare for the expense before you die. A funeral trust is just one option, but it may afford the trustor more control and a few more options.

It could work like this: While Bob has included instructions for his funeral in his will, his wife Judy has established a funeral trust. She has included specific instructions in the trust documents for her burial and has made suggestions for music and readings at the service. She has also directed her family and close friends to go out to dinner at a great restaurant; the trust will pick up the tab.

Where does the money come from? We'll talk about that in our next post.

Source: ProducersWeb.com, "Funeral trusts: Help clients plan and pay for their funerals while they're alive," Christopher P. Hill, Jan. 13, 2014

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