Losing a loved one is a painful process. It can feel as though your heart has been ripped from your chest never to be seen again. The grieving process is a universal one, known better by some than others. Once the initial shock has set in, is generally around the same time that the heir to the estate is urged to put together a memorial service for the deceased. Wills and trusts must be distributed to the heirs in Washington. Planning a memorial service is a lot of work, not to mention a very expensive event. The average memorial service costs approximately seven thousand dollars. If you are struggling to afford the costs of the funeral service for you beloved, these strategies will be helpful to you.

Check to see if the funeral was prepaid by the decedent.

Someone who is relatively prepared to pass will set aside a trust account at a funeral home of their choice in Washington, and include this information in their will. This means that the money has already been allocated and will just need to be designated for specific services such as a casket, cremation, or the actual memorial service itself. To determine if this indeed is the case, search through the decedent’s estate planning documentation, speak with the estate attorney, and review tax return records. If money has been allocated to a funeral home, these documents should indicate that. If none of these methods work, it never hurts to call nearby funeral homes and double check for pre-paid funeral funding from the deceased.

Cash in life insurance policies.

You can sign the decedent’s life insurance policy over to the funeral home for payment of the funeral. If there are any excess funds they will be refunded directly back to the estate.

Claim the expenses against the estate.

Funeral homes can charge the amount of the funeral as a claim against the decedent’s estate. Some funeral homes are fine with this method, while others do not accept it.These claims are considered priority and are paid out of the estate ASAP.

Pay for the funeral yourself and be reimbursed by the estate.

This is one of the least popular options considering that a lot of people don’t have the money to fund a funeral unfront. It can definitely be quicker to cover the expenses yourself, but then you have to go through the process of submitting the receipt to the estate representative with a request for reimbursement. If at any point you feel like you may not be reimbursed, you can file a claim against the estate.


All of these options can be a lot to take in. Looking for advice or guidance on planning a funeral? Puget Sound Probates is here to provide legal services to assist you in organizing a well  deserved celebration of your loved one! Call us today for help in planning and financing a funeral service.