Today I read a message sent to our 1950 - 1959 alumni group by one of my schoolmates. After her sister passed away, a few years later she purchased a grave site next to her. Recently she returned to place a headstone on the plot she had purchased so her children wouldn't have that expense. Well, the plot she had bought now belonged to someone else. It was sold out from under her. Sold twice, in other words, and someone else was buried there. I found this ludicrous, so sad. But as many do, she was planning in advance for her own internment. And as many do, the expenses are prepaid for the funerals and cremations, or they have insurance to cover the costs. In her case, they did give her another plot nearby, but not next to her sister. Still sad.
This only reminded me of a few months ago, when I was searching for internment options for myself, not wanting to leave after-death expenses to my family either. I checked out prepaid cremations and found some as low as $500, which wasn't bad, but for some people, including myself, right now that would be an imposition. And when you make those prepaid arrangements, what's to guarantee it will be what you bought when death comes? And who's to say it won't be costing somebody even more at that time? I just don't trust it.
As for full-fledged funeral expenses, if you don't have life or funeral insurance or a lump sum in your bank, it can be devastating to your family by being hit with a bill they can't afford or is untimely, death alone is devastating enough. A funeral can cost up to $10,000 according to 2013 estimates, and that's not a fancy one. I don't know what my financial situation will be at the time of my demise, I don't know when that best-seller is going to come through for me, so I'm looking at things realistically today ... as they are in the here and now ... and I'm making preparations I can handle.
I did even more research and found Science Care - Whole Body Donation. It works like this: at the time of death, a call is made to them, they make arrangements to take the body and use what they can to contribute to life-enhancing projects such as research for Alzheimer's, cancer, heart disease and major surgical advancements. The remains, after donations, are cremated and returned to the family within 3-5 weeks. All at no cost! Now we're talking! My kinda price.
So I registered with them. I am now a card carrying Science Care Donor. My family does nothing but give them a call when my time comes. Easy enough. Science Care takes care of the transportation, death certificate filing, and cremation.
Then I decided I should get my personal and business papers in order. So I went through everything and recorded all pertinent and vital information in a book and have made corresponding files to support that information. It's all ready and available. My kids are aware.
But remember, I'm only 73, I have at least 20 more years upon this earth (barring accidental death), the majority of my female, Brit, family ancestors made it to their nineties, and I believe I can too. Nifty Nineties! Gonna give it a whirl! Gives me lots of time to write a host of best-sellers. Yes!!
By the way, I'm off all meds now. BP is normal, heart rate is normal, and am taking off the extra pounds. Keeping the stress level down is a big plus. Loving life and what I do, eating correctly, mostly fruits and veggies - 2/3 of daily food intake. There it is, my recipe for longevity! (Working on the exercise bit, still. Not crazy about that.)
I figure I'm cheating the high cost of internment in two ways ... living longer, extending life for others through my death. That's a good thing!