Funeral Insurance for a Parent

Both my parents are still living (thank goodness), but I see them getting older and increasingly frail. I haven't asked my father, but I'm assuming that he has some plans in place for his final arrangements. My mother, who is separated from my father and is not well off, probably has no arrangements.  

How can I help better prepare the family for the eventual loss of Mom and Dad without hurting my parent's feelings?  I am more concerned about burial insurance for my Mom as she has poor health from long years of over-drinking. Is it possible to set something up for her without her without telling her?

Answer:

It's tough for us as our parents get older. This is a difficult time, full of emotion and concerns. Because it's not just a "logical" thing, it's also harder to suggest the right course of action for you.

However, I think your best approach is to speak with your mom and offer to take out either a small life insurance policy or funeral insurance policy for her and pay the premiums. You cannot take out life insurance on another person without having that person sign papers for it. Funeral insurance may or may not pay enough for a funeral, as many policies depend on you paying premiums for some time before a death occurs. So, you'll have to bite the bullet and have the uncomfortable conversation, to discuss the options.

I suspect that the easier route to a suitable benefit to cover funeral expenses is actually life insurance; there are a number of companies that offer "life" insurance for those who are elderly, at relatively low cost, without any medical questionnaire. These policies typically have a lower face value than life insurance for a younger person, but generally offer a big enough benefit to pay for the expense of a funeral and burial. However, the person who is the beneficiary of the insurance policy would have to be willing to pay for the cost of the funeral. True funeral insurance can pay benefits directly to a funeral home or funeral arranger, without having to depend on the "trustworthiness" of a person designated to pay for a funeral.
 

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