Whilst you are still young, it is strongly recommended that you purchase a death insurance policy. Not only will you be relieved that your funeral costs and debts are sorted out but you can live out the rest of life knowing that your relatives can spend the extra time thinking about you and not where the money is coming from.
The simplest form of death insurance comes in the form of a policy completely devoted to paying all the funeral costs and that's it. This kind of policy is referred to as a Pre-Need Insurance policy which caters solely for this need. Widely available through funeral homes and funeral directors, the only named beneficiary with this policy is either of these establishments. In this way the policy covers the funeral costs alone and cannot be used for any other purpose.
Other types of death insurance include the option of getting a lump sum paid to any named beneficiary in the event of your death. The difference between these types of policies and the Pre-Need Insurance is that the funds are not specifically allocated to the costs of a funeral. If you still have money owing to others after you pass on, the funds from these policies can be used to pay these debts off. Items associated with death including medical bills and nursing home fees could be paid off in full. Commonly these policies are called simply Burial Insurance or Final Expense Insurance.
It is possible to buy death insurance whereby a one-off lump sum is paid out to a nominated beneficiary in the case of your death. The fundamental difference between these options and that of the Pre-need Insurance plan is that the cash can be used for other things as well as the fees for the funeral. If there are any invoices for hospital treatment, for example, the funds could be used to pay this off. When you are searching for this kind of policy it will either be termed as Burial Insurance or Final Expense Insurance.
The benefits of burial or final expense insurance include being able to choose who you wish the beneficiary to be. It could be a close family friend, one of your children or a business associate. Whomever you choose, it is recommended that you talk to them about what you want to happen with the benefit after you have passed away. If you have certain people of companies you wish to receive some money, then this should be pointed out to the beneficiary after the policy is started. These policies allow the beneficiary to spend the money as they see fit if there have been no specific instructions from the deceased. Nominated beneficiaries are also normally able to keep any left over money as their own.
If you open a single policy or name one of your children as a beneficiary, most insurers recommend that the policy is placed in trust. This is usually for tax related purposes and could prevent any hiccups or queries in relation to tax. There is the option of taking out a joint policy with your partner, however, it should be noted that it is highly unlikely that the insurance company will pay anything out after the first death. Subsequent deaths ordinarily do not receive any further death benefit from the policy.
Getting death insurance is very easy and can be done in person, on the telephone or via the internet. Many insurance agents and companies have their own websites where you can fill in a quick application form. Depending on the type of policy you are after, you may not need to provide any details of your medical history or undergo an examination by a physician.
Putting off buying death insurance is something that we should all rectify as soon as possible. If you leave it too late then it may be too late! Having the mechanisms in place to pay your funeral costs and to pay off any debts will give you peace of mind so that you can enjoy your remaining years.