Please, no flowers. And rather than giving to the charity of your choice in honor of the deceased, how about a donation to help defray funeral costs instead?
As Vice reports, a cottage industry has emerged that uses donations from friends, relatives or anyone else so inclined to help families afford services for their loved ones. While a death might seem like a strangely private affair to open to the public, funeral costs are often more than many families can afford. Fox Business prices the average funeral service at $10,000, and burial services can run an additional three grand. Cremation is cheaper, usually totalling about $4,000, but still more than many families can cobble together — especially on short notice.
Funerals alone are also just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to a death’s financial implications. If the deceased was a household breadwinner, or had debts, crowdsourcing provides a way for surviving relatives to make ends meet. The growing network of funeral crowdfunding websites — which include FuneralFund, Giveforward, Donationto, and GracefulGoodbye — can help ensure that donations aren’t misused. One Giveforward initiative, for example, stipulated that all donations would first go to the funeral, and then to the family’s education fund.
For those who want to save money on after-death costs, but are uncomfortable asking strangers to help, there are also plenty of ways to make your funeral more frugal. DailyFinance suggests a burial at sea (which can cost as little as $100), getting a discount coffin at Walmart, or choosing a natural burial and forgoing a coffin altogether.