How to Pay for a Funeral in Detroit

The truth is that we never want to think about death and dying or how we’ll pay for a loved one’s final arrangements after they pass on. But planning ahead and knowing your options might just save you, not just this holiday season but in those dark days when you’re grieving their loss.

If you’re wondering how to pay for a funeral, here are some of the most common ways:

  1. Pre-paid funerals
  2. A life insurance policy
  3. Cash or savings
  4. Retirement accounts
  5. Government benefits, including Veterans Affairs ( VA ) or Social Security

More about these options:

  1. Prepaid funerals

Pre-planning a funeral is a great way to ensure that your final wishes are fulfilled, no matter what your budget is. Typically, pre-paid funerals pay for themselves over time because you lock in today’s prices and eliminate inflationary costs.

Typically, pre-paid funerals involve paying for a funeral in advance; therefore, you can rest easy knowing that your final expenses will be covered. If the future becomes too difficult to predict, then perhaps you could end up saving yourself, not just this holiday season but many more down the road.

  1. A life insurance policy

If you have a life insurance policy, then it will pay for your final expenses after death – not only the funeral but also things like any outstanding debt, estate taxes, and probate fees. But if this isn’t the case, then there are other options to consider…

  1. Cash or savings

This option is simple. If you have the saved-up money to pay for your funeral, then it’s probably an easy choice. But if you’re considering this option, keep in mind that family members will need the cash soon after the death occurs. So whether it’s a bank account or other investments, they’ll need quick access to the funds.

  1. Retirement accounts

This option is simple: if you have a retirement account and it will survive beyond death ( i.e., life insurance or an annuity won’t pay out to heirs ) then your family could use that money to cover the costs of your final expenses after death, including funeral expenses. In fact, you can even name a beneficiary for your retirement accounts to ensure that the funds are passed on properly.

  1. Government benefits, including Veterans Affairs (VA) or Social Security

In some cases, a person’s funeral expenses might be covered by government benefits. For instance, if you’re receiving money from the VA then your family may be able to use that money to pay for your funeral expenses. And if you’re receiving Social Security payments, then your family may be able to receive the death benefit from the government before they even file a claim on your estate.

History of Funeral Homes and Direct Cremation Services in Detroit

Detroit is a city with a long history, and while it is not longer the same city it was during its prosperous peak, it still has many local family businesses that have remained for generations. While many families who settle in the area have moved away, there are still some who have lived here and continue to work here. Today we are going to examine the history of some of the funeral homes in Detroit.

Oldest Black Owner Funeral Service

The James H. Cole funeral home in Detroit can trace its origins back more than a century, to 1919 when it was founded in the African-American community known as black bottom. The funeral home has the honorary distinction of being the first black owned funeral home in the Motor City. The tradition has been passed down through generations as the funeral parlor is still owned and operated by the kids and grandchildren of James H. Cole. To learn more about the history of this historic Detroit business, check out this article in the Michigan Chronicle.

Another Centennial Funeral Home

While it is no longer technically within the Detroit city limits, the Verheyden funeral home in nearby Grosse Pointe has been serving the greater Metro Detroit area for more than one hundred and twenty years. The funeral home was founded by Charles Verheyden on Mack Avenue in the year 1908. It moved from Detroit to its current nearby location in 1941. With such a long and storied history, the Verheyden family continues to provide funeral, cremation, and memorial services to the citizens of Detroit and nearby communities.

Cremation Trends in Detroit

As cremation has become an increasingly popular option in recent years, how has this trend impacted the funeral home industry in Detroit? In 2008, the owner of the now closed down Jarzembowski Funeral Home stated that one quarter of his business now involved cremations, but back in 1981 his funeral service provided 325 traditionally funerals and only one cremation. And in the more than decade since then cremation has only become increasingly popular. More and more Detroit funeral homes are finding that they continue to generate more and more of their business through the much more affordable cremation packages than their more traditional funeral packages.

Different Types of Funeral and Cremation Services

If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of researching funeral homes or looking for direct cremation services in Detroit, you may be confused about what some of the options are. A traditional funeral package will include everything that is normally associated with funerals. It will involve embalming the deceased, having a viewing of their body displayed in a casket, and a traditional funeral service followed by a burial. A simple or traditional cremation still involves the process of embalming and displaying the body and holding a memorial service, but rather than burying the deceased they are cremated. A direct cremation is where the body is not embalmed or displayed and is simply cremated. At this point a memorial service is optional.

The History of Detroit

First settled by European settles in 1701, Detroit is an old city with a long and proud history of traditions. Home to the Big Three automakers and an impressively long list of musical performers, Detroit is the largest city in Michigan. Be sure to check out our website as we will continue to provide our readers with informative updates on the history of the cremation and funeral industries in Detroit.