The Xpress Version:

  • Crowdfunding has helped a lot of people with their funerals, but there are a lot of people who never get their goals met.
  • Life insurance is a reliable way to ensure the financial security of your family and friends.

When you’re sitting at your computer scrolling through your Facebook feed, nothing tugs at the heartstrings quite like a memorial campaign on a crowdfunding site.

Closure is important, and fulfilling a loved ones’ final wishes or giving them a proper sendoff can help you cope with that loss. Family members and friends have had some success flocking to crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe to help raise money for final expenses and other costs.

“The ‘Funerals, Memorials & Tributes’ category is among our largest,” GoFundMe’s Media Director Kelsea Little said in 2016. “Since our launch in May of 2010, more than $340 million has been raised in this category across over 113,000 campaigns.”

That’s a lot of money. However, you’ll seldom see a campaign that takes off as well as the ones you see on Facebook and Twitter. Scrolling through the “memorial” section of these websites can be heartbreaking because of all the goals that will never be met.

It’s nice to see strangers donating to a good cause, but you can’t rely on people you don’t know.

Let’s say it like it is: Death is scary. Talking about death, let alone your own death can get uncomfortable. But putting family members, friends and strangers in the position to register for a crowdfunding campaign to get you a proper sendoff can be beyond uncomfortable for them. In a time of grieving, finances should be the last thing your family and friends are worried about.

Life insurance policies provide a payout (cash benefit) to the individuals you choose (beneficiaries) after your passing. This money can be used for whatever the beneficiary wants, but it’s typically used to help pay toward final expenses.

There seems to be a misconception about what exactly “final expenses” actually means. While some companies use that term as a friendlier way of saying “funeral” and “burial”, it’s really a term that encompasses everything that comes along with the passing of a family member: Paying off remaining debts, cost of caring for dependents left behind and more.

John Chick’s award-winning essay on how the lack of life insurance impacted his family is a sobering reality of how much an insurance policy can help.

“My dad didn’t have life insurance, and life after his death was a major financial struggle for my mom and me,” Chick told Life Happens. “My mom worked all the time just to pay the bills and hold on to the house that my dad built for us. Life was tough, and there was the constant threat of losing the house.”

It’s cliché for a reason: Peace of mind has the same price as that cup-of-coffee your co-worker gets every day.