Experts: Teens, young adults main demographic using online donations for funerals

Funerals can be expensive. And many people resort to social media to fund their final goodbyes. Nowadays, people are depending on donations to bury loved ones, but that method can be risky.

Baby Jay wasn’t even 1-years-old when she died last month.  Godmother Willette Hudson told News Channel 6 that’s why nobody ever thought she would need a life insurance policy.

“She was just a baby.  She was only eight months old,” Hudson explained.  “They didn’t have time to get that for her.”

Hudson lost Ja’Karheyonna Hogues-Double after she was left with a relative in a hot car.  She and the family didn’t know how they would get the cash to bury their baby.

“How we gone get this up.  I only work at Walmart so we don’t make enough money for all that,” she said.

Hudson turned to GoFundMe to raise enough to cover funeral expenses.  She is not alone.

With 60 years in the funeral business, Charlie Reid has seen his share of people scrambling to come up with funds after death.

“A lot of people don’t carry insurance. They don’t set up pre-planning services so that presents a problem,” Reid said.

He tells us a lot of young people, mainly teens and people in their 20s and 30s who don’t expect to die, have nothing.

He said, “It is very difficult with the cemeteries and it is very difficult with the vault people and with the casket distributors because all of these people want to be paid up front.”

Reid said people should expect to pay $8,000 to $10,000 to bury a loved one.  He suggests getting life insurance or setting up a bank account that is payable on death (POD) in order to avoid donations that may come up short or online giving that takes off the top.

“If you figure that you have $1100 there, by the time that they deduct their fees you might not have no more than $700 or $800,” he explained.

We learned that people invest in home insurance more than life insurance or even short term insurance.  But covering your life can be just as affordable.

State Farm agent Hoke Brantley told us, “There are small policies like death or burial insurance and that’s usually anywhere between five to ten thousand dollars.  Those are things that can be bought for $10 to $12 per month.”

The biggest concept people must realize is that a plan needs to be in place.  Reid said some older people have policies, but sometimes those lapse without the policy owner realizing it.  That’s why it’s important that older people talk with their families about their wishes.  Also, those families should stay on top of what is current and what isn’t.

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