How To Save Money on Burial and Funeral – Donate Your Body to Science

I don’t know anyone that likes to talk about dying. But you know, it’s a fact of life that we are all going to die one day.  We’re born, we live our lives, we pass away.  Recently a friend’s husband passed away and in hearing about some of the costs to lay her husband to rest it hit me that dying is an expensive business nowadays.  According to AARP, the typical funeral costs $8000!

My frugal Grandma passed away on her birthday in 2007.  Grandma had had Alzheimer’s for the last ten years of her life and her cognitive moments were far and few between by the time she was moved into hospice.  On her 93rd birthday she slept while most of her family gathered around her to celebrate her life.  Later that evening she passed peacefully, leaving on the same date that she arrived.

The inscribed cover of the burial vault beneat...

The inscribed cover of the burial vault beneath the monument, on display during the funeral service. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My mother was very distraught and so it was with great relief that we learned that a very lovely memorial service had been planned many decades earlier, by my frugal grandmother.

You see, she had contracted with a funeral home decades earlier, laying out the plans for it was time to meet her Maker, (cremated and no open casket) and  had paid on an installment plan specifically to avoid burdening her family with the costs of a funeral.  I have no idea how much she paid over the years, but I would imagine many hundreds, if not a few thousand dollars. I have always felt this was amazingly thoughtful of my Grandma. I briefly considered doing something similar, but never pursued the idea.

I have two other friends who are elderly who have been paying for their burial and memorial service on a time payment plan which they’ve been paying on for years.  I wonder if back in the 50s or 60s there were door to door funeral salesmen?

I am certain that I do not want a lot of money spent on my body once I’ve expired.  I know that I’m going to a better place when I die, and I’m not too concerned with what happens to this shell that my soul resides in after I’m gone.  Having heard that cremation is inexpensive, I figured I would put that into my last will and testament at some point in time.

But the other day I heard about another option.  My husband told me his sister is planning to donate her body to science.  My interest was piqued so off I went to do a quick Google search.

Well!   I think I just bypassed my Grandma in frugality (at least in one area)! 

I think I’ll donate my body to science after I die.  One of the sites I looked into is Medcure.org.   According to their site your body will be cremated at a licensed crematorium, your cremated remains will be returns to your family within 4-6 weeks (or “a scattering at sea can be arranged), all at no cost!

I never considered how important a dead body could be!  They explain everything on this site, including how your body will be used, and there are also testimonials from happy family members.  Interesting.

It’s pretty simple.  You just sign up and they send you donor cards to keep in your wallet in the event you meet your demise earlier than later.

Have you given any thought to this grim topic?  Do you plan to spend a lot of money or would you consider taking the frugal option of donating your body to science?

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13 comments to How To Save Money on Burial and Funeral – Donate Your Body to Science

  • Diane

    That is the best idea I’ve ever heard. A win for all sides. Off to check it out.

    [Reply]

  • Almost 15 years ago, I made the last premium payment on my funeral insurance bought through a local funeral home. The younger you sign up for it, the better off you’ll be as the premiums are lower and the funeral you select is locked in even if the price goes up by the time you die. Also, because it’s insurance, if you die before paying all the premiums for what is usually a 5-year term, your funeral insurance is considered paid up and you receive the funeral you ordered even if you’ve only made one premium payment! When my husband and I became engaged, that was one of the first things we did: get him funeral insurance too. The funeral home establishes a file for you with your music preferences, preacher, Bible readings, whatever you want.

    It’s an altruistic gesture to donate your body to science; but if it doesn’t appeal to your sensibilities and you don’t want you or your loved one iced, sliced, and diced, consider contacting your family’s favorite funeral parlor and asking if they offer funeral insurance through a reputable company.

    It’s very comforting to know that when that time comes, my family will pretty much only have to pick out what clothes to show me in. If the funeral and trimmings such as a luncheon come in under the cost projected, your family gets the rest of the insurance money.

    [Reply]

  • Anna

    Believe it or not, there is actually a hold on accepting any more bodies for donation at some of our state universities. So many people have chosen this option that they have a surplus of donors far into the future. So don’t count on this as an option for your relatives to chose when you die, this may take some pre-planning on your part.

    A waiting line to donate your body to science. Who would have thought?

    [Reply]

  • Someone called in and requested information about MedCure after reading your blog post. I went online and found it and wanted to say thank you for the mention! We are always grateful for help in educating people about the option to donate their body.

    Regarding the comment above from Anna that “there is a hold on accepting any more bodies” – please understand this is donating to a university directly.

    The beauty of MedCure is that we work with so many medical researchers, universities and educators that we have the opposite problem – donors are very much needed! We also have a larger acceptance criteria which helps people who want to donate but may have had a disease or condition which makes them ineligible for other donation programs.

    We welcome questions 24 hours every day so feel free to use us as a resource. 🙂

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi Valere, that’s great, thanks for letting me know! I’m also glad you clarified the hold situation and that your company is not in the same position. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
    Mrs. Accountability recently posted..One Day We Will Get Out of DebtMy Profile

    [Reply]

  • I never thought of donating my body just to save money. I think I might disagree with you on that one.
    Mark Ross recently posted..How To Enroll On Metrobank Direct Online BankingMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi Mark, you share the opinion of others to be sure. Just be sure to prepare for your demise so that your loved ones don’t have to foot the bill. I’m sure you will do that. 🙂

    [Reply]

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