Did you know that the average cost of a funeral in the United States is $7,640? That figure includes a casket, funeral home services, and burial expenses such as a headstone and plot. However, if your loved one served in the armed forces, a veteran’s funeral service can be quite a bit different in cost and scale.
Would you like to learn more about planning your veteran’s funeral service? Here are some of the steps to take when you arrange a veteran’s funeral for your loved one.
Look Into VA Expense Coverage
The Department of Veterans Affairs, or the VA, will cover quite a bit of our funeral expenses if the veteran was discharged honorably or with a disability. If your loved one wants to be buried in a national cemetery, then the funeral service and headstone marker will be completely free.
Depending on the circumstances of your loved one’s death, the VA can cover some of the funding for the actual funeral. For instance, you will get reimbursed if they died in a VA hospital. You may also get a cash reimbursement for their service to apply towards general funeral expenses.
Since many of these benefits are not automatic, you should gather all necessary paperwork and documentation to submit your veteran’s benefits application. For reimbursement by the VA, you will also need copies of your expense receipts for funeral essentials, such as the service and the casket.
Arrange Military Honors
If your loved one had an honorable discharge from military service, then they qualify for free military honors at their funeral. When you plan a veteran’s funeral, see if they specify the military honors in their will as a desired part of the funeral service.
Military funeral arrangements include draping the casket with the American flag and presenting the folded version to the veteran’s next of kin. This is usually a spouse or child, who can keep the folded flag as a memory of the veteran.
Once you decide if your loved one will have a traditional military funeral, you need to communicate with the funeral director. That way, he or she can make arrangements and tailor the veteran’s funeral service accordingly.
Bereavement counseling is a great option for any loved ones after a veteran’s funeral, but it can be a vital part of the healing process. The VA has free grief counseling available to family members of deceased veterans.
There are also many nonprofit organizations that offer bereavement counseling for families of service members. Unlike VA counseling, you do not need to be an immediate family member of a deceased veteran in order to receive therapy.
Plan a Perfect Veteran’s Funeral
You should not have to stress while planning a veteran’s funeral for your loved one. With these tips, you can make plans quickly and focus on remembering their life and service.
Would you like to learn more about types of funeral services? Contact us today to get more information or to visit one of our funeral homes.
Our family-owned funeral homes, Kuzo and Foulk, are here to help the Kennett Square, West Grove, and surrounding PA communities. Whether that’s with preplanning, a death in the family, cremation, a casket, the funeral service, or a funeral director, we’re here for you. Contact us for all of your funeral needs.