There are so many costs associated with aging. We often think of planning for things like long-term care or medical expenses as we age. However, one important expense we often fail to plan for are funerals. Planning for the expenses of funerals is definitely not the most pleasant topic to contemplate. Yet the average funeral cost can go as high as $10,000 or more. Knowing this may put your loved ones in a place of financial burden, there are several ways to plan ahead.

U.S. News discusses this often overlooked part of planning for aging and end of life. Not unlike purchasing a car or house, funerals are one of life’s largest expenses. People understandably avoid this difficult topic. Consequently, families are often left with no plans, financially or otherwise. Caskets and headstones seem like common sense. But various other costs add up quickly.

So what are your options for planning ahead? Prepaid funeral plans can guarantee a lot of things. However, there are downsides to this. The funeral home you paid could go out of business by the time it’s needed. Additionally, there’s no way to completely guarantee your money will be spent the way you wanted.

According to the nonprofit Funeral Consumers Alliance, prepaid plans have many risks. Due to this, they suggest using a burial insurance. Or put money in an account and designate a trusted individual to use the money as needed for your funeral.

Options are available if funeral expenses cannot be covered. You can consider donating your body to medical research. Some choose to become organ donors too. Another option is having a cremation or burial, and forgoing a service. But always do your research on these alternative options. Of course, these are best decided well in advance.

Ultimately, it’s important to make sure your funeral goes how you want it to. This is more important than how elaborate or costly your plans are. Maybe you want a traditional service. Or perhaps just a small get-together to honor your life. Either way, make sure to plan in advance. It will save your loved ones unneeded financial and emotional burdens. They can then say goodbye, knowing your wishes will be carried out.