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By Martha C. White
July 20, 2016
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Sure, some people may think it’s tacky, but it’s become commonplace to launch a crowdfunding campaign and hit up people for money to get married, go on a honeymoon, or buy a house. But according to a new study from NerdWallet.com, the latest crowdfunding trend is considerably more somber in nature: Getting friends and family to kick in for funeral and burial expenses after a loved one kicks the bucket.

NerdWallet looked at data from four crowdfunding sites — GiveForward, GoFundMe, Plumfund, and YouCaring—and found that funeral funds are one of the fastest-growing categories. GoFundMe has raised $340 million for 113,000 funeral and burial funds since its inception in 2010, an average of $3,000 per campaign. According to GiveForward, one in five fundraisers on its site are for funerals, and they’re growing at twice the rate of other causes.

Read next: How Not to Fail at your Crowdfunding Campaign

This could all be because it’s basically getting too expensive to die for many people. At the median, funerals cost almost $7,200 — no small chunk of change for someone who passes away with debts that eat up the estate, or whose immediate family is too cash-strapped to cover the costs. Another problem, NerdWallet noted, is that people aren’t buying life insurance policies — which generally pay for funeral costs — nearly as much anymore. Between 2001 and 2014, policy sales fell by nearly a third. On top of that, many people are not saving enough to cover unexpected expenses like funerals. In fact, a Bankrate survey last month found that more than a quarter of Americans have no emergency savings at all.

To keep your loved ones from having to scramble, here are a few ways to advance plan for funeral costs.

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