Pre-planning is the process of prearranging and possibly pre-funding funeral merchandise and services to be provided in the future. Many people plan for life events such as weddings and vacations well in advance, but many people do not plan for something that is certain to happen, their funeral. While most people do not want to think about their own mortality, the time to pre-plan your funeral is now. The primary advantages of pre-arranging your funeral is to relieve the burden on your loved ones in an already emotional time, and to ensure your funeral is carried out according to your wishes, eliminating the task of second-guessing what you would have wanted. It is also important to keep in mind how your wishes will go hand in hand with helping your survivors cope with their loss.
Taking the time now to arrange your funeral is one less thing your loved ones will need to worry about once you’ve passed. Pre-planning and pre-paying your funeral can be one of the most thoughtful gifts you can give to your family.
What you can do in advance…
- Decide on Burial or Cremation and your casket or urn type.
- Pick what type of service you want (religious, military, non-traditional)
- Choose which funeral home to use.
- Designate your pallbearers, pick any music or readings you want at your service.
Benefits of Pre-Planning
- Between 70 and 75 decisions are made within the first 24-48 hours of death. It’s difficult to think rationally while making so many decisions within days of losing someone, pre-planning gives yourself, family and friends peace of mind. Pre-planning gives your loved ones direction of your wants and desires.
- It’s easy. Anyone can do it, and you can change your mind at any time.
Pre-planning your funeral can be very informal, and as simple as jotting down your wishes and sharing these wishes with your family. By pre-planning your funeral, you relieve your family of having to make important financial decisions during a period of great stress at a time when people aren't thinking very clearly and may not know what to do because you never made your wishes known.
When one prepays a funeral, they are placing the cost of the funeral (using today's prices) in an investment vehicle, so that the interest earned will keep up with inflation to cover the cost of the funeral (at future prices). There are two types of trust accounts that can be established in New York State depending on your financial situation: irrevocable and revocable.
Only SSI or Medicaid recipients, or applicants, can establish an irrevocable account. Applicants/Recipients of SSI/Medicaid who wish to pre-fund their funeral during the spend down process may set up one irrevocable burial trust inclusive of funeral service & merchandise with no dollar limit as long as the monies are put aside for legitimate funeral expenses. What makes the account irrevocable is the fact that consumers or the funeral director may not remove funds prior to the occurrence of death. Our funeral home guarantees that the interest generated in these accounts will cover any price increases that may happen over time if the funeral is prepaid in full. Should there be more money in the account than what is owed to the funeral home at the time of death, overages must be forwarded to the local County Indigent Burial Fund and cannot be refunded to the family.
You can still prepay your funeral even if you are not on Medicaid, using a more flexible account, which is a revocable trust account. This means that the consumer can remove funds at any time prior to death including the principal and interest without incurring a penalty. It works very similar to a savings account with your local bank except that the fund we use (PrePlan) has a much higher interest rate. If the funeral is prepaid in full, our funeral home guarantees that the interest generated in the account will cover any price increases in our funeral home charges that may happen over time (excluding cash advances). Should there be more money in the account than what is owed to the funeral home at the time of death, any overage can then either be used for additional upgrades to the funeral or simply refunded to the person's estate.
We will be happy to share with you the advantages of funeral preplanning. For more information, and to determine if preplanning is right for your situation, please contact us for an appointment. There is NO fee for pre-arrangement consultation and there will never be any pressure or obligation.