Pre-planning a funeral

Thinking about your own funeral leaves most people feeling a little uneasy, but more adults are finding that planning their own service offers great emotional and even financial security for them and their families. With preplanning, families find comfort in knowing that the funeral reflects what their loved one wanted. It also gives them peace of mind to not have to make important decisions at a stressful time.

When you plan ahead, you will be able to consider the many options available. The opportunity will be there to make an informed decision about the funeral, the type of service and final disposition of burial, entombment or cremation. You will have the opportunity to make an informed decision about the funeral and various options pertaining to your needs. The choices will be meaningful to you and your family, and you will gain peace of mind knowing your family and friends will be relieved of the emotional and financial burden often associated with making arrangements when a death occurs. If prefunding your funeral, some funeral homes guarantee their funeral home charges, while others may not. If not a guaranteed funeral trust account, the interest gained on the trust account can offset the inflationary pressures of the future.

As opposed to At-Need arrangements, when the death has already occurred, there are several reasons why families choose to make Pre-need arrangements. Often, when a loved one is in a terminal state, and a family is referred to a hospice care, pre-need arrangements are made. Though the reality of the impending loss is very difficult to adjust to, the funeral director will gently guide the family in planning the funeral. A family in this situation will have the option to place the funds into a trust account at this time. There are two types of trust accounts, irrevocable and revocable. Both types of trust accounts can be transferred from one funeral home to another. Pre-need trust accounts in a majority of cases are irrevocable. This can be as a result of on individual requiring long term care, and is at the point of applying for Medicaid coverage. An irrevocable trust account can only be used for the funeral of the beneficiary of the trust account. The trust account can be transferred to another funeral home, but can never be revoked. A certified death certificate of the beneficiary is the only way the funds can be accessed. A prudent individual, not needing Medicaid, can also establish a pre-need arrangement and place the funds into a revocable trust account for themselves or another family member. A revocable trust account can also be transferred to another funeral home, but unlike the irrevocable trust account, it can be revoked, and the funds returned to the person(s) making the arrangements.