Are you considering pre-planning your funeral services?
Wondering where to start with funding your final arrangements?
In the funeral business there are a few ways to plan ahead for your own services. It is important to understand these multiple options and make the most educated choice for yourself and your family.
Unfunded arrangements are incredibly important and valuable because they take the pressure off your loved ones who may typically get the task of making arrangements.
The first step is to write down your wishes. These documents can then be placed in the in the hands of your funeral director, your clergy, and the person in charge of your arrangements.
In this, you will want to include all your vital statistic information such as birth certificate, will, marriage and divorce documents and more. It can include a list of immediate family to be included in an obituary. It can also include extended family, friends and co-workers that may want to be notified, play a part in the services or have something else to offer of value.
Along with your services, you can also request any merchandise selections, music, service location, flowers, and memorial suggestions. You can set aside clothing, and even pictures to be used during the final arrangements.
These types of arrangements are usually categorized as un-funded, as they are simply a plan, and the associated costs are unknown at the time, if there are any.
Trusts and Insurance are considered funded arrangements. They are designed to offset the costs associated with the funeral services.
Using a trust for pre-planning final arrangements
A trust allows monies, usually a lump sum, to be set aside for a specific use. They need to be set as ‘irrevocable’ meaning the funds are only to be used for the designated person’s funeral or cremation services. This arrangement guarantees the plan. It means that the prices of services and merchandise will be guaranteed at the quoted price when the trust is written with no increase.
Using an Insurance Policy for pre-planning final arrangements
Insurance policies can be arranged in several different manners of payment. They can be done in a lump sum, 2 years (24 months), 5 years (60 months) and very occasionally, 10 years. Premiums are set and based on age and there are usually very few health questions. These policies are also set as irrevocable and guaranteed.
It is important to note there are both guaranteed and non-guaranteed items when pre-arranging final arrangements. Some items simple cannot be guaranteed due to the fact that the funeral homes cannot control those prices. Both trusts and insurance policies can guarantee the services and merchandise, and set aside money for non-guaranteed items.
Both financial options are transferrable to any funeral/cremation provider of your choice. Most people do not know that in most states, it is their right to move their trusts and insurance at any time to any funeral or cremation provider they wish. When considering this, the beneficiary needs to assure that the receiving provider will guarantee the products and services at the prices that were originally set in the original paperwork.
For questions about pre-planning final arrangements, transferring trusts or how we do funeral services differently, contact Heflebower Funeral and Cremation Services today!