Thinking about death, to say nothing of planning for your own or that of a family member, is often an uncomfortable subject to discuss. Nevertheless, funeral planning before the need arises is an important topic. Planning ahead is certainly not a new concept. People have always prepared wills, purchased life insurance and even selected their own cemetery lot. Funeral planning merely takes this a step further, by meeting with your funeral director to discuss your own arrangements in advance. To assist those that are considering making these important arrangements, we have compiled answers to commonly asked questions concerning funeral planning.
What Are The Advantages Of Preplanning?
There are three major advantages to planning your arrangements in advance.
First, preplanning ensures that all of your final wishes will be fulfilled. Because death is a difficult subject to discuss, often times your true wishes may not be known or fully understood by your family
Second, preplanning can eliminate the financial burden that a funeral might pose on your survivors. And by prepaying, your funeral will cost less now than it would in the future.
Third, preplanning provides you and your family with the peace-of-mind in knowing that everything has been "taken care of" in the manner you specified. It's the best gift you can leave your loved ones.
Do I Have To Prepay For My Funeral Now?
No. Many people just want to have their final arrangements known in advance, even decide upon the type of service and casket, without actually paying for these items. Getting your wishes down in writing is the most important thing. That way, there is no confusion about your intentions at the time of your death.
What Payment Options Are Available?
While some people pay for their funeral in one lump sum, you can also set up a payment plan that's convenient for you. Alternatively, you can use the current value of your existing life insurance to pay for your funeral without ever having to cash in the policy.
What Happens If Funeral Prices Increase?
By prepaying for your arrangements, you can lock in your service at today's lower price. Once your funeral is paid for, we guarantee, in writing, that the total price of the funeral (Services Charges and Merchandise only) will never increase. Other expenses such as cemetery fees, honorarium, obituary notices, etc. may increase. This clearly makes preplanning a financially wise decision.
Are My Prepaid Funeral Funds Secured?
Any funds we receive towards a prepaid funeral are placed into a Trust account, in accordance with state law. No one can access these funds or cancel the trust. By Federal and State law, the funds can only be used to perform the service you selected and the account cashed in only at the time of death.
What if I move out of state and want to use another Funeral Home?
If this is the case, you can submit in writing that this is your wish, and a complete refund of your money will be issued to you and we will forward your information to another Funeral Home if you choose for us to do so.
Should I Compare Different Funeral Homes?
If you have never dealt with a funeral home in the past, you may want to meet with several before you make your decision. All funeral homes in our area offer some sort of preplanning program and all are priced competitively. While price is an important consideration, it should not be the only one. You should also compare things such as the quality of the facilities, professionalism of the staff and their attention to your needs in offering a service that's right for you. Experts agree that these factors will go a long way in assisting your family at a most difficult time. And isn't that the reason why you wanted to preplan in the first place?
Does Everyone Offer The Same Funding Options?
Not exactly. Many funeral homes sell life insurance to fund your funeral. The "Pre-Need Counselor" receives a commission from the insurance company or the funeral home or cemetery that they are employed by on the value of the funeral you buy. The more expensive the funeral, the larger the commission. Because the growth in the policy may not be sufficient to keep pace with rising funeral prices, some funeral homes will not lock in the entire funeral price. By contrast we fund our prepaid funerals exclusively through Trusts; we only get paid when the funeral is performed, not before.
How Can I Begin The Pre-Planning Process?
Just call us to set up an appointment. We can either meet with you in your home, or at one of our funeral homes, and we will try to answer any questions that you should have.
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