Advance Planning refers to the process and many options available to those who wish to make funeral or cremation plans in advance. The process of planning ahead includes (1) making decisions regarding the type of services an individual prefers and (2) whether or not to put funds aside designated specifically to cover the costs of final services.
Planning Ahead: Why plan and pay ahead?
Planning a funeral or memorial service within hours of a death can be a very difficult experience. There are many details to attend to, and critical decisions must be made, at a time when people are least able to make them.
When you plan your memorial or funeral service in advance, or that of another family member, you have the opportunity to involve other family members and discuss your wishes with them. And, it allows you and your family the time to arrange for special and unique ways to acknowledge your life, or the life of a family member. Once the plans are made, this information can be put on permanent record for safe keeping at the funeral home.
When planning ahead it is also important to decide if you should set aside money to pay for the funeral or memorial service. There are three primary benefits for paying a funeral or memorial service ahead of time.
First, there is the peace of mind you get, in knowing your children, or other family members will not be financially burdened with the expense of the funeral or memorial service.
Second, by choosing a facility that guarantees the funeral or memorial service, you have the assurance that the services you select today, will be provided in the future at no additional cost.
And the final benefit to paying ahead for a memorial or funeral service, is you are able to protect the money from being used for other things - things that may not be as important to you. Also, by making the funding irrevocable, the money can be safeguarded from the costs of a long-term illness.
Not all funeral homes offer a guaranteed funeral plan, even when you pay ahead. Our funeral home offers this service guarantee.
Knowing everything is taken care of, will give both you, and your family, peace of mind.
If you would like to discuss planning a funeral or memorial service, or if you would like more information, we can sit down with you and discuss the choices either in person, over the phone or through our convenient Advance Planning application on our web page.
How to Plan and Pay Ahead
Funeral or memorial services may be planned in advance by setting up an appointment with your funeral director. You can meet at the facility, at your home, or at another location to accommodate others who may wish to join you.
Your plans can be very simple, with just a few basic ideas of what you would like for the service, it can be very detailed - specifying the music, the readings, or other special wishes. In either case, the funeral director will write down all the information you have given and keep it on file. If your wishes change, you can update your file as needed.
There are several ways to pay for a memorial or funeral service ahead of time.
One way is to assign an existing insurance policy as payment for the memorial or funeral service. If this is a good option for you, we can work with your insurance company to make the necessary changes to your policy.
Another method is to set aside money in a trust fund that will be used exclusively to pay for the memorial or funeral service.
Another option (also the most popular, because of the limitations set forth by the state and tax consequences of the previous two options) is to buy an insurance product specifically dedicated to pre-paying the funeral or memorial service.
If you would like more information, or help deciding which option of paying ahead for the funeral or memorial service would be best for you, we can sit down with you and discuss the choices. Contact us by Email, the Advance Planning application, or simply call.