Why You Should Prearrange Your Funeral
All too often, prearrangement, like a last will and testament, falls victim to simple procrastination. Good intentions never placed into action. As a result, surviving family members are forced to make some of life's most difficult decisions under the most difficult circumstances.
In addition to the emotional peace of mind that comes with planning ahead of time, there are some very real financial considerations. By prearranging your funeral, your family can lock in today's prices for tomorrow's needs.
Everyday we at Gethers Funeral Home, Inc. see first hand the many benefits of planning ahead. Sadly, however, we also see the many problems that confront those who don't plan ahead. That is why we sincerely believe every family should plan their funeral and burial arrangements before they are needed. Our trained specialists can help your family through decisions under the best of circumstances, and without pressure.
What are the benefits of pre-need planning?
Pre-need planning involves choosing funeral service options for yourself or a family member before the time of need. Some individuals select all the details of the service, while others prefer to leave some options for the family to decide. Planning can be done with or without funding the service at the same time. Making these difficult decisions ahead of time:
What are the advantages of pre-funding?
- Gives you the time needed to research the funeral provider, personalized location for services, and price.
- Allows you to personlize your service, making it as simple or traditional as you want.
- Eliminates second-guessing the wishes of the deceased at the time of death.
- Removes a tremendous burden from your family on what is certain to be one of the worst days of their lives.
Some individuals choose to provide funding for a funeral while making a pre-need plan. While this is not required, it does have certain benefits:
- Paying at today's prices guarantees that the funeral service will be carried out at no additional cost to the family.
- Pre-paying a funeral prevents other life insurance policies from being depleted at the time of a loved one's death.
- Allows you to consider cost effective options at a time when you are better prepared to make sound, fiscally responsible decisions.
- Gives you the flexibility to make payments - into an insurance policy, annuity, or trust account.
- Allows you to shelter assets when applying for Medicaid benefits. *Under Federal Title 19, pre-paid funeral expenses up to a designated dollar amount are not considered assets by Medicaid.
*Information compiled from Richard Lamb New Traditions Funerals
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN PLANNING AHEAD AT A FUNERAL HOME
You plan for your frst home, your child's education and your retirement. Having and keeping an organized plan is helpful toward being prepared and living comfortably in the future. More and more families are realizing this, as well as the benefits of planning their funerals ahead of time.
Many people often feel a little uneasy when they think about their own, or a loved one's funeral. This is a normal reaction. But preplanning a funeral can offer a surprising degree of emotional, and sometimes even financial, security. It can also relieve your family of having to make important organizational and financial decisions during a period of stress and grief. A preplanned funeral gives your family peace of mind, knowing your funeral service was conducted according to your wishes.
There are various ways you can plan a funeral. Whether you choose to preplan, prearrange or even prepay, make a decision that feels right.
Some funeral homes are not licensed and bonded to offer pre-arranged services, paid in advance for burials and cremation, however, we are at Gethers Funeral Home Inc. It is not necessary to pay for your services at this time in advance, if you do not care to do so, but, we are licensed and bonded through the SC Department of Consumer Affairs in the event that you do. For added protection, please make sure that any SC funeral home you deal with is licensed and bonded through the state of South Carolina's Department of Consumer Affairs. If they are not, then any pre-need money given to a funeral director is not protected and the funeral home is in violation of SC Consumer Protection Laws.
Choose a licensd funeral director who has a good reputation in the community. Have at least one family member sit in during arrangements to help plan. Make sure your plan is flexible enough to allow for alterations. Make sure everything you talk about is put into writing. Get copies for you and your family.
WHAT TYPES OF CONTRACTS ARE AVAILABLE?
- Guaranteed Contract: If the contract is guaranteed, the funeral home promises to provide the funeral goods and services described in the contract regardless of the funeral home's costs at the time of performance.
- Non-Guaranteed Contract: If the contract is non-guaranteed, the cost of the funeral is subject to increase. The funeral director agrees to provide the goods and services at his/her prevailing rates at the time of need. Gethers Funeral Home offers non-guaranteed price contracts when all of the funding is not paid at the time of the contract.
- Revocable Contract: If the contract is revocable, the parties can cancel the contract and all, or a portion of, the initial investment and interest is returned.
- Irrevocable Contract: If the contract is irrevocable, the parties cannot cancel the contract. The South Carolina Department of Social Services requires preneed funeral contracts to be irrevocable to exempt funds from consideration as assets when determining eligibility for Medicaid or financial assistance.
The Top 10 Reasons Why Advance Funeral Planning Makes Sense
There are many reasons to prearrange and prefund your funeral. Listed below are some important factors to consider when making this decision.
Why Advance Planning?
1. Regarded as an Exempt Asset...When you apply for Medicaid, SSI Benefits, Federal Bankruptcy, or apply for Nursing Home Care.
2. It's Transferable... If you should move out of state, or simply choose another funeral home, your Advance Funeral Plan can transfer with you.
3. Your cost will not increase... When you plan and fund your funeral in advance, it is purchased at today's prices. Your family will not experience the rising costs of inflation.
4. Optional Payment Plans.. Single and Multi-year payment plans are available. If death should occur before the payments are completed, the funeral plan may be paid in full, depending on the plan.
5. A Program for Everyone... Based on your overall health condition, your Advance Planning Professional has a plan that will work for you.
6. Consumer Friendly... After your funeral, if excess monies remain, they may be returned to your beneficiaries tax-free.
7. Protects your loved ones... By planning and funding your funeral in advance, your family will experience less stress and avoid spending too much.
8. Peace of mind... By knowing that your funeral is taken care of. You will receive the funeral your arranged, at the price you agreed to.
9. 30-Day Free Look... If you should change your mind, you have 30 days to cancel and receive a full refund.
10. Solid Program, Solid Decision... Advance Funeral Planning is endorsed by lawyers, trust officers, and financial planners as an effective way to provide for final expenses and preserve your assets for your beneficiaries.