What Is Pre-arrangement?

Prearrangement is the planning of funeral services before the need arises, often years before the death occurs.  A funeral director records your wishes for the type of service desired, music and flowers, casket selection, and other information. You and your family receive a copy of the arrangements, and the funeral home keeps a copy as well.  Keeping these records in an accessible place is important to surviving family members.

Why Pre-arrange?

People prearrange funerals for many reasons.  Some have definite preferences concerning the funeral service or merchandise, and want their families to be informed and involved in the decisions.  Others want to save their survivors from having to make the decisions at a difficult and confusing time.

Some individuals who have been faced with making selections for loved ones may wish to spare others from the indecision, guessing, emotion, or anxiety they experienced.  Still others may prearrange because no one else is capable of making responsible decisions.  Many like the benefit of financial savings that come from prepaying expenses.  In any case, funeral pre-arrangement can alleviate many concerns and is often viewed as an element of estate planning.

If I pre-arrange, do I have to pre-pay?

No, although families choose to for many reasons. Pre-paying your funeral alleviates financial concerns, preventing an unnecessary burden at a time of loss. It ensures funds are available when needed.  Pre-paying your funeral can help offset inflation, allowing you to pay tomorrow's costs as today's prices.

What Are some of my pre-financing options?

  1. Full Payment…..  paying fully for the services you desire, your family will never have to for any expenses.
  2. Partial Payments…..  paying any amount you decide.  When you decide.  This method allows you to budget and pay more towards your funeral plan at any time you wish.
  3. Funeral Insurance Funding…..   After deciding what you want in terms of arrangements, and what it will cost you, you can then apply for Funeral Funding through an insurance policy.  Rates you pay vary depending on your age and the amount of money you require.

Generally, trust and life insurance provide ways to fund your choices.  Each provides a different set of advantages and options.

Trusts can be revocable or irrevocable.  In most cases, they are revocable, meaning that funds can be withdrawn at any time.  At the time of death, however, these funds can be paid directly to the funeral home upon presentation of the death certificate.  The process assures your funeral expenses are cared for.

Trusts are often used to protect an individual's assets and solve some estate consequences.  For those in nursing homes, for example, this method helps assure that funds will be available long after all other finances are depleted.  Taxes on earnings are deferred until the time of death, and in some cases can be an excellent estate planning tool.

With life insurance, coverage often begins the day you apply for a policy, and you may not be required to hold your policy for a specified period of time before you receive full benefits.  This funding helps assure you're financially cared for no matter when death occurs.  Flexible payment plans may also be available.

In most cases, the use of services indicated at the time of pre-arrangements, means no additional cost should be incurred at the time of death.

What if my wishes change?

If the funeral preparations take place at a funeral home other than the one prearranged with, records of your preferences can be transferred.  If funds were in a trust, they normally will be paid to the funeral home providing services.

Your wishes can be changed at anytime.  You are under no obligation to stay with a particular funeral home, such as moving or a preference of choice to deal with another firm.  There are no charges to switch from one funeral home to another.  Its always a good idea to do a regular review of your wishes, but always remember to keep your executor and family members up to date with any changes.

How Do You Prearrange ?

Services can be planned for you and your family members at a convenient time by contacting the funeral director to discuss the selection of merchandise and services.  Simply ask the funeral director of your choices, either at the firm or in the comfort of your own home.  This simple gesture of consideration can help your family.  Funeral arranging before the need arises is thoughtful and easy to do.

Pre-Paid Funds Are Protected

All Pre Arranged/Pre Paid funds are placed in trust and are protected through The Board of Funeral Service Compensation Fund.