Being one step ahead can help you make the right decisions regarding your own funeral arrangements. You make a price comparison of the packages offered by different funeral providers, and decide on certain details you like them to follow. By making pre-arrangements with a funeral company, you can free your loved ones from the stress involved in making these tough decisions during a time of grief.
When it comes to planning a pre-need such as this, it is important to consider where your remains will be buried or scattered. The sudden death of a loved one leaves most of its family members in confusion. They often buy a cemetery plot without giving it much thought or visiting the site. So, it is important to purchase cemetery plots in advance before they are actually needed.
It is best to put everything you prefer in black and white, then give copies to your lawyer and family, while keeping your own copy in a convenient place. Don't include these preferences in your will, since these will only be read after the funeral. Also, do not keep your copy in a safety deposit box because it may take time to open, if it is needed on a holiday or weekend.
Millions of Americans have signed contracts with regards to their funeral arrangements, as well as partial or total prepayment of the expenses involved. The prepayment of funeral products and services are governed by the laws of the particular states. Several states have laws to guarantee that prepayments will be able to cover the expenses for funeral products and services whenever needed. However, protections can vary from one state to another, and the laws of some states provide little or no protection whatsoever. Other states require funeral homes or cemeteries to place part of the prepayment in a state-regulated trust, or to buy a life insurance policy where the death benefits are allotted to the funeral home/cemetery.
If you are considering the prepayment of funeral products and services, it is crucial to think about the following issues before releasing any money:
- What does your payment cover? Are you buying products, such as a casket and vault, or do they also include funeral services?
- Where does your prepaid money go? States have various requirements when it comes to handling the money paid for prearranged funeral services.
- What will happen to the incurred income coming from the prepayment placed in a trust account?
- Do you have any protection in case the firm you chose closes its business?
- If ever you change your mind, can the contract be cancelled? Will you receive a full refund?
- What happens when you die away from home or move to another location? There are prepaid funeral plans that can be transferred at an additional cost.
It is important for your family to know about your plans, especially where the legal documents have been filed. Otherwise, your preferences may not be followed. If your family does not know that you prepaid your own funeral costs, chances are they could pay again for similar arrangements. To make sure that your wishes are granted, it would be best to consult a lawyer who specializes in such arrangements.
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