Funeral Pre-Planning

Why Pre-Plan a Funeral?

There are a number of other reasons to pre-plan besides the “Price Guarantee”. These include:

  • Controls emotional overspending at the time of death
  • Funds immediately available to pay for the funeral
  • Relieves family of potential confusing and conflicting decisions concerning the arrangements
  • Family can focus on the grieving and closure process, instead of making arrangement decisions
  • Family has no concerns on how funeral will be paid
  • IMPORTANT – Medicaid asset reduction
    • Medicaid is the service which, among other benefits, provides nursing or long-term care facility payments. Medicare does not. In order to qualify for Medicaid and nursing home expenses covered, you must meet certain income and ASSET VALUATION GUIDELINES. If you are single you must liquidate ANY AND ALL assets (house, car, personal belongings, bank accounts, CASH VALUE OF ANY LIFE INSURANCE…etc.) until you own less than approximately $1500 (varies by state) in assets. Medicaid also has a “5 Year Look Back” to determine eligibility. The means Medicaid can look back 5 years to determine your asset valuation. If someone liquidated assets or gave assets to another person during this time, they may require the nursing be paid that amount before Medicaid begins payment for those services.
    • Provision of the Medicaid qualification rule stipulates that a proper PRE-Planned funeral can eliminate those assets for Medicaid eligibility determination. The amount you paid for your pre-planned funeral is IMMEDIATELY removed from your asset valuation. For example, Grandma has $10,000 in savings. She feels an extended nursing home stay is eminent. If she does nothing, the first $8,500 of nursing home expenses must be paid by her, before Medicaid begins paying for her care. OR, Grandma can Pre-Plan her funeral (an $8,500 funeral) and Medicaid will begin paying all nursing home expenses, beginning day 1. In the first example, the family will be responsible for paying Grandma’s funeral. In the second example, Grandmas’ funeral will be paid for, and she receives the same care, at the same nursing home, BUT, the expenses for that care will totally be paid by Medicaid. There is no “5 year look back” on assets used to pre-pay your funeral.

Traditional Funeral Planning is Broken

Traditional Pre-Need has been around for Decades. “Pre-Need” is merely pre-planning and pre-paying (funding your funeral) prior to your death. Typically you go to a funeral home and talk with the funeral director or his representative. With their guidance, you outline what your funeral will look like. You decide on a traditional or cremation ceremony. If the decision is a traditional funeral, you pick out a casket and vault. You then decide on a viewing schedule. You make decisions about memorial cards, burial location, gravesite services, flowers, music, pretty much everything involved in your funeral.

The funeral director will outline your wishes and prepare what is known as a “Goods and Services” contract. He will outline the costs associated with every aspect of your funeral:

The cost of the funeral directors services:

  • Retrieval of the body
  • Embalming
  • Dressing and casketing of the body
  • Use of the funeral home for viewing and memorial services
  • Limo’s or family cars
  • Gravesite services
  • The casket price
  • The vault Price

What is known as the “Cash Advance” items. These are aspects of your funeral the funeral director does not provide or “sell”. These include:

  • Flowers
  • Obituary
  • Gravesite
  • Opening and closing of the gravesite
  • Certified copies of the death certificate
  • Minister stipend
  • Permits and fees
  • Grave marker and setting

Adding these items together will give you the total price of the funeral you are pre-planning.

The primary feature that funeral home’s use is “Once you pre-plan the price is guaranteed to be the same, no matter when you die” “plan now and LOCK IN today’s prices” In many cases this GUARANTEED PRICING is a fallacy. The items where the price is guaranteed on include items 1 & 2 above. Just the funeral directors services and facility, and the casket price, are included.

BUT, the casket price guarantee isn’t a reality in many cases. When you plan your funeral you choose the make and model of your casket, the price is then determined (the casket price is typically 5 times the funeral director price), and guaranteed. The problem is, models of caskets are constantly changing! You may have chosen a Batesville Model 100 casket. The funeral director includes his retail price of that casket in your “Guaranteed” price. But, when you pass away, the funeral director informs the family that you picked out a casket that is no longer available. He then tells the family a Batesville Model 200 casket is essentially the same casket as the Model 100, except it is $500 more money. The family then has to cover the increased cost of the new model casket. So the casket price REALLY isn‘t guaranteed.

As for the Funeral Director’s services, every funeral home is required by law to make available to anyone who asks, a General Price List (GPL) of the costs of his services. When funeral director creates his GPL, they usually GROSSLY INFLATE the prices that they would do the services for today. If you need a funeral service today – the funeral director will “DISCOUNT” the price of his services to make you feel special. If you are pre-planning your funeral, the inflated prices on his GPL will insure the funeral director will be paid handsomely for his work whenever you pass away.

Now, let’s look at the additional items above, the vault and cash advance items. With these items you are merely “setting aside money” to pay for these. None of these expenses has a guaranteed price.

When you are pre-planning the funeral director will inform you of the cost of the vault, and that amount will be included in the total. If you do not pass away for 10 years, chances are the vault will be more expensive when needed. The family will have to make up the difference. The same holds true for all of the cash advance items.

After you pre-plan your funeral it is now time to pay for it. By law any money paid in advance for a funeral must be placed in a trust or a life insurance product designed to cover funeral expenses. The life insurance product is by far the most common occurrence. This is done because the funeral director makes a nice commission on the sale of a policy, in addition to the profit from the funeral.

What most consumers do not realize is that the death benefit of the insurance policy is constantly INCREASING. When you pre-plan, the funeral home is the beneficiary of the policy, so they get the growing death benefit. The funeral director just makes it sound like a good program because the price is “Guaranteed to never go up”. Yet, the increasing face amount helps with the increasing costs over time. The consumer never knows this.

Another important consideration for the consumer should be WHO is guaranteeing the price and services. What happens if the funeral home goes out of business? The consumer’s money is safe because it is in a life insurance policy. But, they lose any type of price guarantee. What if the funeral home is sold (which is very common today)? Again, their money is safe, but the new owner did not guarantee the price, and is not bound to provide the goods and services the precious owner guaranteed!

A BETTER WAY TO PRE-PLAN IS NOW AVAILABLE: Legacy of Love Funeral Planning!

Legacy of Love Funeral Planning

Instead of going to a funeral home to pre-plan your funeral you can now pre-plan your funeral from the comfort of your own home. You can realize of all of the benefits of pre-planning the funeral, without experiencing any of the negative aspects. You are also ALWAYS in control of your arrangements…instead of one funeral director being in control!

You will meet with a pre-planning consultant not affiliated with any particular funeral home. The consultant will have the same General Price List the funeral directors use, for all of the potential funeral homes the consumer may choose. They will review with the consumer, all of the possible choices and prices for the various goods and services you may want with your funeral. A total price for your funeral will be determined, and a copy of your wishes will be stored for the family.

You will now be able to choose how to pay for your funeral. The payment options include:

  • Single payment
  • 3 year pay plan
  • 5 year pay plan
  • 10 year pay plan

The money will be placed in a specifically designed Funeral Pre-Planning Life insurance policy and trust, just as it would if the planning took place at a funeral home.

Utilizing the better way to pre-plan, you will now enjoy all of the benefits of pre-planning and none of the negative consequences.

The new way benefits include:

  • You are no longer “locked-in” to one funeral home. You have no liability if the funeral home ceases operations or is sold. They family can choose ANY funeral home and services.
  • Your money is safe. The same funding mechanism is used at the funeral homes.
  • Your family now has choices at the time of death of the loved one. These choices are now predicated by current situations. Situations such as: the funeral home is currently in operation, new additions to funeral planning such as “green burials”, relocation of family members or the consumer. What if the consumer decides to move to a warmer climate after they have pre-planned there funeral around their previous address?
  • Any excess monies from the life insurance policy, above what the arrangements cost, is returned to the family. In some states, this excess money can be retained by the funeral home, and usually is, because they are the beneficiary.
  • The consumer, not the funeral home, takes advantage of the increasing death benefit of the life insurance policy. This increasing death benefit is designed to cover inflationary effects of the costs of the funeral. Thus, “locking in today’s pricing” is essentially accomplished.
  • The consumer is able to take advantage of any discounts from the General Price List the funeral home may be offering at time of death. They are not locked into the inflated General Price List pricing.
  • All monies are immediately shielded from Medicaid, just the same way it is if planning had been completed at a funeral home.

The only real questions are WHY would you give up benefits and control of your money and funeral to a funeral home? Why not give yourself and your family control over every aspect of this process?

A new and BETTER to pre-plan your funeral is here today!

There are no negatives to pre-planning the BETTER WAY! 

Get started pre-planning today!

Thank you!

For more information about our firm and the services we offer, send us a quick email or call the office. We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you. | 800-741-1643