Find Peace of Mind With Pre-planning
More and more people today are choosing to plan in advance for their own or for their loved one’s funeral as an alternative to having others make the decisions for them. Pre-planning your funeral gives you the comfort of knowing that your wishes will be precisely followed when the time comes. It also ensures that your loved ones won’t face the emotional and financial stress of planning a last minute funeral. The advantages just make sense.
Planning is a Part of Life
You plan for your first 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 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. A pre-planned funeral gives your family peace of mind, knowing your funeral service was conducted according to your wishes.
Whether you choose to pre-plan with your family, prearrange or prepay, make a decision that feels right. Taking steps to being prepared provides a wide range of benefits for you and for your family; including the ability to:
- Make Your Wishes Known – to your family and your funeral director. Create a permanent record for future use.
- Educate Yourself – about the many decisions involved in planning a funeral. Your choices are nearly limitless and narrowing decisions ahead of time can help.
- Make Arrangements – when you and your loved ones have more time and a clearer perspective, rather than when you or your family are under stress.
- Receive More Input – from your family, which is who a funeral is really for. This also helps prevent disagreements about your wishes, giving your family a clear idea of the type of service you want.
- Gain Peace of Mind – that comes with knowing that your needs and wishes have been made known and the details taken care of.
- Alleviating the Responsibility – from your family for making these kind of decisions during an already difficult time from grief.
- Assurance – that informed, thoughtful decisions have been made about the funeral home provider
- Protect Yourself – against unforeseen costs and emotional overspending.
There are also several financial benefits to pre-planning. Please view our Prefunding Page to learn more.
Discuss Preplanning With Us In Person
If you have questions or concerns about the preplanning process, we would be honored to talk with you. Call us at (585) 227-2700 to make in-person arrangements with one of our caring, professional funeral directors. As always, we are happy to meet with you at no cost or obligation to you.
Relieve the Financial Burden
Prepaying or prefunding helps to ensure that the financial responsibility for funeral costs are not placed on your family members. Completing this in advance relieves survivors from paying these costs. With our pre-funding plans, you can save money by purchasing a price guaranteed contract that locks the funeral services and merchandise costs at today’s rates, eliminating the effects of inflation.
- Your investment is protected even if you move or if death occurs away from home
- Insurance benefits are not affected and will be paid to the appropriate beneficiaries.
- Medicaid approved plans are available to set funds aside.
- Your estate benefits when there is no monies owed for funeral expenses. Your family simply gets to keep more of what you’ve earned.
- Relieve your family-from untold amounts of emotional stress involved with additional expenses at the time of need.
Your Money is Protected
More than any others state, consumers in New York who prefund their funerals have their money protected by what are the strongest preneed laws in the nation. These laws, which funeral directors worked to put in place, require that all funds be deposited into an interest-bearing trust account where the principal and interest remain the property of the consumer, until their passing.
Types of Funeral Plans
Guaranteed Funeral Plan
With a guaranteed funeral plan, the funeral home guarantees to provide the services, merchandise and facilities you selected for the amount of money in your account. The guaranteed funeral is not affected by future price increases since the funeral home accepts the principal and interest as payment-in-full. Your estate will not have to pay anything extra for those items that are guaranteed. In order for a funeral plan to be guaranteed, the account must be paid in full at the time of setting up your prefunded account and the interest must remain in the account until death occurs.
A guaranteed funeral will not include certain items, such as cemetery costs, crematory fees, newspaper notices, certified copies of death certificates, clergy fees, motorcycle escorts, hairdresser, flowers, monument lettering, etc. These items are third-party, cash advances which the funeral home has no control over.
Non-Guaranteed Funeral Plan
With a non-guaranteed funeral plan, the funeral home provides the services, merchandise and facilities you selected, at the rates being charged at the time of your funeral. The principal and interest of your account will be applied to the funeral home’s total charges. If this amount does not cover the expenses, your survivors will be charged the difference. If the amount in your preneed account is greater than the funeral costs, the excess money will be refunded to your estate or survivors (with a Revocable Trust), or to the county (with an Irrevocable Trust).
Types of Trusts
Revocable contracts allow the purchaser to cancel a contract and withdraw the trust principal and any accrued interest at any time.
Irrevocable Trust / Medicaid
You must establish an irrevocable agreement if you are applying for Medicaid, or if you are applying for supplemental Social Security benefits. These are the only instances for which an irrevocable preneed agreement may be established. The monies paid to fund these agreements may not be refunded to the purchaser; only to the county.
Discuss Pre-planning With Us in Person
If you have questions or concerns about the preplanning or pre-funding process, we would be honored to talk with you. Call us at (585) 227-2700 to make in-person arrangements with one of our caring, professional funeral directors. As always, we are happy to meet with you at no cost or obligation to you.
Are You Prepared For Medicaid?
Many families don’t realize that the government allows you to prepay all funeral expenses before their financial resources are depleted in preparation for Medicaid. We work closely with Medicaid to ensure that your prearranged funeral meets their requirements.
It is important to know that consumers who are eligible for Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are entitled to prefund their funeral expenses by setting up what is known as an “irrevocable trust.” These irrevocable trusts allow Medicaid and SSI recipients to set aside and designate funds for the sole purpose of paying their funeral and burial expenses without having to totally exhaust (spend down) their savings. Money deposited into irrevocable preneed trusts will not be counted as part of the recipient’s financial resources.
What You Can Fund
For Medicaid, funeral arrangements are exempt from consideration as assets. In this way, an applicant can reduce their countable assets while also ensuring that their wishes about their funeral are respected. There is currently no financial limit or cap on what dollar amount may be funded.
Whether you choose burial or cremation, you are allowed to fund for the following services and merchandise.
Funeral Home Charges
- Funeral home professional services (including transportation, embalming and preparation, staff, facilities, and vehicle charges)
- Merchandise (including caskets, burial vaults, cremation containers, urns, urn vaults, memorial packages, flag cases, etc.)
Out of Pocket Expenses
- Honorariums (for clergy, organist, soloist, bag piper, etc.)
- Newspaper notices
- Certified copies of death certificates
- Motorcycle escort
- Cemetery charges (including purchasing new property, opening/closing charges and chapel and equipment fees)
- Crematory charges
- Monument services (including purchasing new markers and final lettering of existing monuments)