Services, Cemetery Burial, Cremation Arrangements; Choices for Paying the Costs
Final Arrangements Information Sheet
Final arrangements for a funeral service, the
cemetery or even a cremation will eventually require the expenditure of money.
Although, we at Final Arrangements Network strive to show how this can be done
for up to 50% less than you might otherwise spend by preplanning or smart
consumer purchasing, it still will mean someone will have to pay someone.
Insurance both general life, whether term or
whole life, is only one type available for funding your final arrangements. You
might find that you would prefer to not only preplan those final arrangements
but also begin paying for them as well through a funeral home and or a cemetery.
Funeral homes often have access to a form of insurance known as modified whole
life. This type of insurance would allow you to pick the services and items for
your funeral years in advance, set up a monthly premium within your budget and
therefore lock in the cost of that portion of you final arrangements. Most
funeral directors or their preplanning specialists could give you detailed
information on just how they can set this up for you and your family.
Another route for funding is to create a separate
savings account at your bank. You can set aside up to $1,500 without Social
Security counting these funds as an asset. The exclusion of this money from your
assets can be critical in some situations of overwhelming medical costs
associated with a long term illness where all but the bear minimum of assets are
allowed or it could jeopardize Medicare eligibility. The term "Spend
Down" is often the term heard for situations like this. Having what is
known as a BOD account, Benefits On Death account, avoids these set aside assets
ever being counted as an asset and could ease the financial burden upon death
for the family faced with not only huge medical bills but also a funeral and
burial which must be paid. You should check with your bank and ask them about
this type of account, also know as Totten Trusts, if you are interested in this
little known mechanism for funding final arrangements in advance.
Social Security has another mechanism that also
could be used with regards to burial items. According to current law an
individual is allowed to purchase a burial property, the marker (i.e. memorial,
monument, grave stone), the Opening & Closing service of the grave, vault
(if required by the cemetery) and casket or urn without these being counted as
assets of the individual. This does not extend to funeral services unless those
services are bought in conjunction with a irrevocable contract agreement with
the funeral home that can be proved to exist. The modified whole life some
funeral homes offer, as discussed above, generally qualify for this exclusion
but only if the contract is irrevocable.
There are also specialty term insurance policies
generally known as "Burial Expense Insurance" which agree to pay a
specific dollar amount upon death once a two or three year waiting period has
been fulfilled and provided further the premiums have been paid up through the
time of death. For some older individuals this is the only insurance available
for them to buy because they are the only ones that will accept applications
from older individuals and often don't have a physical examination requirement.
Once you have used The Final Arrangements
Network's tutorials and planning programs you should start to get an idea of how
much your final arrangements will cost. You then will be in a position to
determine where the funding, now or then, will have to come from to carry out
your wishes. Any of the above or combination of them should give you a secure
feeling that your death will not put undo financial strain on your family.
Final Arrangements lists here some sources for
further information on insurance and funding mechanisms for your final
arrangements. We will continue to seek other sources and we are certain that
companies who provide these types of services will ask to be listed so keep this
page in your favorites and refer back from time to time as you develop your
final arrangement plans. Here are some sources for
information on funding and insurance we have found or have asked to be listed
Links to More Information on
York State Funeral Directors Association - Preplanning
a Funeral, What is a Preplanned Funeral? ... Why Preplan a Funeral?
- . Articles,
calculators and answers to common questions help you plan the retirement of your
York State Department of Health - If you are planning a funeral, you have
many decisions to make. You may feel overwhelmed or confused. You may have
questions. Read this brochure to learn more before you make any commitments or
- This one stop, online insurance resource allows you to select the right
insurance at the right price for you.