Should You Prepay a Funeral

Prepaid funeral

If you are doing estate planning, you may encounter the idea of a prepaid funeral. Learn what it is and what its impact may be.

Terminology

  • A pre-paid funeral is also known as “pre-need funeral arrangements”.
  • A pre-planned funeral is not the same as a prepaid funeral.

Options

  • Pre-planned funeral, no pre-paid funeral
  • Pre-planned funeral, pre-paid funeral
  • No planned funeral, pre-paid funeral (i.e. money is set aside but not designated for specific products or services)

Benefits of pre-paid funerals

  • Mourning: Rather than worrying about arranging your funeral and disposition
  • Control: Over most of the details of your funeral and internment.
  • Price: Purchase products and services at today’s prices
  • Cost: Determine how much money is spent on your funeral; avoid financial burden on loved ones

Risks of pre-paid funerals

  • Refunds: May not be allowed
  • Change: May not be allowed or may incur additional cost
  • Financial loss: Due to misuse or insolvency by the funeral service provider
  • Hidden fees: Due at the time of death

Alternatives

You can always put aside money yourself for funeral arrangements. You can use a financial vehicle such as a certificate of deposit or insurance policy. Ensure that whoever represents your funeral plan has legal access to the funds.

Notes

Be sure that you and your funeral plan representative understand the funeral contract – what it includes and excludes. Request any clarifications as an addendum to the contract.

Resources

  • You can read more about the financial pros and cons of pre-paid funerals at The Motley Fool.
  • You can consult with an estate planning attorney.

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