Pre-planning a funeral: what to know

Many people approach the subject of funeral pre-planning with hesitation and apprehension. Raising the topic of your own death or that of a loved one can be extremely uncomfortable. While it’s tempting to put off funeral planning until it’s absolutely necessary, doing so early is a wonderful opportunity to relieve future stress from your loved ones.

O’Connell Family Funeral Homes has helped many countless families successfully plan beautiful celebrations of life over the years. We’re confident in our ability to make your planning process smooth and personal. Still, we understand that you may have some questions. Here are some of the most common questions we receive, answered.

If I want to change my plans, what happens to the trust or money?

Pre-planning exists to eliminate stress and create your ideal funeral experience. Funeral trusts are designed to capture the intentions or desires of individuals or families. But over time, our feelings and thoughts can change. Good news is that your trust changes with you. If services are amended that result in less expenses than anticipated, the excess funds are returned to the family. The one exception to this rule is if an individual is on Medicaid, then families are not allowed to keep any excess funds.

What happens if funeral costs rise before I pass?

If you choose to pre-pay, you get the benefit of investing in a competitive interest-bearing account that grows with inflation and has incentive ‘bumps’ in value for investing. Funeral trusts typically utilize insurance policies to fund the money. Funeral trusts are much different than term life insurance or ordinary/whole life policies that grow a cash value as well as a death benefit. Funeral trusts are simple and transparent. You put a predetermined amount aside as principle, and when death occurs, you get the principle and all of the interest it has accumulated. They are designed to offset inflation.

What if I move away after I’ve pre-paid for a funeral?

No worries whatsoever. Our pre-payment plans are carried out through the establishment of a funeral trust or irrevocable life insurance policy wherever you end up. If you want to eliminate the financial burden your loved ones may face while planning a funeral, you can set aside a sum of money to be used for the services. If you and your family relocate before the passing of a funeral’s honoree, you will still own this trust and can use it for expenses at your new location.

For more information, or to begin the pre-planning process, don’t hesitate to contact O’Connell Family Funeral Homes today.

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