Prepaid funerals are a method in which the person pays in advance so that their survivors are spared of the expense as well as the stress of dealing with the funeral and all the arrangements and expenses that go along with the funeral.
There are different ways in which prepaid funeral arrangements are undertaken. Either the arrangements can be made directly with the funeral home or with a prepaid provider who works with different funeral homes. The payment also could be a lump sum one or it could be in periodic installments over one or two year’s period. These funds go towards the funeral arrangements, opening as well as closing the graves, the casket, grave liners, gratuities, flowers, police escort, limousines, makeup, hair styling, burial plot, clothing, headstones, and crypts and even the engraving and placement of the headstones and even the expenses of the wake.
The reasons why people opt for prepaid funerals is that they could potentially need a lot of medical care and they are not sure what their finances will be in the long run. This way, they can pay out the expenses when they are in a financially comfortable position. They also are not sure as to their family would be able to have all the necessary information and the documents which are required in order for the arrangements to be made. They are particular about the kind of service that they want or their final disposition – if they want to be cremated or buried.
They Also Want To Ensure Who Will Be Participants Of The Funeral Services And More:
- These prepaid funerals are guaranteed plans which ensure that the services and goods selected are provided irrespective of the rise in price rises. In non guaranteed plans, the survivors need to pay the balance in case of rise in prices beyond the amount stated in the contract.
- The funeral homes usually deposit this money either in a trust or send it to insurance companies and the money is released upon the passing away of the person.
- On the face of it, this looks like a good idea for those that do not want to burden their kith and kin with the additional expenses on account of their funeral. These provide peace of mind to the person and they can lock in the price much in advance.
However, this may not be a good idea as there have been cases of excessive fees which are levied as well as funds which have been misappropriated and in some cases the survivors are charged exorbitant amounts even though the funeral was supposed to be a prepaid one.
The law also is not clear about the consumer protection in such cases as 70% of the money for services or 30% of the casket cost can be put in the trust and the remaining funds can be used by the funeral home. However, if the contract is cancelled within the first 30 days, the provider need not give a refund on the cost of the merchandise.
If you want to go in for a prepaid contract, you should find out where the money is to be deposited and regular statements should be examined of these financial institutions regarding your funds. You should also enquire about the cancellation terms and conditions.
When you do want to go in for a prepaid funerals contract, you can ask for itemized prices for the services and goods and you can even purchase these items a la carte. You should, whatever be the case, give a copy to your loved ones or a lawyer.