Advance Arrangements

Today, more and more people are taking pro-active steps to pre-plan either their own or a loved one’s funeral, as an alternative to leaving those decisions to be made by others during a particularly stressful and emotional time.

Advance planning and pre-funding your funeral can also be an important part of estate planning, or of preparing and planning for the need to apply for Medicaid or Social Security benefits.

Three of the top reasons for planning your or a loved one’s funeral in advance include:

  • Peace of mind – Knowing that your wishes have been made known and the details have been taken care of.
  • Comfort – Knowing your family will not have to make difficult and costly funeral arrangement decisions during a very emotional time.
  • Assurance – Knowing that informed, thoughtful decisions have been made and that the costs will be taken care of.

Whether you need more information now, want to fully arrange and pre-fund your funeral, or simply want to document your decisions and your wishes, the professionals at Epilogue Planning Professionals, LLC are ready to provide you with the information, guidance, and advice you need, letting you make the best decisions for your situation, and your family.

Why Pre-plan?

Pre-planning your own or a loved one’s funeral is a very personal process. Death and end-of-life, either one’s own or that of a loved one is a subject that is very difficult for most people to think and talk about.

It is normal to approach this process with a great amount of anxiety and uncertainty.

On the other hand, those who take the important step of documenting their wishes regarding their funeral and who share these decisions with loved ones usually express a huge sense of comfort and relief.

Starting the Process

  • Identify what you and your family need and want for a funeral, and how much you can afford.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulates funeral providers under the Funeral Rule.  This rule helps to protect consumers by requiring all funeral service providers to provide a General Price List with the current cost of each item and service offered.

The price list must also include information about your rights of selection, embalming, containers for cremation, cash advances, and any required purchases.

Cash advances are for goods and services that the funeral provider will be paying on your behalf, for such items as flowers, obituaries, a cemetery plot, pallbearers, and clergy honoraria.

If the funeral provider adds a service fee or receives a discount, refund, or rebate for providing this service, they must disclose this fact to you.

Can you pre-plan a funeral without paying for it in advance?

Yes.  It is possible to select funeral goods and services in advance with a specific funeral home without pre-paying (also known as pre-funding).

You may also opt to pay for a funeral in advance without selecting specific goods and services.

In either case however, because of changing costs between the time you pre-plan or pre-fund your funeral and the provision of the actual funeral, the price and scope of included items usually will not be fully guaranteed.

When you choose to fund a funeral in advance, you are entering into a contractual agreement with the funeral home.

Each state regulates pre-need agreements (or contracts).  Also, many states strictly regulate what can or must be included in a pre-need agreement.

Who can help me prearrange my funeral?

In some states, only licensed funeral directors can prearrange funerals.  The certified professionals at Epilogue Planning Professionals are trained and licensed to work with you and area funeral homes to provide you with pre-planning and pre-funding services that are tailored to fit your needs, for just about any budget.

How can I learn more about planning my funeral in advance?

Every circumstance, person, and family is unique. For more information about arranging the funeral you want in advance, contact the funeral planning professionals at Epilogue Planning Professionals, LLC to make an appointment for a personal pre-need consultation.  Call us today at (715) 571-4160.

Jamie Allar
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