There are many reasons to plan funeral arrangements ahead of time. For some, it is reassuring to know that they have lifted a terrible burden from their loved ones. For others, it is a question of controlling their final destiny, and to choose their own preferences rather than leaving these decisions to others. Regardless of your reasons, there are specific things you should know to help you make the best decisions when it comes to pre-planning a funeral:
- YOUR MONEY IS SAFE. New York state law provides that any prepaid funeral expenses must be placed in a trust account. Shalom Memorial Chapels, Inc is a member of Pre-Plan, the New York state-funded funeral directors' trust. Monies placed with Pre-Plan are deposited in an F.D.I.C.-insured account.
- The principal sits in this account, accumulates interest, and is held in the purchaser’s name. The interest and the original principal belong to the purchaser. Only when the funeral has taken place and all of our obligations are met do we gain access to the trust. The accumulated interest allows us to guarantee today’s price into the future.
- All monies paid in advance are fully refundable at any time prior to the funeral with the exception of irrevocable trusts set up for Medicaid purposes. So, if you pay in advance, you can request a refund of all of the principal and interest held in trust.
- New York State law allows you to apply for Medicaid to set aside funds in an irrevocable trust for funeral expenses. They are not counted as an asset when determining Medicaid eligibility. In this way, you avoid using your own funds to pay for a funeral when the need arises. Any funds set aside in an irrevocable account may not, by law, be refunded to the purchaser.
If you are thinking of pre-planning, call us at Shalom Memorial Chapels. We will be happy to assist you with this important decision.