Your Guide to Funeral Planning | 12.27.2022

Funeral Pre-Planning – Common Questions To Review

Funeral Pre-Planning – Common Questions To Review

Reviewed By: William Prout

Cross Checked By: Elizabeth Siegel

Pre Planning A Funeral And Questions To Ask

With pre-planning funeral arrangements becoming increasingly popular across the United States, if you too are planning to do so, you may have specific questions regarding the same. Given that it does have a significant financial implication, you may want to assess the following questions before going ahead with funeral pre-planning.

1. Will My Funeral Funds Be Safe?
Given that pre-planned funeral funds range between $10,000 and $25,000, you will naturally be worried about the safety of your investment. Here, you must note that any payment towards funeral pre-planning will not go directly to the funeral home in question. As per the laws of the land, all payments you make will be directed to a trust account/third-party insurance company. Before you proceed and sign any financial documents, make sure to conduct adequate research pertaining to the reliability of the funeral trust account. 
2. Will I Be Eligible For a Pre-Paid Funeral Fund If I Suffer From Health Ailments?
When opting for funeral pre-planning arrangements, you can choose between a funeral trust and a funeral insurance policy.  While the former does not require you to answer questions regarding the status of your health, the latter generally does. Based on your answers, you will then be informed of the coverage plan that you are eligible for. Therefore, before opting for a pre-paid funeral plan, it is advisable to speak first to your funeral provider and choose the plan best suited to your needs and eligibility.
3. Is It Possible To Cancel My Funeral Insurance Policy/Funeral Trust?
Before you opt for a pre-planned funeral fund, it is essential that you fully understand the terms and conditions, including those pertaining to the cancellation of the same. When it comes to a funeral insurance policy, there is a cancellation period that lasts for 3 to 30 days. During this period, you can opt to cancel your policy and can expect a full refund too. Once this period passes, based on whether your policy is revocable or irrevocable, you may or may not be eligible for cancellation. To be clear, revocable policies are those wherein you can cancel the policy at any given time and receive the full cash value of the policy. Irrevocable policies refer to those which do not have an option for cancellation.
4. Will the Funeral Home Actually Guarantee Prices in My Funeral Contract?
Most funeral homes do offer guarantees on prices pertaining to funeral food, merchandise, and services provided by them. Let us assume that the funeral plan you have opted for is valued at $6,500 today. Say, over 20 years, with inflation and other economic factors, this price spirals to $9,000. In this case, irrespective of the price rise, in the case of your demise, the cost of holding your funeral will remain the same. And if in case the value of the funeral services does not go up and there are excess funds left over, your family members will receive the same from the funeral home.
5. What Funeral Expenses Are Excluded From the Funeral Contract?
Generally, costs pertaining to funeral services that are provided by a third-party provider may be excluded from the funeral contract. Often referred to as cash advance items, these generally pertain to expenses pertaining to the following – newspaper, florist, cemetery, police escort, and caterer. However, do note that you can always set aside a specific chunk of money for such cash advance items. 
6. Can I Transfer My Funeral Plan to Another Funeral Home If I Move?
In general, you will not face any hassle if you wish to transfer your funeral plan to a funeral home in your new area of residence. However, do note that when doing so, discounts, or even price guarantees, cannot be transferred to the new funeral policy.
7. Can I Amend My Funeral Policy?
If your funeral contract allows, you can always amend certain goods and services mentioned in the funeral policy. However, you cannot make any changes to the burial or cremation process. If you wish to do so, you will have to terminate your contract, and start over again.
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