Today, end of life expenses, such as those incurred for funeral services, can be extraordinarily high. Due to the high cost of funeral services and the hardship that this may put on loved ones, more people are choosing to prepay for their final arrangements.
There are a number of advantages to the prepaid funeral, but there are some disadvantages as well. When you prepay for a funeral you can rest assured that everything is done and in place and your family will not be faced with making difficult choices during a time when they will be grieving.
Some additional advantages to the prepaid funeral plan include the fact that all of the arrangements can be exactly as the deceased wants them. You can actually control your own funeral services. You may also save some money due to the fact that the price is locked in and won’t go up, and your family will not be burdened with the expense of your final arrangements.
With all of these advantages the prepaid funeral services makes a lot of sense, but it is important that you also look at some of the disadvantages. In some cases you cannot get a refund if you change your mind. Plus, if for some reason you should move to another state, you might not have the option of transferring your plan to another funeral home. Too often we see funeral homes misappropriating the money from prepaid plans, falling into bankruptcy and leaving policyholders with no benefits.
If you are paying for the plan through your life insurance policy you should be aware of the fact that with some plans the funeral director will have a claim against that policy and you will no longer be the sole owner. On the other hand, a funeral trust where you retain complete control apart from the funeral home is becoming more popular.
When you purchase a prepaid funeral plan it is important to read the contract carefully so that you know exactly what is included and how the services are paid for. Insist that the funeral director provide you with an itemized list of what services are included with the contract. In some cases it may be assumed that certain services were included when in fact they were not. If this happens the family will be paying for those extra services.
The prepaid funeral plan is not necessarily a bad idea, as long as you work with a scrupulously financially sound company and read the contract carefully.