Prearranging and prepaying your own funeral is something people have been doing for quite sometime now. This is a very wise and helpful thing to do. You can select what type of funeral you wish to have along with the merchandise you would like to use.
Information that would be needed at the time of pre-arrangements to be able to fill out the legal papers and create an obituary at the time of death would be: parents names, mother’s maiden name, date & place of birth, social security number, veteran’s discharge papers (if applicable), occupation, job title, employer, date & place of marriage (if applicable), surviving family members, predeceased family members, memberships, hobbies & interests, organizations you would like memorials sent to in your memory and what cemetery you own lots in. Most pre-arrangement conferences can be completed in about 1 ½ hours.
As you can see, with the funeral home having all this information on file, makes things much easier for the survivors at the time of death. Some people think having their funeral wishes listed in their will is enough, some disadvantages to this idea are that they are not this detailed and the will is not read until after the funeral is completed.
On January 1, 1997 Medicaid changed it’s regulations to allow applicant’s to be able to prepay their own funeral, with no limit, using their own money to spend down their assets to help them qualify for coverage. People can also purchase a grave and a cemetery memorial to be able to help qualify. Medicaid does not classify any of these items to be assets due to the fact that they can only be used for the person’s own funeral. (Life insurance is still considered an asset).
The rule regarding the prepayment of a funeral is: You can select the funeral you want to have including the casket, vault and other items associated with it, there is no limit to the amount the funeral can cost and the money must be deposited into an irrevocable trust account (CD). The interest that accumulates in the account is used to offset any increased funeral costs up to the time that the person dies. The full value of the account must be used for the funeral. If there is more money in the account than what the funeral costs, the next of kin has the option to upgrade the casket, vault or any other merchandise at the time of arrangements. If they don’t upgrade, then the excess money in the account goes to the county in which the person lived, to be used toward indigent burials. This account can be moved from one funeral home to another at any time, without penalty if desired.
Prepaying your funeral even if you are not applying for Medicaid is still recommended and the same rules apply as above with the following exceptions: The money must be deposited into a revocable trust account and if there is excess money in the account when the person dies, it can be used to either upgrade the funeral or it can be returned to the estate of the deceased. Download the forms here and get started now.