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Should you pre-plan you funeral or memorial service?

On Behalf of | May 3, 2019 | Firm News |

When people take the step of creating a last will or estate plan, one issue they often overlook is taking the time to plan for their funeral. After all, your funeral service is going to remind people of your legacy and provide comfort to your loved ones as they grieve your death. You don’t have to leave all of the critical decisions to your loved ones. You could begin the process of planning your own funeral.

Your funeral could be as unique and original as you are, but you’ll have a better chance of the service reflecting your values if you make the arrangements yourself. Planning your funeral now can save your loved ones a lot of stress when your time comes. It can also give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing that the people you love will experience a service that you planned for them.

Do you have to pre-pay when you pre-plan a funeral?

One of the biggest sources of confusion for those seeking to pre-plan their funeral is failing to understand the difference between pre-planning and pre-paying. Funeral planning can involve signing a contract with a funeral home, purchasing or reserving a plot in a cemetery or graveyard, and even selecting the music, location and food utilized as part of your funeral service.

Typically, you can create an outline of all of your plans without paying for them up front by including your preferences in your last will or estate plan as a funeral directive. If you don’t have the assets to pay up front and expect that your family will use the proceeds of a life insurance policy to cover the cost of your funeral, pre-planning without prepaying may be the simplest way to go.

There are benefits to paying for your funeral ahead of time

If you have the means, it may be responsible and simple to pay for the largest expenses associated with your funeral now. As time goes on, inflation tends to slowly increase the price of everything. The casket and plot that you look at today could cost substantially more when your family goes to pay the final bill.

Paying now can ensure that your family doesn’t have to worry about closing the gap between the price you knew and the current price when you die. It also means that your family won’t have to make arrangements to finance your funeral, as life insurance policies often take some time to fund and may not actually be available at the time of the funeral service.

It is possible to even arrange for your trust to organize and pay for the funeral, depending on how you structure your estate plan. If you haven’t done so already, it’s probably a good idea to sit down and discuss your wishes with an experienced Ohio estate planning attorney.

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