Many people plan for life events such as weddings and vacations well in advance, but many people do not plan for something that is certain to happen, their funeral.  While most people do not want to think about their own mortality, the time to pre-plan your funeral is now.  The primary advantages of pre-arranging your funeral is to relieve the burden on your loved ones in an already emotional time, and to ensure your funeral is carried out according to your wishes, eliminating the task of second-guessing what you would have wanted.  Taking the time now to arrange your funeral is one less thing your loved ones will need to worry about once you’ve passed. Pre-planning and pre-paying your funeral is one of the most thoughtful gifts you can give to your family.

Pre-Payment Options

Pre-paying your funeral reduces stress and financial burden on your loved ones after your passing.  We can co-ordinate a payment plans that suits your needs, from a single payment plan to monthly bank account withdrawals.  By pre-paying your funeral you eliminate your family second guessing on if they have spent too much or too little on your funeral.  Pre-payment also protects you and your family from inflation, and the growth is non-taxable.  Depending on your region, if your funeral costs less than the amount you have put aside, those funds will be refunded back to your beneficiaries.  For more information on what is applicable in your region, simply speak to your funeral director.  Each year thousands of people decide to pre-plan and pre-pay their funeral, these plans are designed to be flexible and can accommodate the many changes that often occur in people’s lives.

You can preplan your funeral and/or pay for it in advance. When a loved one dies, making the funeral arrangements becomes the task of those who are left behind. Families can be caught off guard and may have little or no warning. The grief of losing a loved one may make decision making difficult. Pre-arranging and pre-financing is a way to avoid some of the confusion, it is also a way of making your wishes known. Although discussing arrangements with your family may be difficult, it is important because it affects those we leave behind most directly. The benefits of pre-planning a funeral can also be financial. You can prepay expenses outright or by installments. A Pre-paid funeral is a good investment because with today's inflation rate moving ever upward, your costs may be guaranteed.

What you can do in advance…

  • Decide on Burial or Cremation and your casket or urn type.
  • Pick what type of service you want (religious, military, non-traditional)
  • Choose which funeral home to use.
  • Designate your pallbearers, pick any music or readings you want at your service.

Benefits of Pre-Planning

  • Between 70 and 75 decisions are made within the first 24-48 hours of death.  It’s difficult to think rationally while making so many decisions within days of losing someone, pre-planning gives yourself, family and friends peace of mind.  Pre-planning gives your loved ones direction of your wants and desires.
  • It’s easy. Anyone can do it, and you can change your mind at any time.

Pre Planning Vs Pre Paying

Pre Planning a Funeral

  • A person or family can preplan a funeral without funding it. You can discuss your wishes with the funeral director.
  • When your plan is complete, the funeral director will keep it on file until it is needed.
  • Your family will then have to pay for the services at the rates being charged when your funeral is held.
  • The funeral director will provide professional advice.

Pre Paying a Funeral

  • Many people choose to prefund their funeral expenses. Once your wishes are expressed then you can contract an agreement with the funeral home. Your money will be held in the name of the funeral home in trust for you.
  • You will have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that the money needed for your funeral has been set aside.
  • Your survivors will not have to worry about how to pay the bill.
  • New York State Law regarding prefunding of funerals is some of the strongest protection for you the consumer in the country.
  • Medicaid recipients may set aside funds for their funeral expenses in an irrevocable preneed account which will be excluded as a countable resource.
  • They may also set aside funds for specific family members.

Pre Funded Funeral Arrangements

Once you've made your selections, you will contract an agreement with the funeral home. It will include a Pre-Need Itemization Statement that lists the items of merchandise, services and facilities you have chosen, and the price of each.

  • You can leave the details of some items open until you have made a final decision, or until you have chosen someone to make these decisions for you.

Pre-Need Agreement that outlines all the terms, as well as your rights as the purchaser. It must also state how the principal and interest will be applied to the cost of your funeral services and merchandise at the time they are provided.

There are two basic types of preneed contracts, revocable and irrevocable.

  • A revocable contract is used when the beneficiary has not applied for or received Medicaid/SSI benefits. Revocable contracts are set up for these individuals giving them complete control of their account. They may close it at any time, change funeral homes, change selections on the preneed itemization or request a refund.
  • An irrevocable agreement if you are applying for Medicaid, or if you are applying for supplemental security benefits under Section 209 of the Social Services Law. These are the only instances for which an irrevocable preneed agreement may be established. The moneys paid to fund these agreements may not be refunded under any circumstances. Once an irrevocable contract is made the overage, if any, goes directly to the county in which the beneficiary received Medicaid/SSI benefits (in New York State).

Frequently Asked Questions about Prefunding a Funeral

Who holds my money?

Cooperative Funeral Fund

What is Cooperative Funeral Fund?

Cooperative Funeral Fund is a Corporation serving funeral homes and cemeteries in the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Tennessee with headquarters in Madison, Connecticut.

Can I receive a refund?

If you have a revocable agreement, you can withdraw the principal and the accrued interest at any time. 

Will I receive any type of interest statements?

Once an account is opened you will receive an initial statement. In January of each year, you will receive an annual interest statement.