Funeral Industry News

Elder Law Practice Says Funeral Pre-Planning is A Great Idea

September 14, 2009

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Elder Law Practice Says Funeral Pre-Planning is A Great Idea

Thursday night we did a Workshop at ASU ? Beebe concerning the need for Advance Planning. Our co-sponsor for the event was Westbrook Funeral Home of Beebe. We had a good crowd and a lot of interest. At this workshop, the primary focus was how to protect assets in the event of a long term care stay.

The reality is that if you or a loved one has to go to a nursing home and you haven?t done estate planning in advance, your options are limited. However, there are good things that can be done to preserve some assets. One thing is pre-planning and pre-paying for your funeral. A pre-paid irrevocable burial contract is an exempt resource in Arkansas for Medicaid planning purposes.

There are many ?maybes? in life, but dying is not one of them. If the parents don?t pre-pay for their funeral and last expenses with some of their few remaining dollars, this expense may fall in the laps of the kids when the parents die. Pre-planning and pre-paying for your funeral is also a good idea for two additional reasons: 1) It takes the emotional strain of this decision off the kids at the time of death; and (2) It freezes the cost ? a person in the funeral industry told me that the cost of final expenses was going up approximately five percent a year. By locking this in now, you are saving a lot of money.

So, the two primary lessons I hope you learned from this blog post are:

1. Pre-plan your estate while you have the capacity to do so. I will discuss many reasons why you should do this in my next blog post.

2. Pre-plan your funeral because (1) An irrevocable pre-paid burial contract is an exempt asset for Medicaid purposes; (2) To protect your family from the emotional trauma of having to plan for you at the last minute; and (3) To freeze the costs, which, like everything else, are rising.

Guest Post by Doug and Cindy Jones of The Elder Law Practice Blog