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Answers to 5 Common Questions About Funeral Preplanning

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Preplanning your own funeral can provide peace of mind to you and your family. It lessens the burden on loved one’s by having a plan in place, while allowing you to put your preferences in writing. It also gives you time to think about how you want others to remember you. 

As you begin the preplanning process, you’ll likely realize that you have some questions about services, payment plans and more.

Below, we highlight answers to five common questions about preplanning. Review these as you begin your preplanning journey so that when the time comes to say your final goodbyes, you can rest assured knowing your family has everything they need.

1. What are the benefits of preplanning?

Planning a funeral is one of the most stressful experiences families face. It also happens to be one of the most expensive purchases, too. 

By preplanning, you relieve your family from handling arrangements on their own. This helps ease the burden your family must face when planning a funeral— from both a financial and emotional standpoint. 

With preplanning, you work with an advisor to document your final wishes. Together, the two of you design a personalized tribute that reflects your preferred final arrangements, including:

  • Your choice between cremation or burial.
  • Your choice of service (ex: gathering, visitation, funeral and/or memorial services).
  • What items you’d like (ex: casket, headstone, cremation urn).
  • Personal touches (ex: music at a funeral or your favorite photos displayed).

This ensures that your final wishes are documented for your family to carry out.

2. Can I prepay?

While not required, most people who preplan their funeral also pre-fund it. When you prepay, make sure you have a clear understanding of guaranteed items that will not increase in costs, and what is not guaranteed that will increase in costs.

Depending on the funeral home, you can choose to pre-pay for your funeral all at once or through a flexible payment plan. From there, the money is deposited within 30 days to a bank or insurance company. The funds are held and inaccessible to your selected funeral home until you pass and the services are performed. If you elect a payment plan, some policies will cover the remain.

By pre-funding, the funeral home will honor the policy’s pricing, and your family may never see a bill.ing balance, should you pass before covering the full cost.

3. Can I transfer my prearranged plan to a different funeral home? 

Under Ohio law, all prearranged plans are 100% transferrable at any time. The cost you agreed upon during your initial prearrangement contract is final. However, it’s important to note that under certain conditions, you may not be refunded for a cost difference. 

For example, if you transfer your plan to a funeral home with higher rates, it’s likely you’ll have to pay the remaining balance.  

In the event a funeral home goes out of business or comes under new ownership, your policy is safe and easily transferable as well.

4. Do I need to preplan if I already have life insurance?

The purpose of life insurance is to help alleviate your surviving loved ones of financial loss or hardship in the event of your death. For instance, life insurance may help cover the costs of debts or taxes after your passing. 

Some families expect life insurance to cover all funeral expenses but that isn’t always the case. Depending on your life insurance coverage, your family may be subject to pay for the funeral and its entirety up front and at the current rates. It may take weeks or even months for your family to receive the reimbursement from the insurance company.

Prepaid funeral policies are designed to pay for your funeral expenses. If you prepay, your family doesn’t have to worry about the price tag of a funeral. Plus, they’ll still have life insurance to take care of your affairs. But, only you can decide if entering into a prepaid contract is right for your financial decision.

5. Can I cancel my preplanning arrangements or make changes?

You can cancel your preplanning arrangement and receive a full refund within 30 days of signing the contract. You can also make changes to your preplanned funeral arrangements at any time without canceling. Simply contact your preplanning advisor and set up an appointment to discuss changes.

If you decide to preplan final arrangements, we encourage you to involve family in the planning process. Be sure to tell your family about the plans you’ve made and let them know where the documents are filed to ensure final wishes are carried out.

Relieve Your Family From Funeral Burden and Preplan Your Funeral

As a fourth-generation family-owned and operated funeral home, Busch Funeral and Crematory Services takes personal pride in offering the highest quality of service to the families we serve. To give you and your loved one peace of mind, we invite you to schedule a preplanning consultation with Busch. Our preplanning advisors can explain your options, answer your questions and walk you through the process at any time. 

Not ready to schedule a consultation? Download the Seniors’ Guide to Funeral Arrangements for more information on how preplanning can save time, money and worry.

Download our preplanning guideEditor’s note: This post was originally published in 2018, and has been updated for 2019.


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