Somewhere close to 23 percent of people who have reached the age of 50 have either paid for their own funeral expenses already, either in part or fully, or they have done so for another family member or loved one. There is no question about it, prepaying your funeral expenses is one of the most responsible decisions that you can make as an aging adult. Not only do your relatives get to skip the burden of paying for your services, but you can also rest easy knowing that your funeral will be just as you want it. If you do make the choice to start funding your own services and prearrange now, there is a simple ABC rule set that you should keep in mind.
Always shop around.
The average cost of a funeral is somewhere around $7,000 and $10,000. If you want to keep costs as low as possible, it is a good idea to shop around and compare prices between different funeral homes. Even though most funeral homes are fairly competitive in their pricing plans on specific services, the overall costs can drastically change from place to place, and shopping around is the only way to track down who has the most reasonable price.
Be sure you ask about refunds and cancellations.
Each funeral home will have a different set of rules about refunds and cancellations when it comes to the money that you have already paid. Things can change once you have planned and started paying for your funeral. For example, say you plan and pay for a funeral at a specific location and ten years later you move to an entirely different state, so you may wish to transfer your funding to a different location. Make sure you find out what the funeral home's refund and cancellation policy is when you are initially planning.
Consider creating a Totten trust account.
If you are not comfortable making arrangements and paying for your funeral that you believe is far in advance, you can always set up a Totten trust account. This payable-on-death account is basically a bank account that you set up with one beneficiary who will be allowed to withdraw funds once you pass away without having to go through the probate process. You can fund this account throughout the years and the money can then be used to pay for your funeral services. The only downfall to a Totten account is that fact that it is not exempt from creditors, but the account can be closed at any time or the beneficiary can be altered.
Don't be afraid to ask what happens to your money.
When you are making arrangements for pre-arranged funerals with a funeral home and prepaying, you should definitely know where your money will be kept until it is needed. Most funeral homes place your money in a trust fund, but it is always a good idea to ask the director and take note of where they intend to place the funding that you plan to pay for your services.