Cremation pre-planning gives you the opportunity to make critical decisions when you are calm and focused. And there's this: when pre-planning cremation, you can even save money by selecting one of our prepaid cremation plans.
Putting pen to paper in the effort to record your cremation intention is one way to ensure your final wishes will be carried out by your survivors; but paying for cremation services ahead of time can do even more to guarantee your intentions (and save you money at the same time). However, there are some things you should be aware of when you purchase a prepaid cremation plan. Naturally, we believe prepaid cremation offers individuals an abundance of benefits; but you really should do your "due diligence" before putting any money on the table.
A prepaid cremation plan is basically a contract for the future delivery of specific cremation services and related merchandise, which also features a funding instrument in place to pay for the goods and services. Each state has specific laws relating to prepaid funeral and pre need cremation plans, but as a general rule, the funeral home or cremation provider will place a percentage of the plan payment in a state-regulated trust fund. Another option to insure the proper handling of prepaid funds involves the purchase of a life insurance policy with benefits assigned to the funeral home or cremation services provider. And in some cases, these prepaid contracts guarantee the price of the goods and services will cost no more upon delivery than what was paid for at the time the contract was signed.
Let's be honest; if someone were to ask you, "what's the benefit of planning ahead?" you'd probably answer quite simply: "it helps prevent mistakes". It's true in all areas of our lives; when we take the time to plan ahead, we can save ourselves time, energy and, of course; quite often planning ahead can also save us money. This is especially true in relation to cremation preplanning. If we agree on the answer to the question "why plan ahead?" it's easy to see the enormous value of the decision to plan ahead for cremation services.
What You Need to Learn about Pre Planning Cremation
Unfortunately, there's a great deal of misunderstanding about prepaid cremation plans, which compels us to bring a few important points to your attention. When you make the decision to purchase a cremation plan and pay for it in advance, you should always:
Compare providers, plan features, and prices.
There's no doubt; costs for cremation services and related merchandise can vary drastically. We urge you to do your due diligence; investigate your options thoroughly.
Review plan(s) carefully.
After selecting a provider (or when deciding between providers) you should request a copy of the proposed contract. If applicable, ask for the trust-related financial details. Take the time to review all documents with an attorney; and if you have a financial advisor or accountant, we recommend you consult them as well.
Investigate the provider's reputation.
Before signing any contract or committing any funds, be sure to check the company out with the Better Business Bureau, the state funeral board, attorney general's office and/or consumer protection agency.
Other Benefits of Planning Ahead
Certainly, whenever we make the effort to plan ahead we benefit. Not only can we save ourselves precious time and energy (and let's not forget money); but there are some other real benefits in cremation pre-planning–and not just for ourselves, but for those we love.
Because you've had the foresight to plan ahead, your family will not be forced to make emotionally-difficult decisions while arranging for your final care after you're gone. There's no more difficult task than making funeral arrangements when grief is fresh; the sorrow, confusion and fatigue can make clear, decisive thinking almost impossible. Your foresight has saved them the heartbreaking task, and given them much-needed time to share their grief and get emotional support from one another.
Since you've taken the time to plan ahead, you (and your family) will have greater peace-of-mind. Is there anything more valuable than peace-of-mind? We're reminded of the passage from Wally Lamb's book, I Know this Much is True: “If I could just write it down in a piece of paper, then maybe she could get a decent night's sleep, eat a little of her dinner. Maybe she could have a minute's worth of peace.” In writing down your final wishes, you've effectively given those you love far more than a minute's worth of peace; you've given hours, days, weeks and even years of peace. How priceless a gift.
If you've chosen to pre-pay for your cremation arrangements, you've effectively saved some of your family's hard-earned money.The National Funeral Directors Association published a "Bill of Rights for Funeral Preplanning" which states, "Before making any decisions on preplanning or prefunding funeral goods or services, or signing a preneed funeral contract, we urge you to ask any and all questions you may have regarding the planning process." According to this guiding organization, the funeral professional you meet with to pre-plan your cremation must provide you with:
A detailed price lists of goods and services before you make your selections
A written statement listing all the goods and services you have purchased (along with the prices of each) you, at the conclusion of the cremation arrangement conference
A written preneed contract explaining, in plain language, your rights and obligations
In addition, the contract provided to you must:
Guarantee that if any of the goods or services you have selected are not available at the time of need, goods and services of equal or greater value will be substituted at no extra cost.
Explain the geographical boundaries of the firm's service area
Identify under what circumstances you can transfer the preneed contract to another funeral home if you were to relocate, or if the death were to occur outside of the service area.
State where and how much of the funds you pay will be deposited until the funeral is provided.
Explain exactly will be responsible for paying taxes on any income or interest generated by the preneed funds that are invested.
Inform you whether, and to what extent, the funeral home will guarantee the price of goods and services you are purchasing. (If the prices are not guaranteed, the contract will explain who is responsible for any additional amounts that may be due at the time of the funeral.)
Explain whether and under what circumstances you may cancel your preneed contract and how much of the funds you paid will be refunded.
Enjoy the Benefits of Cremation Pre-Planning
Are you ready to experience the peace-of-mind gained when planning ahead? We're ready to assist you. In fact, we've made it easy for you to plan ahead by offering you two ways to make your cremation arrangements ahead of time. You can use our online pre-arrangement planner, Pre-Arrange Online, in the privacy and comfort of your home. Or, if you feel a need for additional guidance, you can set an appointment to sit down with a professional to discuss our prepaid cremation services. Don't worry; there's no need to come into our offices; we'll be pleased to come to you.
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Pre-Fund Your Cremation Plan with Confidence
While we urge you to investigate all your prepaid cremation plan options thoroughly before signing anything, we'd also like to ask that you include our firm in your inquiries. We do so for a reason: we know that each of our cremation plans provides the most value for the dollar. After all, the quality of our cremation services is unmatched, and the professionalism of our staff is extraordinary. When you sign a pre-paid cremation contract with us, you'll do so with the certainty you've made the right choice. When you're ready, call us at (301) 739-5498.