Senior Citizen's Guide digital books
Senior Citizen's Guide to Chicago

Do You Feel the Need for Pre-Need?

Throughout our entire lives we plan and prepare for upcoming events and milestones. Birthdays, Barmitzvas, christenings and weddings etc. Little time or thought is given when planning our own funerals. It is a sensitive matter but then again it is a fact and a destination of life.

You may ask yourself what kind of person makes arrangements for their own funeral . The answer is a smart person who often thinks of others before thinking of themselves.

A pre-need arrangement is buying, in advance, funeral services and burial merchandise that you will select yourself. You will enter a pre-need contract with a funeral home where, upon payment, most costs will be guaranteed.

The obvious advantage is to the price conscience consumer. The average funeral today costs nearly $8,000. In a few decades that cost may double. You can pay today's prices for future services. Other advantages are having time to make certain decisions, having peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be granted and relieving family members of having to make rash decisions and eventually facing the burden of paying for the funeral.

There are many decisions that have to be made during funeral arrangements and you can ask yourself who will be making these decisions when you are gone. Like anything in the world of business, it is wise to be an educated consumer. There are many hidden costs and fees out there when planning a funeral. Among these are funeral home costs, cemetery costs, headstone, luncheon cost etc. The best advice would be to go directly to your preferred funeral provider and ask him what is involved in the arrangement process.

If you don't have a preferred funeral provider you should shop around in advance and compare prices.

Spend an hour with the director and go over all aspects of the event. Most people do not have cemetery arrangements nor do they realize the cost.. People can pre-arrange everything from the type of casket, cemetery choice, pall bearers and what they want to be dressed in.

Almost as important as revising your will, make your wishes and thoughts be known to your loved ones. Do you want a cremation or burial. Do you want an open or closed casket. Do you want an honor guard at the cemetery. The choice made by you will be guaranteed.

Some pre-arranged funerals are required when people can no longer care for themselves and need to be cared for by a nursing home. While applying to a nursing home they will ask you first off if the applicant has pre-funded funeral arrangements made yet and if not they would recommend that you make them.

Some elderly people faced with the possibility of entering a nursing home have to spend down their assets in order to qualify for public aide. Pre-funding the funeral arrangements is highly recommended.

Educating yourself on the subject of pre-arranged funerals should not be limited to senior citizens. If one is selected as a power of attorney, a power of attorney for health care or an executor of a will they should be informed of a person's funeral situation. Many elderly forget if they made arrangements. Some do make arrangements and do not fund them. It is not a nice surprise to find out too late that funeral costs are due after thinking otherwise.

Funeral Homes do not accept payment plans. Funerals are often sudden and a large payment is due immediately. This can be a stressful and embarrassing moment for many families. Many people do not have life insurance that help pay for funeral costs.

No matter what your age, do your homework on yourself and your loved ones. Don't wait for the teacher to collect your unfinished work. Make a phone call. Visit your funeral provider. Select your cemetery where your loved ones are and it is of your religious preference. Don't wait forever.

All arrangements should be made with a licensed and funeral provider and supervised under the authority of state and federal regulatory guidelines.

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