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Elder Estate Planning: The Value Of Pre-Paying For Burial Or Cremation Services

elder estate planning

There Are Many Topics in Elder Estate Planning We Need to Think About Sooner Rather Than Later

When it comes to elder estate planning, that includes after death wishes. Many people reference how and where they want to be buried in their will. However, just stating your desires in your will is no guarantee they’ll be carried out.

In fact, there are a multitude of reasons why they may not be.

The best way to ensure your burial wishes are followed is by pre-paying for exactly what you want. Likewise, making sure your contracts are in a place where your loved ones know where to find them. When it comes to elder estate planning, there is great value for all parties in doing this. By pre-planning and pre-paying for your burial or cremation well in advance of those events, you get a say.

Spare Your Family The Burden Of Making This Important Decision

Many people make their funeral wishes part of their estate plans especially when they pre-pay for the arrangements. This relieves their families of having to make this important decision and scrambling to pay for necessary items and services on short notice.

Thinking ahead is also a way to make more informed and thoughtful arrangements. When pre-paying, you get to choose the specific items you want as well as affording you the luxury to compare the prices offered by funeral providers. Can you imagine having to make these kinds of decisions under pressure and strong emotions? When you work directly with a local funeral establishment, your wishes are put in writing, your contract is in writing, and everything is paid for and will go exactly as you describe.

What To Consider When Deciding To Pre-Pay Funeral/Burial Services

If you’re thinking about prepaying for funeral goods and services, it’s important to consider the following items before signing any contracts.

What are you are paying for? Are you buying only merchandise, like a casket and vault, or are you purchasing funeral services as well?

  • First, be very clear about what you are paying for. Do you with to pay for merchandise like a casket, a vault, or an urn, as well as purchasing funeral services.
  • What happens to the money you’ve prepaid? States have different requirements for handling funds paid for prearranged funeral services.
  • What happens to the interest income on money that is prepaid and put into a trust account?
  • Are you protected if the firm you dealt with goes out of business?
  • Can you cancel the contract and get a full refund if you change your mind?
  • What happens if you move to a different area or die while away from home? Some prepaid funeral plans can be transferred, but often at an added cost.

Speak With Your Family About The Plans You’ve Made

Be sure to tell your family about the plans you’ve made and let them know exactly what you have pre-paid for. And importantly, let them know where the documents are filed. If your family isn’t aware that you’ve made plans, your wishes may not be carried out. And if family members don’t know that you’ve prepaid the funeral costs, they could end up paying for the same arrangements.

If you need your elder estate planning updated with pre-paid funeral arrangements, give my office a call at (470) 235-7868.

Let’s get your plan updated. Of course, if you don’t have an estate plan, now’s a good time to create one and include pre-paid funeral arrangements.


Looking to find an experienced estate lawyer in the Georgia area who is skilled in asset protection and estate plan preparation? Shannon Pawley is an attorney in Georgia with expertise in estate planning and asset protection. Shannon can provide assistance with creating an estate plan to include making a will and how to establish a trust properly. If you have questions about asset protection or questions about making an estate plan, reach out to Shannon and she will be glad to help answer all the estate planning questions you might have!

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