What is meant by pre-planning or pre-arranging a funeral?
In many instances, the planning of a funeral takes place when a person dies. It is a time when family members are distraught and when there are many questions regarding the proper type of funeral. Pre-planning a funeral is not a morbid or an unkind act; it is however, a procedure that allows rational thought to guide one through an emotional process. Often decisions can be made in haste and not fully discussed with other family members. The idea of pre-planning a funeral developed from the need to alleviate some pressure and confusion when death occurs. In pre-planning a service, the family can take time to thoroughly discuss and evaluate all the possible options there are in having a funeral. Pre-planning is a simple process that takes into consideration the desires of the one who is planning the funeral, and the family who will be participating in the funeral.

How do you pre-plan a funeral?
When pre-planning a funeral, the family members, the clergy, the funeral director and the individual concerned should all be consulted. The decision as to what is appropriate should be made by the family and clergy, while the funeral director helps to facilitate the wishes of the individual. Pre-planning is not an irrevocable decision. Changes and modifications can be made even after the death occurs; however, a pre-planned funeral leaves no question as to what the deceased person would have requested.

If a funeral is pre planned, can it be pre paid?
Pre paying for a funeral is also an option that can be discussed among the individuals concerned. If the decision is made to pre pay for the funeral expenses, then the funeral director will assist the individuals as to the proper method of securing these pre paid funds. The pre paid funeral expenses must be set up in specific types of accounts to insure proper financial protection. These pre paid funds are not used by the funeral home until the time of the actual funeral. At the Frasier-Shepardson, Goddard-Crandall-Shepardson & Welter-Price Funeral Homes, all pre paid funds are set up according to the rules and regulations of all applicable governmental agencies including the New York State Department of Health. These pre-paid funds are secured in a bank and are 100% refundable with interest upon written request from the owner.

When do you pre-plan a funeral?
There is no perfect time to pre-plan a funeral. Many people begin to think about funerals and pre-planning when they are affected by a death or are in situations where death is imminent. Pre-planning a funeral can be done at any time prior to death.

How does Medicaid or SSI affect a pre planned or pre paid funeral?
Pre paid funeral expenses are subject to the rules of the Medicaid office and are regulated if the individual is receiving assistance. If applying for Medicaid/SSI assistance, pre paying for funeral arrangements will offer the opportunity to pay for the funeral of your choice before assets are used up or reduced to meet Medicaid/SSI eligibility requirements. Burial Trust agreements established for the application or receipt of supplemental security income or medical assistance are IRREVOCABLE in New York Law. There are proper and legal means for which pre paid funeral expenses can be protected and secured. When dealing with Medicaid/SSI requirements and benefits, the funeral director can provide current information regarding funerals and your pending benefits.

Please feel free to call 463-4320, 437-2701 or 471-2349 to make an no obligation appointment to help inform you of your choices.

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