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burial insurance or other final arrangements
Old 12-26-2016, 07:06 AM   #1
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burial insurance or other final arrangements

I have no planning for my final expenses for me or dw. I hear people talking about burial insurance. I was wondering if any of you have this insurance or the best way to prepare for this? I have resources that would cover this but I was wondering if it is better to plan ahead and what methods you used. thanks
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Old 12-26-2016, 07:28 AM   #2
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My Dad simply went to the local mortuary, decided on the funeral he wanted, and paid a little each month on a prearranged funeral. When he died it was almost paid off. My sister and I paid for the remaining amount from his existing bank account. Working with the funeral director was much easier than I imagine working with an insurance policy would have been.
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Old 12-26-2016, 10:28 AM   #3
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My late Father had served in the military and so declared that he wished to be buried at the local National cemetery (free of charge).

Other than that,on the day after Dad's passing, I contacted our local funeral home in town and dealt with the owner and made all the decisions.

I did some Internet research and realized that many funeral homes make the majority of their income through casket sales. Although the funeral home warned of possible disasters that could happen if I used another casket, I did find one that I liked on the Internet. Placed the call around midnight and the owner of that company took my call and worked with me. A post on ER.org also confirmed that I was on this right path with all of this. Even the funeral directory later said that I have been making very good decisions all along in the process.

Perhaps the optimum way to handle this is to visit a funeral home while you are still alive and perform some advanced planning but don't spend any money up front. Then consider leaving a note of instruction to those who may survive you and let them know you have had this planning session but they are free to override anything that they desire.

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Old 12-26-2016, 02:31 PM   #4
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Then consider leaving a note of instruction to those who may survive you and let them know you have had this planning session but they are free to override anything that they desire.

-gauss
This is precisely what my Dad did not want. He said he was afraid my BIL would bury him in a "pine box" and he didn't want that.
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Old 12-26-2016, 02:50 PM   #5
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Perhaps the optimum way to handle this is to visit a funeral home while you are still alive and perform some advanced planning but don't spend any money up front.
That was what my mother did and it worked fine. My sisters and I were very grateful that the only decision we had to make was what kind of flowers to get.

That said, as Tadpole notes obviously it doesn't work out for everyone. If that is the case a prepaid funeral may solve the problem if one thinks relatives will try to change things. We did that with FIL (more to shield it from Medicare since that is not included in the 5-year lookback) and there was a contract that specified exactly what was to happen. I would think that if said relatives were not parties to the contract and wanted to change things the funeral home would tell them to pound sand. Politely of course.
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Old 12-26-2016, 02:51 PM   #6
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What's wrong with a pine box? I've already told my wife to please not spend thousands on a fancy coffin. I'd rather her or my sons to spend the money taking a trip in my memory. I don't really think I'll know what box I'm put in, or care
BTW since my mom died ~ 30 years ago I hate funerals. Other than seeing friends or relatives you never run into it's not a place I'd ever rather be.
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Old 12-26-2016, 02:57 PM   #7
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As far as I am concerned, my executors can take the cost of my funeral (and I'm planning an extravagant one) out of my estate. My will and other documents describe what I want. If I moved, or a funeral director went out of business, having a prepaid funeral would not be an advantage.
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Old 12-26-2016, 04:10 PM   #8
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As far as I am concerned, my executors can take the cost of my funeral (and I'm plan
ning an extravagant one) out of my estate. My will and other documents describe what I want. If I moved, or a funeral director went out of business, having a prepaid funeral would not be an advantage.
When my parents purchased a prepaid funeral the funeral director purchased insurance to cover the funeral, and gave the policy to my parents. If you can do this then you avoid the problem of a funeral home going out of business. I suspect funeral homes do this also to avoid more regulation on them, since to keep the money themselves makes them a trust company and a lot more regulations. Further because the funeral home has chosen the company sales expenses for the policy are very low since there is no salesperson for each sale (sort of like life insurance at work).

Here is a link to how the texas department of banking regulates prepaid funerals:http://www.prepaidfunerals.texas.gov/

Any funeral home or cemetery that sells prepaid funeral merchandise or services in Texas must have: (1) a trust-funded permit issued by The Texas Department of Banking; (2) sell through a third-party trust-funded permit holder; or (3) sell through a third-party insurance-funded permit holder. "


I suspect you would find similar regulations in other states.
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Old 12-26-2016, 04:21 PM   #9
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This is precisely what my Dad did not want. He said he was afraid my BIL would bury him in a "pine box" and he didn't want that.
My brother had terminal cancer and we were nearing the end. We had a sit down with his minister, my sister, and myself to discuss what he wanted for final wishes. He specifically requested a 'plain pine box'.

Then when he passed, my sister (the executor) was going through the book of caskets - even a plain pine box was very pricey ($3k)... but she accidentally flipped to the back of the book... and found a similar pine box for $800. Turns out the cheaper one was designed for cremation - but was perfectly legal for burial. Since my brother had a **very** small estate (approaching zero), that he was leaving to his church, we opted for the cheaper casket.

This was a bit of a learning experience for my sister and I. My family is odd - my parents and maternal grandparents all donated their bodies to UCSD medical center. So no casket needed... Memorial service/celebration of life type services in lieu of the open casket funeral common in my husband's family.

I'm continuing the tradition - I have my notarized forms turned in to UCSD. DH wants to be cremated with memorial service (no casket) rather than funeral... And we've got notes written on what we want for the service.

My FIL and MIL had a burial plot. MIL is still alive and the cemetary just changed owners. They want a fee (forgot for what) for FIL who's buried there... and they want an ongoing fee to continue to hold MIL's spot. We're very frustrated with this since the plot was paid in full decades ago.
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Old 12-26-2016, 04:40 PM   #10
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Grandparents were sitting around one Sunday afternoon with their brothers and sisters. The subject came up, and my grandfather bought a bunch of burial plots the next day. I can now visit them all on one trip.

My parents are buried next to my aunt and uncle. They paid out the nose to prepay their burial expenses. We still had to pay $300 for a casket cover (flowers) and $300 upgrade on the casket vs. one in their plan.

Burial insurance is a big, big money maker for funeral homes. As long as estates are substantial, you'll probably come out better paying for the burial when it's time. And don't hesitate to bargain.
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Old 12-26-2016, 04:44 PM   #11
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FIL was from a long line of funeral directors and he sold prepaid funeral arrangements. Both FIL and MIL chose to be cremated, no viewing, with a visitation and memorial service over their ashes, with burial of boxed ashes in their family plot. Easy peasy. No casket. The funeral business is changing.

I believe prepaid funeral expenses are exempt from the Medicaid look-back, or at least used to be in my state, which used to be a selling point.
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Old 12-26-2016, 04:47 PM   #12
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What's wrong with a pine box? I've already told my wife to please not spend thousands on a fancy coffin. I'd rather her or my sons to spend the money taking a trip in my memory. I don't really think I'll know what box I'm put in, or care
BTW since my mom died ~ 30 years ago I hate funerals. Other than seeing friends or relatives you never run into it's not a place I'd ever rather be.
Well, I don't know. I guess he was afraid of being publically disrespected. I want a pine box and cremation, the cheaper the better. But I don't still live in the town I was born in.
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Old 12-26-2016, 04:50 PM   #13
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When my Grandpa died nothing was bought and it was stressful. So everyone bought plots together. Then when my Mom and Aunt were in their 60's they bought their headstones and had them engraved but kept inside. When the men died the stones went out. My Mom planned her funeral down to the songs and asking people to sing to writing her own obit. Nothing was left for us to do. She also wanted to treat everyone to a sit down dinner at a nice restaurant. Because she lived so long-almost 90 her only asset left was her car which we sold to finish paying for stuff. WE are going to be cremated and put in the national cemetery by us and I already did the paperwork. They give you the spot, marker, etc.
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Old 12-26-2016, 04:57 PM   #14
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Has anyone had any experience with Neptune? A friend in the neighborhood signed up and thinks it is the way to go if you are going to use cremation. Hard to get a good feeling from the web.
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Old 12-26-2016, 06:39 PM   #15
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Eh, leave me out for the coyotes in my favorite hunting grounds. That way I will end up "scattered" in a place I love and spend many happy days.
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Old 12-26-2016, 07:08 PM   #16
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Eh, leave me out for the coyotes in my favorite hunting grounds. That way I will end up "scattered" in a place I love and spend many happy days.
There's a "body farm" somewhere in Tennessee that takes donated bodies and leaves them out under various conditions to observe the decay process. That aids law enforcement in determining time of death when they find a body.

When DH got his terminal diagnosis we looked into donating bodies to science but the local university said that they don't take emaciated bodies and poor DH was down to less than 120 lbs. when he died (he was over 6 feet tall). We'd agreed on cremation and a few weeks before his death I visited the local funeral home and filled in all the papers for cremation when the time came, but didn't pay for it. It was still a load off my mind; when DH's time came I handed over the funeral home card to the hospice social worker and she took care of the rest. They charged my credit card when the work was done. I was glad to have arranged it ahead of time but to me the valuable part was discussing it all ahead of time with DH, then getting the paperwork out of the way before it was needed.
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Old 12-26-2016, 07:26 PM   #17
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My family has used both the Neptune and Trident Society (depending on the location where you live) for prepaid cremation. Three family members so far and all went well. Three more of us have the prepaid plans but are still living.
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Old 12-26-2016, 09:25 PM   #18
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... WE are going to be cremated and put in the national cemetery by us and I already did the paperwork. They give you the spot, marker, etc.
Have you gone out to visit your future home ?
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Old 12-26-2016, 10:10 PM   #19
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I believe prepaid funeral expenses are exempt from the Medicaid look-back, or at least used to be in my state, which used to be a selling point.
They are in Illinois.

While managing MIL's spend-down to Medicaid, we discovered we were allowed to purchase a pre-paid wake, casket and cemetery plot, which we did. At the time of her passing, we should only have to come up with a few hundred bux for some flowers and misc expenses.

I'm always suspicious of the funeral industry, so I won't be surprised if some surprise charges or last minute up-selling pop up. But we did the best we could finding a reputable facility and can only hope for the best going forward.
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Old 12-27-2016, 09:45 AM   #20
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I have had cremation arrangements with Neptune for over 20 years. I have no interest in a funeral, a "ceremony", and do not care where the ashes are spread, or if they even are. I've made all this clear in an electronic (excel) "death book", which contains everything my executor needs to know to settle my estate upon my passing:

Erik A. Dewey
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