In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson discusses if you should prepay for your funeral.
One question that our clients seem to ask with some surprising frequency is, “Wes, do you think it’s a good idea to prepay for your funeral and burial or cremation arrangements?” Quick answer: Yes, I do think it’s a good idea for several reasons, and most of them are just common sense, personal.
First, when you arrange it, you haven’t just died, obviously. So, when you’re making the arrangements with a funeral director, you’re probably going to do that with a budget in mind and not being in an emotional state. Whereas, when people are going in right after you’ve died, I always joke that if I was a funeral director, I’d be a very successful one because I would show everybody the different price points on the caskets and right after I showed them the most expensive one, I would just look at them and say, “You know, your mother was a wonderful lady. Let’s honor her memory,” and then people would point to the most expensive casket.
You wouldn’t do that for yourself in most cases. If you do, great, that’s your decision. The other thing is, the day after somebody has died, don’t you want your family together just grieving and supporting each other and not on a shopping trip, if you will.
Couple things about them from a Medicaid standpoint: It should be irrevocable. That’s what makes it an exempt asset from Medicaid. And in terms of the prepaying for them, most funeral homes will accept, and there are insurance companies and insurance providers that offer you buy an insurance policy and it secures the prepayment. I like that better than prepaying the funeral home, because if the funeral home goes out of business you’re kind of stuck, whereas if you have the insurance policy, you’re not.
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Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (618) 632-7000 (IL) or (314) 567-9292 (MO), or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.