The Herald Bulletin

Midday Update

Columns

June 15, 2014

Rob Loose: Lots of good reasons to prearrange your funeral

Why should anyone prearrange their funeral?

This is a question I am quite often asked, and there are several good reasons. The most important reason would be to take away from those you leave behind the burden of guessing how you would like to be remembered.

Here are some of the considerations that can be preplanned:

— Type of service you prefer

— Type or color of casket you desire

— Place for your services

— People you would like involved in your service

— Information for an obituary and funeral home forms

— Flowers

— Clothing you wear

— Music

— Preference of traditional burial or cremation

— Place of burial or place for cremated remains

— Other special requests.

This information gathering does not guarantee that your wishes will be followed, unless you prepay for your desired services and also sign a Funeral Declaration Plan form (available at all funeral homes).

Another popular reason people want to prearrange their funeral is because they have been put on a spend-down plan to become eligible for Medicaid assistance.

If you or a family member has been diagnosed with a long and lingering illness and the healthcare will take all resources available, before you can apply for any assistance, your assets have to be at a certain level.

If this is inevitable, one way that the Medicaid office has allowed you to spend down is to prepay for your funeral. This can easily be accomplished by transferring existing life insurance ownership and beneficiary over to a funeral home or by using monies to purchase an irrevocable funeral plan.

If this is an option, Indiana Medicaid is allowing you the opportunity to be remembered in the manner you desire, while preparing to receive their assistance once you reach that eligibility threshold.

If paying for a funeral in advance is something you choose to do for yourself or a loved one, most funeral homes use an insurance policy specifically designed for the funeral industry.

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