Long term care planning involves many issues, one of which is pre-arranging your funeral. There are a number of advantages to doing so. You get to choose what type of funeral you want, be it burial or cremation, and what funeral home you would like to use. You can decide if you want a viewing, graveside services or only a memorial service. You take a lot of the burden off of your family by pre-arranging your funeral. They do not have to make funeral arrangements while they are grieving. Making your funeral arrangements ahead of time may also help to reduce family conflicts.
As part of long term care planning, an elder law attorney can help you review the options for pre-arrangements as well as the options for pre-payment. A funeral can be pre-paid in several ways. First, an irrevocable burial trust account can be set up with a bank. Or, pre-payment can be made directly to the funeral home after you make your choices and enter into a contract. You can use cash to pre-pay the funeral home, or you can transfer the ownership of a small life insurance policy ($5,000 to $10,000) to the funeral home. Another option for payment is to name the funeral home as the beneficiary of the policy. The death benefits are paid directly to the funeral home, which saves your family the worry about how to pay the bill. It is best to make the pre-arrangements while you are able to do so.