Preplan Now for Peace of Mind

Having to make unexpected funeral arrangements for a family member -- such as a parent or grandparent -- can add additional emotional strain during an already overwhelming situation. Family members may differ on how these arrangements should be made and may become divided or needlessly upset just when they need each other the most.

This can be prevented. Taking care of final arrangements ahead of time is a loving act of kindness as well as an emotional relief to all surviving family. There are many benefits to preplanning, including peace of mind for both yourself and your loved ones. By preplanning now, you can:

  • Ensure that your personal wishes are known.
  • Spare your loved ones the agony of having to guess what you would have wanted.
  • Remove a tremendous emotional burden from your family.
  • Make decisions at your own pace — calmly and informed, even in the comfort of your own home.

Financially, preplanning makes good sense. It is wise to complete your funeral and cemetery arrangements in advance to take advantage of significant financial opportunities that could await you, including:

  • Estate tax reduction. Advance planning may reduce your heir’s future estate tax burden.
  • Medicaid/SSI spend-down exemption. Prepaid funeral and cemetery costs are often exempt from the spend-down process to qualify for Medicaid or state assistance.
  • Inflation-proof plans. Prefunding your arrangements now can freeze costs at today’s prices.
  • Elimination of future costs. Preplanning can remove the threat of unexpected financial costs for your family when they are the least prepared.

Preplanning and prepaying, getting every question answered, and knowing ahead of time you are giving your loved ones a final loving gift is easy to do. Engaging the expertise of your local funeral home to help you understand your options and document your wishes can even be a gift to yourself, the peace of mind knowing you have left behind no added concerns for those you love.

Date: Tuesday, August 16, 2011

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