Death is a certainty so have a discussion with family. When we are adolescents, we feel invulnerable to risks and think of death as an uncertain concept. In the prime of our life, we know the risks, but we still think of planning for “if I die.” When we pass life’s prime, death is not nearly as speculative as many friends and family members may have gone before us.
While death is never easy to contemplate, it us much easier to make the decisions before illness and grieving are not constant companions.
Do you want to be cremated?
Where do you want to be buried?
Where do you want donations sent?
Who will be your power of attorney?
There are many decisions to be made. Making them yourself can prevent family squabbles at a time when family members are most vulnerable. If you are a caretaker for your parent or other loved one, addressing this issue early can provide peace of mind later. Waiting until someone has died adds more emotion and strain to an already difficult situation.
It is possible to purchase the funeral ahead of time and make arrangements so your family knows exactly what you wanted. Make sure the business will be there when the “need” arises.
In addition to adding peace of mind, purchasing a funeral ahead of time can be a good strategy if you are planning on qualifying for Medicaid. Cash sitting in the bank would be an “available resource” for Medicaid purposes and may need to be “spent down” prior to receiving Medicaid assistance. However, funeral arrangements are not considered to be an available resource. For example, let’s say you have $7,000 more than the otherwise available Medicaid exemptions (such as the family home). If you take that $7,000 and use it to buy a funeral plan, you would not have to spend it down prior to receiving Medicaid assistance.
As with all estate planning, pre-planning can help achieve a better financial and emotional outcome. The McGee Law Firm focuses in the practice areas of estate planning and elder law and we can help you decide if buying a pre-need funeral plan is right for you.
Compliments of the McGee Law Firm, Attorney Brandon McGee
Written By: The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys