Funeral Trusts

Should I involve my family in the pre-arrangement process?
Yes, by all means. Consider the wishes and feelings of the family. Frequently an honest desire to spare survivors of the “painful” task of making funeral arrangements has a reverse impact because loved ones are removed from the process. Instead, permit loved one when possible to be active participants in the pre-arrangement process. However, do not force your family into any discomfort they may feel as a result of making prearrangements.

What happens to the funds?
In the case of funeral trusts, the money goes into an interest-bearing, government backed account in your name at a bank, savings and loan associations, or credit union. The interest is taxable to you.  It is still your money.  

How do price-guaranteed funeral trusts work?
With a price guaranteed pre-arrangement, the services and merchandise you select are price-guaranteed.  Cash-advanced items are not price guaranteed. The funds you place in trust are invested in a Cert. of Deposit at a bank.  At the time of death, Roseberry’s retains the principle plus interest in consideration for your lifetime guarantee.

How do non-guaranteed funeral trusts work?
With a non-guaranteed funeral, the funeral home provides the items and services you selected, at the rates being charged at the time of your funeral. The principal and interest of your account will be applied to the home’s total charges. If this amount does not cover the expenses, your estate will be charged the difference. If the amount in your pre-need account is greater that your funeral costs, the excess money will be refunded to your estate.

Non-Guaranteed Price-Guaranteed
Price Guaranteed No Yes
Excess funds in Trust family keeps or refunded to state if on Medicaid funeral home
Short-fall in funds in trust family pays the difference funeral home pays the difference

Is it possible to prepay cemetery, crematory, clergy and death certificate costs?
Yes, but because we have no control over them, they will be non-guaranteed.

What about going on Public Assistance?
Public assistance laws change periodically, but they typically take into account that at least some, if not all, funeral expenses may be pre-paid.

What are the differences between an Irrevocable and a Revocable Trust explained
An ‘Irrevocable Trust’ is a ‘Trust’ that once established cannot be ‘dissolved’ until the terms of the ‘Trust’ are satisfied. In the case of an ‘Irrevocable Funeral Trust’ the person named as the creator [or grantor] of the ‘Trust’ must pass away before the terms and the assets of the ‘Trust’ can be put into motion because the wording in this ‘Trust’ states that the assets can not be paid out UNTIL the creator passes away. It is very important that you realize that an “Irrevocable Funeral Trust’ cannot be dissolved for any reason whatsoever. What these means is that NO PERSON or ENTITY, not even the person in whose name the ‘Trust’ was created, can gain access to the assets placed into the ‘Trust’ – EVER. This is the singular reason why no person or entity can confiscate the assets placed in an ‘Irrevocable Funeral Trust’. This is also the reason why funeral trusts receive special tax treatment.

A ‘Revocable Trust’ is one that can be created by anyone, and at a later date, the ‘Revocable Trust’ can be ‘dissolved’ by the person who originally created it. Upon dissolution, the assets (if any) that were placed into the ‘Trust’ revert back to the ownership status they held before they were assigned to the ‘Trust’. Because a ‘Revocable Trust’ can be dissolved by its creator, or some other person or entity at any time, a ‘Revocable Trust’ DOES NOT enjoy favorable tax treatment or exemption from being confiscated by nursing homes or Medicaid providers or even hospitals, doctors and the like. In the case of seniors seeking care in a nursing home, expecting their care to be paid for by the government, they are now subject to the “spend down” rules imposed by all states before providing free nursing home care.

Comments are closed.