Beware of any plan that does not specify exactly what you will receive. The law requires that pre-need funeral contracts specify in detail the funeral merchandise and services that are to be provided.
By law funeral directors also must provide written price lists for all merchandise and services they offer. Shop around. Some plans guarantee a fixed price; others don’t.
Know who is selling and honoring the burial plan
Pre-need burial plans may be sold directly by funeral homes or by other companies that have arranged to have a funeral home in your area service the plan.
Sellers are required by law to have a written contract with the funeral home to ensure there are arrangements. Ask to see a copy of this contract or check with the funeral home.
Be certain the funeral home designated in the plan is acceptable to you, and your family knows of its obligation to honor the plan.
State law gives you the right to cancel a pre-need funeral plan at any time unless at the time of sale you choose to give up that right. You should consider giving up that right only if you are seeking public assistance. You may wish to consult with a representative of the public assistance agency.
With the right to cancel, if you default on payments, you are entitled to recover any amount you paid into the plan, minus the amount the seller is allowed to keep — the first 20 percent of the purchase price –usually without interest depending on the contract.
Also remember, pre-need burial plans can be subject to a 30-day right to cancel clause under your state law.
To be sure a prearranged burial plan is best for you, consider other options such as buying additional insurance or arranging with a mortuary for a certain type of funeral service without prepayment.
Know where your plan payments are going
By state law, all payments made on a pre-need burial plan, minus the amount the seller is entitled to keep, must go into a pre-need trust. Those funds generally must be maintained in that trust until you die.
Make sure your burial plan identifies the pre-need trust into which your payments will be deposited, including the name and address of the trustee.
You have a right to receive from the seller, upon written request, a written statement of all deposits made into the trust on your behalf. Making such a request is a good way to determine that your payments are going into the trust and not into the seller’s pocket. You also may want to contact the trustee directly.
We invite you to come visit Amador Funeral Home Inc. you’ll be glad you did. And remember, we are here for you.