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Modern Estate Planning Blog

Elder Law & Special Needs Planning

Probate Attorney in Sacramento Answers, “Should I pre-pay for my funeral or have it come out of my estate?”

July 26, 2011

There are many advantages of pre-paying your funeral before you pass away. The most obvious benefit is having the peace of mind knowing that your funeral and subsequent burial will happen exactly as you want it and that your family will not be burdened with additional expenses after you are gone.

But the Sacramento probate lawyers at The Chubb Law Firm also want to make readers aware of the disadvantages of pre-planning your funeral, as well as other options to help you retain control over your final wishes and still make things as easy as possible for your loved ones.

Let’s start with some of the disadvantages:

  • There is no guarantee that the funeral director will live longer than you will, nor that the funeral home won’t go out of business before you pass away.
  • If you haven’t chosen and paid for the exact plot that you want, your family may be forced to accept one in a less desirable location
  • There is a chance that ground care would stop after you purchase the plot
  • You could have problems transferring the pre-paid arrangements and plot if you move out of the area
  • If the plan isn’t paid in full before you pass away, it might not be fully honored
  • Depending on the interest rate, it’s possible that you end up paying more than necessary

One option for making sure that your funeral costs are close to the amount that you want to spend is to give your family a strict budget for things like a casket, cremation, funeral services and burial. If you don’t want an excessive amount of money spent, be sure to let your family know this and set a concrete dollar amount to go by.

Another option is to set up a Payable on Death account, also known as Totten Trust, and set money aside for your funeral expenses so that the money does not have to come out of your estate.

Need help with your estate planning? Call the Gold River estate planning attorneys at The Chubb Law Firm and ask about our free Peace of Mind Planning Sessions ($750 value) and how we can help with your trust administration or probate needs. Simply call (916) 241-9661 to get started.

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Heather helped my mother get her estate in order before her passing. It was only after that we learned just what a great job Heather did. Recently, I had the opportunity to have the Chubb Law Firm help me also with my estate. I feel confident that Heather and her team helped me to consider all of the appropriate options and to make the right choices including options I DIDN'T KNOW I HAD! This is the kind of law firm one imagines when you think about getting good legal advice.

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