Article authored by Matt Woodcheke, Consumer Connection staff
Question: I want to make my funeral arrangements in advance, but I’m not sure if I should pay in advance. Can you help?
Answer: Prepaying spares your survivors the burden of arranging payment while planning your funeral. It also keeps you in control of the costs and ensures that your wishes can and will be carried out. Prepayment methods include life insurance, funeral insurance, funeral trusts, and bank-held trusts or savings accounts. You may wish to consult an attorney and Medicare or Medicaid, if applicable, before you decide whether to pay for preneed expenses up front.
This is a personal decision that is completely up to the consumer. To avoid a large lump sum payment, some establishments offer payment plans for preneed arrangements. But remember, any arrangements (signed contracts, etc.) or end-of-life decisions should always be shared with your loved ones so that when the time comes, they know where to find the information to ensure that your wishes are followed.
The Cemetery and Funeral Bureau offers a guide to planning your arrangements in advance at its website, www.cfb.ca.gov.
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Submit your question via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and it may be answered in a future issue of Consumer Connection. Please note: We are not able to answer questions regarding the status of a license application, complaint, or investigation. Some questions have been edited for clarity or brevity.