The purpose of the funeral -- which can be as conventional or unconventional as you prefer -- is to allow your survivors a time and place to grieve your loss. Arranging your funeral should be done with the same care and consideration that you use when writing a will, planning a wedding, or buying a home.
Making funeral arrangements in advance may lessen survivors' burdens at a difficult time and will help to ensure that your wishes are carried out. If you or a parent is trying to spend down assets to qualify for Medicaid, prepaying for a funeral can also be a smart move because dollars put toward funeral expenses aren't counted as part of your net worth.
Preplanning is simply creating a plan or an outline of your final arrangements. Your funeral director can provide an estimate of costs for funeral or cremation services, a casket or urn, burial, or other options. Preplanning does NOT include an agreement for payment in advance.
Preneed is an agreement or contract with a funeral establishment to provide advance funeral arrangements, products or services in exchange for compensation, at either a guaranteed or non-guaranteed price.
If your funeral director asks for payment through deposit, installments or insurance policy to pay for advance funeral arrangements, this is considered a Preneed Contract and the funeral establishment must be licensed as a "Preneed Contract Seller" with the Colorado Division of Insurance.
Also, the funeral director selling an insurance policy must be licensed as an Insurance Agent through the Colorado Division of Insurance.
Be sure to ask for license verification before contracting for any funeral arrangements.
Meaningful memorialization planning starts when loved ones talk about what matters most: memories made, lessons learned, and how they hope to be remembered.
Thinking about your own funeral leaves most people feeling a little uneasy, but more adults are finding that preplanning a funeral offers great emotional and even financial security for them and their families. With preplanning, families find comfort in knowing that the funeral reflects what their loved one wanted. It also gives them peace of mind to not have to make important decisions at a stressful time.
If you are considering prearranging a funeral, talk with a Funeral Director in your community to walk you through the prearrangement process.
Be sure to keep a copy of any plans and any pertinent paperwork in a safe place. Also, inform a close friend or relative what arrangements have been made and where the information may be found.
If you choose, there are several ways to prepay for your funeral that can offer you financial benefits. Prepaying is not required, but an option that many individuals find helpful.
Be sure to review all available options with your Funeral Director.
Please use the links above and below to find more information and resources.
When a family member or friend has died, it is important to notify various government agencies, banks, creditors and credit reporting agencies of the death. To reduce the risk of identity theft, these notifications should be made promptly after the death.
If you choose to hire a funeral director to help with final arrangements, experts recommend interviewing at least 3 Funeral Directors -- in person, if possible -- to compare their costs, services, and personal styles before making a final hiring decision. It can also be helpful to bring along a reliable friend or family member for moral support and for another opinion.
The funeral business has evolved from brick-and-mortar funeral establishments, to store-front shops in retail centers and funeral brokers that subcontract handling and arrangements to other funeral establishments. Here are a few questions to ask:
The information provided here is intended to assist, however it is not to be considered legal advice nor is it to be considered absolute. If you have questions about legal issues, consult your attorney.
If you have a question or concern regarding a cemetery, please contact the Colorado Association of Cemeteries at 303-886-3635 or go to www.coloradocemeteries.org.