Pre-Need/Pre-Arranged Funeral Insurance
Contact our Pre-Need Funeral Counselor:
It is a fact (A VERY UNFORTUNATE FACT) of life that some people will die without sufficient resources for funeral expenses. So, you may be asking, what should one do? Simple: go to the source. If you want an insurance plan to cover your burial expenses, call on your local funeral homes insurance agent. You may even consider just purchasing a simple life insurance policy that the family can use for end of life issues.
Realize that funeral costs historically escalate at a rate nearly triple inflation, so don't settle for what it would take to handle things today, pad it and hope for the best. Remember! you do not have to be old to invest in Pre-Need funeral planninng, the older you are, the more exspensive it will get.
About our Pre-Need Counselor - Liz & Lawrence have been providing funeral Pre-Arrangement options to the local community for over 25 years. Fluent in Spanish and English, they will make it a point to come to you at your convenience and work around your schedule at a location of your choice. They encourage you the consumer to select the services of your choice and never employ any high pressure tactics to ensure you are obtaining the services only you choose, in the comfort of your home setting and surrounded by those who will best guide you. Your family or close friends, or perhaps something you wish to do alone to relinquish the burden of the arrangements from your family at the time of your passing. Be it a dignified simple Direct Cremation, or a traditional internment, Liz & Lawrence will be more than glad to guide you, structuring everything around your budget. If you have any questions at all about Pre-Arrangment, feel free to call on them.
The Do's and Dont's of Funeral Insurance
NOTE - Never tell the funeral counselor the face value of a life insurance policy if it is your intent to use one to to pay for funeral services. It is recomended that you wait until after the contract for goods and services is presented to you. 5% to 10% is the standard assignment fees of the TOTAL cost of all goods and services, including tax. If you are being charged anything greater than 10%, consider another facility.
EXAMPLE - Funeral Bill = $4,000, Assignment fee will be $400 @ 10%
NEVER, ever take a cash advance from the insurance policy offered by the funeral home to help you over the "difficult time". It is the funeral homes hope that you will accept this amount and this in turn will allow the funeral home to increase the contract thus their assignment fee. This is a very, unethical practice. It is illegal; the funeral home is not a lending agent. Insurance policies usually pay out to the beneficiary 30 to 60 days after receiving the death certificate. You will need a death certificate for each policy.
Standard Insurance Terminology:
Term Life Insurance - Life insurance that willl not cover you your entire life. The coverage will run out after a specified amout of time agreed upon when you purchase the policy. Less exspensive. This can be contestable.
Whole Life Insurance - Life insurance that will cover you "almost" your entire life or up until a very advanced age. More exspensive. This can be contestable.
Pre-Need Funeral Insurance - This will insure you for pre-arranged funeral services your entire life, if paid up to date. This can not be contestable. It will only pay out the entire policy amount if paid off or if it has an accident rider in it.
Final Expense Insurance - Final expense insurance is term life or whole life insurance sold by agents representing funeral homes. As Pre-Need funeral insurance grows at a specified rate to hopefully keep up with funeral inflation, final expense insurance does not. Also, final expense insurance can be used anywhere at any funeral facility the beneficiary chooses to use. Agents tend to mislead families that they must use the policy at the location they represent. This is not true.
WARNING! There is a misconception that final expense insurance is Pre-Need funeral insurance, it is not. It is only insurance and the beneficiary can use the proceeds for whatever they choose after the insured passes away. As a result, make sure that the beneficiary can be trusted to use the policy to cover funeral expenses.
Funeral Trust - A savings account used soley for the purpose of funeral expenses. Will pay out to a funeral home upon death. Can not be contested or used for anything else.
Contestable - The issuing insurance company has the right to argue and/or question the manner of death and whether they choose to pay the policy or not. It is very difficult to use a contestable life insurance policy to pay for funeral services. Accidental deaths, suicides, unknown causes of death and "pending" information on a death certificate are usually contested by the insurance company within the first 24 months after issuing the policy, but not always. Be aware of this. An insurance company may request medical records of the deceased to investigate whether the information provided during the initial health questionnaire was truthful or not during the contestability period (providing fraudulant information). If they find any misinformation or untruths by the policy holder, they may deny the policy. Contestability periods can take up to 6 months to provide payment. Differant insurance companies follow different guidlines for insurance, ensure "YOU" know your providers policies and procedures. Call them.
Assignment Fees - The percentage charged on the total goods and services amount on the contract by a third party assignment company and a funeral home to process an insurance policy so the funeral home can secure payment prior to services. The assignment percentage is usually split 50/50 between the funeral home and the assignment company. Anything over 10% is a grossly inflated rate.
NOTE - We are not attorneys so we can not give you legal advice or answer any questions that can be supported legally in a courty of law by our funeral home. We provide information that we find on the internet as nothing more than simple resources to give you a general idea of what you may have to deal with at the time of ones passing. For more information that can be supported legally in court we encourage you to contact a probate attorrney for advice and guidance.
Remember these 11 simple tips:
1. Any "Funeral Pre-Need Policy" can be used at any Mortuary, "IF" they choose to accept it. Most will only honor the policy amount, not the itemized funeral plan. Use caution.
2. Any "Life Insurance Policy" that has a death benefit can be used to pay for funeral expenses.
3. Any "Life Insurance policy" can be assigned to pay for a service at any funeral home.
4. You have other options such as funeral trusts and life insurance for funeral funding.
5. Shop around for the most affordable and reasonable policy, never sign on the same day.
6. Never speak to an agent at the funeral home, pick a neutral location or your home.
7. Never speak to an agent alone, take a friend or as a couple.
8. Never see an agent immediately after attending a funeral service or losing a loved one.
9. Never see an agent around the holidays. Your pre-need to your children is a bad X-mas gift.
10. Think about it overnight. The agent would like a sale, what you want is peace of mind.
11. If in doubt, ask the funeral home, not when you need them, but when you don't.
Are there advantages to pre-need funeral insurance?
YES - You can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your services have been funded. If an insurance policy has guaranteed the funeral, your survivors will not have to worry about how to pay the bill. When you pre-need, the Insurance Agent will provide a Pre-Need Insurance Agreement which addresses many important matters, such as; how the final expenses will be determined; if additional funds will be needed when death occurs; what will happen if the merchandise selected is no longer available; and, what will happen if any funds remain after the funeral bill is paid.
Are there drawbacks to pre-need funeral insurance?
YES - As with any financial transaction, there are potential drawbacks. While the law gives you, the consumer some of the strongest protections in the country, it does not provide absolute protection, as the money is controlled by the insurance company, not you. There are some things you must study carefully before entering into a pre-need funeral arrangement:
Make sure you always have a pre-need agreement or contract for services whenever you prepay a funeral, whether it is directly with a funeral home's insurance representative or a freelance agent.
Let someone you trust know that you have prepaid your funeral arrangement and the name of the funeral home. Otherwise, they may select a different funeral home and pay again. Give a copy of your policy or contract to two of your family members. DO NOT PUT IT IN YOUR SAFTEY DEPOSIT BOX.
Always deal with a funeral home with which you and your family are familiar and comfortable with. Suits and ties do not necessarily make a reputable agent and tend to make people uncomfortable.
Know that if your relocate, your pre-need insurance policy is good anywhere. Maybe not at the same value, but it is good.
Do not make payments in cash at the funeral home.
Do some information searching on the internet about the company you choose.
Can the next of kin change my pre-paid funeral arrangements after I have passed?
YES - Changes can be made by your next of kin after you have passed. It is within the family's legal right to either add to or take away from a service. Many families will downsize to a direct cremation from an elaborate funeral service that the deceased had planned years ago and had made their wishes known the they preferred something more simple. It is your right.
YES - You have the option of using a policy at any location that you choose as long as they choose to accept it (we will). Some families choose to do this to save funds or maybe get a little more for what they paid at the time of the policy purchase, at a more affordable location. This is quite common and there is nothing wrong with this practice. Remember, even with a more costly policy, you still only pay for services selected at the location you choose to use it at.
So, let's say you have a pre-need policy for a direct cremation from the facility down the street and around the corner for $2,300 or any facility and you choose a direct cremation at $555 at our facility, you now have $1,745 dollars left over for a very nice Urn, a dignified memorial service or even a viewing to say good-bye, at our facility. All this already paid for on the Pre-Need funeral policy. The choice is yours.
CREMATION CHARGE $2,300 (theirs) - $585 (ours) = $1,745 (funds left)
You may even be eligible to have some funds refunded to you to assist you financially through this difficult time.
Don't fall for price increase tactics while purchasing.
Avoid "It will only increase your premium just a little", stick by your initial decision on what you choose for services and cost. If you hear the phrase, "lock in the price", remember no price is going to jump that high overnight. You can select the services you want, when you want. No one needs to do this for you. Be in control of your contractual agreement. Always stick to your budget, no matter what.
Our representative are patient and understanding to your needs, we will be more than happy to have a licensed pre-need funeral insurance counselor call you, visit you at home or your location of choice and convenience. Do not feel pressured to jump at the first opportunity. Allways be in control. The agent has somthing you may want, but there are many, many agents to choose from.
We encourage you to contact us with any questions regarding any of our burial and cremation services provided or any funeral questions you may have.
Requests, comments or feedback: Please use the form below to send us your requests, comments or any feedback you may have on our facility. Please note, we will try to respond to all requests within 24 hours, or the next regular business day. Should you need immediate assistance, please contact us at the phone number above 24 hours a day, with never an answering service.
1376 W. St. Mary's Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85745
FUNERAL ESTABLISHMENT LIC. #B0762