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Just a short note to thank you & your wife for the contribution in our dad's memory. But most of all thank you for all your time, guidance, knowledge and patience that you showed us over the past 11 months. You made a lot of the difficult decisions we needed to make a lot of easier. Thanks for all of us…Nana, Denise and Alan
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The idea of pre-arranging a funeral is nothing new. People have made their wishes for their post-death activities known to family members as well as to their funeral director for years. The best reason for pre-arranging a funeral is that the often difficult decisions aren't left to our family without the benefit of our input. Making the choices for ourselves or for those of a loved one before a death occurs makes these choices less emotionally charged when we aren't burdened following a death. We can make emotionally and financially healthier choices for ourselves when our emotions aren't raging, as is so often after a death occurs.
What is more common today is for people to fund their wishes. This is done for a number of reasons. With our ever mobile society, family members are no longer living around the corner from each other as they did in the past. People are living longer than ever and they need to make sure funds are available to cover the costs of their funeral or cremation choices. We are out-living our resources and as healthcare costs continue to rise, more and more people are applying for Public Aid assistance. One of the ways to protect one’s assets is to establish a pre-paid funeral arrangement. A funeral director cannot accept money before a death unless that money is either placed into a special trust fund, or used to purchase an insurance policy.
Chesed v’Emet uses the insurance method for a number of reasons. These insurance policies are tied to specific goods and services which makes them approved by the Illinois Department of Public Aid, in addition to the Illinois Insurance Commission, which ultimately backs these policies in the unlikely even the insurance company goes out of business. Because the funds used to pay for these policies are paid directly to the insurance company which issues the policy, Chesed v’Emet doesn’t receive the proceeds unless and until we provide the specified goods and services.
The reasons Chesed v’Emet uses the insurance method to pre-fund funeral arrangements. Firstly, insurance policies earn more money faster, and this income is what is used to guarantee future price increases aren’t passed on to the family as well as to guarantee the costs of the person’s choices. Secondly, insurance policies are totally transferrable so that if the person moves to another location, their asset remains secure. Thirdly, and most importantly, a properly executed funeral policy can be an important part of a person’s estate planning, especially if that person will need to apply for Public Aid assistance in the future. Public Aid laws are complicated and change from time to time, especially when it comes to funerals.
This is how pre-funding works using a policy issued through Chesed v’Emet. A person selects the services and merchandise they want. The total cost is itemized and that determines the cost of the policy. Once the premium is paid, the future costs of the services and merchandise that were selected is guaranteed not to be passed on to the surviving family. For example, suppose a service is selected that costs $4000 today. At the time of need, that exact selection would cost $4300, and the policy is worth $4200. The difference of $100 is written off and not passed on to the family. Conversely, let’s say that at the time of need the selected services and merchandise costs $4200 and the policy is worth $4300. The overage of $100 is given to the family as Chesed v’Emet is not entitled to keep it, morally, ethically, or legally. A properly executed pre-funded funeral insurance policy is a win-win for the beneficiary andfor the family. And, should the beneficiaryneed to apply for Public Aid, their assets are exempt from the spend-down phase of the application process.
For more information about how a pre-paid funeral policy can help you or your family in planning for the future, please call 847.577.0856 and we can discuss your specific needs.