Funeral planning is a crucial part of ensuring the fulfillment of your wishes in the event of your death. While many people focus on advance directives and planning for finances and care in the event of incapacitation, some people overlook including funeral arrangements among those other items.
In New York, incorporating a pre-need funeral agreement is an important part of any solid estate planning.
Understanding a pre-need funeral agreement
A pre-need funeral agreement enables you to outline your preferences for your funeral and burial arrangements, including the type of service, burial or cremation, the type of casket or urn, and other details related to your final disposition. Having this agreement in place as early as possible ensures your family can avoid potential disputes or confusion while respecting your wishes.
It is also important to note that this agreement applies only to your funeral arrangements. It does not include medical, financial or guardianship arrangements.
Incorporating the agreement into your estate plan
Not only does incorporating a pre-need funeral agreement into your estate plan allow you to plan for your funeral, but it also allows you to pay for it in advance. This can be particularly comforting for your family, as it eliminates the financial burden and stress of making these arrangements while grieving your loss.
Prepayment may also protect you from future inflation and price changes, as the cost typically locks in at the time you establish the agreement.
Reviewing your plan
Like all aspects of estate planning, it’s important to periodically review and update your pre-need funeral agreement. Significant life events, such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, or a change in your personal beliefs may motivate you to reevaluate your plans. While this is just one part of a comprehensive estate plan, regularly revisiting this document ensures that it continues to reflect your wishes.