Information about Funeral Pre-payment:
FUNERAL TRUST AGREEMENTS
Perhaps the most common form of funding and funeral pre-arrangement is through a Funeral Trust Agreement. This is a contract between the funeral home and an individual person for the purpose of pre-arranging a funeral for someone.
The agreement specifies who the arrangements are for, what exactly the funeral home will provide at the time of death and how much money the patron paid to the funeral home. Duker & Haugh Funeral Home is fully licensed by Illinois to accept such funds for pre-arranged funerals. The Office of the Comptroller requires that any seller of pre-paid funeral goods or services be licensed by the State of Illinois. Annual reporting of funds is required, and periodic audits are conducted by the Comptroller’s Office.
When we accept funds for a pre-arranged funeral, they are placed into a separate trust account for the individual person. Deposits are made locally in a Quincy financial institution, (Mercantile Bank Trust Department). These funds are held in trust until they are withdrawn at the time of death.
WHAT ABOUT INTEREST?
Funds for a Funeral Trust earn interest from the day they are deposited until the day they are withdrawn. It is the interest earned that allows the funeral home to guarantee specific goods and services necessary for the arrangements regardless of how long a person lives.
IS INTEREST TAXABLE?
Yes, as with any other bank account in your name, interest earned from a Funeral Trust Account may be taxable, and it is always advised to include the annual 1099 that you receive for this account to the person preparing your taxes.
MAY FUNDS BE WITHDRAWN BEFORE DEATH?
At Duker & Haugh, when a Funeral Trust Agreement is executed, the funds remain the property of the Patron. A person may therefore withdraw the funeral trust funds and cancel the Funeral Trust Agreement at any time by providing a letter stating their desire to do so. The only exception to this is when the individual may be receiving state or federal assistance, in which case, the trust agreement must be irrevocable.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
In summary, a Funeral Trust works this way:
A person decides with the funeral home all the specifics of the funeral they wish for themselves or another family member. A Funeral Trust Agreement detailing the arrangements is drawn up and signed by the patron and the Funeral Home representative. The amount of money necessary to provide for the desired arrangements is paid to the funeral home by the patron. The funds are deposited in a financial institution, earn interest, and are held until withdrawn to pay for the funeral expenses at the time of death.
FUNERAL TRUSTS & PUBLIC ASSISTANCE
Today, more and more people find themselves facing the difficult decision of seeking assistance from the Illinois Department of Human Services. A lengthy hospital stay or extended confinement to a nursing home can often exhaust a person’s financial resources. When this occurs, Public Assistance may be the only answer to provide for
continued care. In recent years, the Illinois Department of Human Services, in cooperation with the Illinois Funeral Directors Association, has made substantial changes in regulations that relate to funeral pre-arrangements and will continue to do so. We will provide you with the most current information regarding possible assistance from the State of Illinois, and the guidelines to which we adhere for the individual’s continued eligibility for State assistance.