Duker and Haugh Funeral Home offers a wide range of options for families that are considering Funeral Pre-planning. We invite you to visit our pre-arrangement center and talk with one of our licensed funeral directors concerning Funeral Pre-planning in greater detail.
AN INTRODUCTION TO FUNERAL and MEMORIAL SERVICE PRE-PLANNING
Since the early 1980s, public interest in Funeral Pre-planning has grown rapidly. More and more people are choosing to pre-arrange funeral services either for themselves or other family members. The reasons for Funeral Pre-planning are varied.
In some cases, people simply wish to take care of their own funeral arrangements in advance either to ease their own minds or to remove the burden from other family members.
In other cases, family members choose to make arrangements for another family member. This is often done to make such arrangements at a time of minimal stress.
Still others choose to take care of funeral arrangements for financial reasons. Selecting a funeral plan while funds are still available can have obvious advantages.
While the reasons go on and on, it should be noted that Funeral Pre-planning is not for everyone. Some people object to considering such issues prior to the actual need. These feelings should be respected and Funeral Pre-planning should not be forced on anyone.
Our licensed funeral directors are available to discuss each particular person’s individual situation. Through such discussions an appropriate alternative can be determined to meet one’s particular needs.
LEVELS OF PRE-ARRANGEMENT
Today, people come to us to discuss Funeral Pre-planning under a variety of circumstances. Generally, however, most will pursue one of the following three levels of pre-arrangements.
Level 1. Some people pursue Funeral Pre-planning by simply providing the funeral
home with general information concerning their wishes for their funeral. Obituary material is often given, location of cemetery space is identified, and the type of funeral preferred is generally discussed. Our General Price List is provided and an estimate of costs may be given. This information is kept on file at the funeral home to assist other family members with funeral arrangements when the need arises.
Level 2. Other people choose to move beyond the first level of Funeral Pre-planning and become very specific in discussing their arrangements. In addition to providing the information above, many of the particulars are specified. The type of service, casket, and vault is often selected, and other information such as clergy preference, flowers, etc. is identified. Our General Price List is provided and a cost estimate is prepared for the individual according to their wishes. Once again, this information is kept on file at the funeral home for use by family members at the appropriate time.
Level 3. After moving through the first two levels, many people choose to pursue the third level of Funeral Pre-planning and actually pay in advance for the arrangements they wish.
In this case, a Funeral Trust Agreement is established between the individual and the funeral home. This formal agreement spells out exactly what is to be provided and guarantees the patron that the funeral arrangements they have selected will be provided as agreed.
In Summary, Funeral Pre-planning can take a variety of forms and our funeral home is equipped to take care of each person’s wishes relating to their funeral arrangements or those they are making for a loved one.
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 to provide the arrangements. The 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. 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. The only exception to this is when Public Aid requires that the agreement be irrevocable. 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.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
In summary, a Funeral Trust works this way:
A person decides with the funeral home all of 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. 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.
A WORD ABOUT INSURANCE
Many people still plan for their final funeral expenses by purchasing insurance. This option is certainly still a viable approach to Funeral Pre-planning.
It should be noted, however, that the growth of Funeral Pre-planning has resulted in a great increase in burial insurance activity. Direct mailings, newspaper fliers, and other forms of advertisement offering burial insurance plans have become commonplace. Some of these plans claim to be associated with funeral homes and some in fact are.
However, before pursuing such a plan, you may wish to check with your funeral director to determine their association with the plan. Also, it is advisable to check with your regular insurance agent to see if they might have the same type of plan available to you. In Summary, many people find insurance as the best way to fund their funeral arrangements. As with anything else you do, Simply make sure you are dealing with a reputable company and are getting what you are paying for.
OBITUARY SUBMISSION FORM
You may find this form helpful in putting together the story of your life for the purposes of an obituary. Many people choose to have a photo accompany this information, and you may submit your photo to us in-person or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION TO INCLUDE IN AN OBITUARY:
- Full name, including nickname, if any
- Residence (for example, the name of the city)
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Names of parents, including mother’s maiden name
- Marriage(s): date of, place, name of spouse
- Education: school, college, university and other
- Employment: jobs, activities, stories, colleagues, satisfactions, promotions
Military Service, record of service, awards, and honors (Please provide us with a copy of your military discharge papers or DD214).
- Hobbies, sports, interests, activities, and other enjoyment
- Charitable, religious, fraternal, political, and other affiliations; positions held
- Unusual attributes, humor, other stories
Survived by (and place of residence):
- Children (in order of date of birth, and their spouses)
- Siblings (in order of date of birth)
- Others, such as nephews, nieces, cousins, in-laws
- Pets (if appropriate)
- Predeceased by:(Please list those who have already died)
- Name of clergy or funeral celebrant, pallbearers, honorary pallbearers, and other information about services desired
- Visitation information if applicable
- Other memorials, vigil, graveside services, or military honors if applicable
- Place of interment and headstone details
- Memorial donation suggestions, including addresses
- Thank you to people, groups, or institutions
- You may have other thoughts to include in obituary such as a quotation or poem