Preplanning Frequently Asked Questions

Preplanning a funeral can be extremely beneficial to you and your family, leaving less of a burden on the individuals handling a passing when it occurs, but more importantly having everything already planned out so that your funeral is entirely the way you desired it to be. While the process is beneficial, there can be many questions that also come with it. Below is a listing of some frequently asked questions of the Preplanning process.

Q: What is Preplanning, or Prearrangement?
A:

When you plan in advance, you are making choices now based on your wishes as to how your final arrangements will be carried out. Preplanning can greatly reduce family concerns at the time of your death.

Q: What do I need to do to preplan?
A:

At your convenience, you can meet with one of our licensed funeral directors to discuss your options and your preferences. When you make arrangements in advance, you will want to consider your funeral home location of choice, visitation preferences, services options, committal services, and the type of permanent memorial. By making some or all of these decisions now, you give your family peace of mind.

Q: What are the advantages of advanced planning?
A:

There are many advantages when you take care of your final arrangements in advance. The most obvious benefit is financial, but there are a number of emotional benefits, too. When you make arrangements in advance you have a better opportunity to make informed choices. If you decide to prepay, you guarantee today's prices, and can take advantage of affordable payment plans. We can provide additional professional advice on preplanning and prepaying.

Q: What is the difference between prepaying and preplanning?
A:

When you preplan, you do not need to pay for everything in advance—your estate can pay for the services at the rates being charged when your funeral is held. When your plan is complete, the funeral director will keep it on file until it is needed. However, if you prepay at the time you make your pre-arrangements, you can lock in today’s prices. We offer several affordable payment and investment options. We’ll be happy to discuss these options with you and help you make a decision that best suits your needs.

Q: Where does the money go that I prepay into a plan?
A:

In Pennsylvania our trusting laws require 100% of the money you prepay to go into either a trust account or an insurance policy. Once we receive preplan money from you it remains in the trust account or insurance policy and cannot be released to us until after the funeral you have chosen has been provided for you.

  • An Irrevocable Trust or Irrevocable Insurance Policy is most commonly purchased by someone who eventually might need care in excess of his or her assets. Once purchased, it can be used for burial purposes only. This can be started for any amount. It may be added to at any time. It is also important to note that the accounts established at Brugger Funeral Homes & Crematory produce no tax 1099's as we have pioneered accounts where the trust does its own tax reporting.
Q: What if the cost of the services/products I pre-pay is greatly increased at the time of my death?
A:

Once you prepay for your funeral arrangements, the terms both parties agree to are permanently in effect. We have stood by our word since the 1980's that if you pre-paid your funeral expenses in full that there would be no further cost to your family at the time of death. The only exception to that is with the onset of additional services that are desired by your family.

Q: Can we use already established life insurance policies to pay for our funeral?
A:

Yes, you can use already established life insurance policies to pay for your funeral, but we are unable to guarantee our pricing for such arrangements. The reason we don't guarantee pricing is because there are literally thousands of life insurance policies available on the market today. A majority of those polices available do grow and would offset any increase in funeral prices at the time of death. However, some do not and since we at the funeral home would have no control over the future benefit we can simply place the insurance policies "on account" for the time that an individual would pass away.

The following example helps illustrate transferring life insurance policies. If a life insurance policy had a death benefit of $5,000 ten years before death and the funeral was $4,500 there would appear to be enough money available. However, in that ten years the policy doesn't grow and the cost of the selected funeral rises 2% a year or $900 in ten years the total cost of the funeral would be $5,400 and your family would be responsible for the additional $400 of funeral expenses. To place life insurance policies "on account" Brugger Funeral Homes & Crematory, LLP would become the owner and beneficiary of the policy. This is also a way for an individual to qualify for Medicaid by transferring the value of the insurance policy (or asset) to the funeral home and out of the individual's name.