Prearranging a Funeral
Perhaps one of the most important services we offer is advance planning. Many of us would rather not think about planning funerals ahead of time,but it is wise to consider your options in advance so that you can make informed, sensible decisions. When a death occurs, there are many decisions that must be made within a very short period of time, while you are under incredible stress. Advance planning allows you to carefully consider your choices, and to discuss them with your family.
Without exception, those families who have made some advance plans have told us how much easier it made things when the death occurred. They were able to concentrate on helping each other, rather than coping with making a lot of decisions while under tremendous stress. Once advance plans are made, only one phone call is needed when the death occurs - the funeral home is able to then start putting into place the family's wishes immediately. Advance planning can take many forms - from listing biographical information with your funeral home, to discussing services, to actually making casket selections. There are three basic levels of advance planning:
1 - Listing biographical and family information with the funeral home.
2 - Deciding on service details; merchandise selections, and discussing costs.
3 - Prepayment of the advance plans.
We offer complimentary appointments either at our facility, or in your home, whichever is more convenient to you. At our firm, you will meet with a licensed funeral director (and not a sales counselor) who will carefully explain your options, and work with you to prepare the arrangements that will be most meaningful to you and your family.
Do I have to pay for the arrangements when I make them in advance?
No, there is no obligation to prepay for the funeral expenses. For a number of families, simply knowing that their wishes are spelled out and will be carried out as planned provides a great deal of comfort. Many families, however, opt to prepay, since it gives them the peace of mind of knowing that the arrangements are truly complete. Funds set aside for prepaid funerals are placed into a specially designed interest-bearing trust - the NJ Prepaid Funeral Trust Fund - which is fully revocable. Should you move, change your mind, or simply need the money, you can get a full refund of your principal plus all of the interest earned, without any penalties. (The only exceptions to this rule are arrangements made for Medicaid recipients, where the funds must be, by law, irrevocable.) We are required by law to place 100% of the funds you set aside into this trust fund - the funeral home receives nothing until the services are actually held. Should you wish, we can also use a specially designed insurance policy as well.
What are the benefits of prepaying?
Besides knowing that the arrangements are absolutely complete, we offer a valuable "Pre- Arrangement Agreement," which protects your family from having to pay more for the funeral home charges later on. Basically, this agreement spells out that the interest earned on our account will cover any future cost increases on funeral home charges, and if it does not, the funeral home will absorb the difference. (Of course, Cash Disbursements, such as cemetery fees, etc. are not part of this agreement, since we have no control over these charges). Few funeral homes offer this type of agreement and protection, and ours is one of the most valuable reasons for making sure your arrangements are absolutely complete.
What if I move? Can the arrangements be transferred?
Your pre-arrangements are completely transferable to any other firm, anywhere. Of course, many times when someone moves, they still intend to come back "home" for burial, in which case your arrangements can remain intact with us. We can easily accommodate a transfer back home from virtually anywhere within the US and foreign countries. If you move and decide you will not be coming back here for burial, then you are entitled to a full refund of all your principal paid, plus all interest earned. All we need is a written request - it's that easy.
When is a good time to stop by for information?
Because advance arrangements are tailored to each specific family, and since there is so much information to consider, we want to be sure that each family has all the time they need to make wise decisions, and is never rushed. To be sure that you have all the time you deserve to review your choices, an appointment is required. This way, one of our directors will set aside that time specifically for you.
Can you send me information?
Absolutely! We have a number of very informative packets that we can provide to you that will help you get started. Please keep in mind, though, that because there are so many choices, the information that we can mail to you may not answer all your questions - that's when it's a good idea to sit down with one of our directors and talk face-to-face. If you would like information sent to you, please call us at (908)689-0119 and ask to speak to one of our funeral directors about advance planning, so that we can send you information that will be specifically tailored to your needs.
For more information regarding Pre-Arrangements click here to email us.