Pre-Planning During a Pandemic
Updated: May 1, 2020
There are so many lessons to be learned due to this COVID-19 pandemic. One is the importance of honesty. Talking about a funeral plan for yourself or a loved one is necessary now more than ever. What are the benefits of pre-planning and a pre-paid funeral? The major benefit is that you are protecting yourself and your family from an enormous financial and emotional burden during a time of crisis. Secondly, the price of merchandise and services are fixed and guaranteed, so they can not rise over time.
According to the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information: “Thinking ahead can help you make informed and thoughtful decisions about funeral arrangements. It allows you to choose the specific items you want and need, and compare the prices offered by several funeral providers. It also spares your survivors the stress of making these decisions under the pressure of time and strong emotions.”
Now with the outbreak of the coronavirus, agents can now make contactless arrangements through the phone. Clients can sign their contracts through e-applications sent to their emails. It can take less than 30 minutes.
When you call your funeral insurance agent, the agent will walk you through doing the paperwork to designate who will be in charge of decision-making for your funeral. If this person is not designated in advance, the next of kin will automatically be the person to make the decisions for you. The next of kin would be the legal spouse, then the adult children. The best way to override the next of kin order is to have the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care (DPOAHC) document. Just make sure you have this document available, perhaps taped to a refrigerator.
When making arrangements, you can buy a funeral insurance policy and assign the proceeds to the funeral home. The price of the merchandise and services is fixed against inflation. If you are receiving social security benefits, you can still qualify for the pre-need insurance policy. Another advantage to a pre-need policy is that you can make payments on the plan. There is a 3-year, 5-year, 10-year plan. You are not simply expected to pay a lump-sum amount during an at-need arrangement.
Because of the pandemic and stay-at-home orders, funeral homes are limited to live-streaming funeral services or having outdoor grave-side services. It is a difficult time for everyone, but this time will pass and life will go on. New ways of thinking and doing things will arise. Simply call Maria Cho at (310)987-0736 to learn more.