Frequently Asked Questions
Cemetery | Funeral | Cremation | Advance Planning
Advance Planning FAQ
Why should I prearrange my funeral or burial?
If I preplan and prepay my funeral or burial, how do I know that the money will be there when I die?
If I prepay my funeral, what happens to the interest my money earns?
Can I change any of these prepaid funeral services later?
What if the funeral home or cemetery changes ownership?
Is there a prepayment penalty for paying off these arrangements in advance?
Can social services take my prearrangements away from me?
Can I transfer my pre-arranged funeral from one funeral home to another?
Why should I prearrange my funeral or burial?
When you plan ahead, you will be able to compare the many options available. You will be able to compare the services, the products and the prices among different companies. You will have the opportunity to make an informed decision about your funeral and cemetery arrangements, and the form of memorial you prefer. You will be able to make choices that are meaningful to both you and your family, and you will gain peace of mind knowing your family and friends will be relieved of the emotional and financial burden often associated with making arrangement when a death occurs.
In addition, by prefunding your funeral and cemetery services, a guaranteed price contract will allow you to purchase at today's prices, free from inflationary pressures in the future.
back to topIf I preplan and prepay my funeral or burial, how do I know that the money will be there when I die?
If you decide to prepay your funeral or burial pre-arrangements, there are generally two methods to assure the funeral home's and/or cemetery's performance. Your money is either used toward a premium to purchase life insurance, whereby the policy proceeds will pay for your arrangements, or your funds - either the entire amount or a portion of them - will be deposited into a trust fund account to defray the provider's costs.
Either method should be disclosed to you and the contract should state whether or not the purchase price is guaranteed; that is, whether you or your family will have to pay additional amounts on the items you have selected in the contract. A guaranteed price contract means that no further payment will ever be required beyond the price stated in the contract for the items you are purchasing.
back to topIf I prepay my funeral, what happens to the interest my money earns?
If you have a prearranged funeral or burial agreement that is comprised of items that are guaranteed to be performed by the funeral home or cemetery at no additional cost to you, the interest (or growth if a life insurance policy) is retained by the funeral home/cemetery to offset the rising costs of those specific goods and services over time. That's the value of prearranging and prefunding at today's costs.
back to topCan I change any of these prepaid funeral services later?
Changes are generally possible, but be careful. When changes are made, they oftentimes affect the terms of guarantees that were created under the original agreement. In the event funds paid toward a funeral plan are excludable resources for purposes of receiving social services (SSI or Medicaid), changing the terms of that agreement could jeopardize one's qualification for assistance. It is not recommended that irrevocably assigned funeral plans be changed in any way.
back to topWhat if the funeral home or cemetery changes ownership?
Prior contractual agreements are not voided simply because a change of ownership occurs. The funeral planning agreement you have with the prior ownership is carried forward with successor owners as part of the purchase agreement.
back to topIs there a prepayment penalty for paying off these arrangements in advance?
It's not uncommon to have a small processing fee associated with an early payment, but it should not be construed as a 'penalty.' In the long run, there is usually a good amount of money to be saved by paying off early. Of course, funding agreements vary. Please be sure to check the terms of your funding agreement for details.
back to topCan social services take my prearrangements away from me?
Take away? No. Challenge the amount being set aside to pay for an expensive funeral? Yes. Funds set aside to pay for a reasonable funeral arrangements are not counted as assets as one qualifies for social services. We can provide counsel regarding the amount local social services agencies consider reasonable and customary to spend on a funeral.
back to topCan I transfer my pre-arranged funeral from one funeral home to another?
Absolutely, you may transfer your pre-arrangement to another funeral home at any time. Many people who enter into a prepaid funeral contract do not fully understand what their transferability rights are. Plans can be transferred either before or after death occurs. Most of the laws in Ohio governing prepaid funeral contracts purchased through a funeral home are designed to protect you, the consumer. Gwen Mooney Funeral Homes accepts all pre-need transfers without any additional cost to you.
For your protection, any funds used to purchase your prepaid funeral are placed in the hands of a third party where they remain until you cancel the contract or the contract is fulfilled. You retain ownership, and therefore control of the funds at all times, up to the point where a licensed funeral home actually performs the contracted services. And even then, the funds can only be released to the funeral home that actually performed the funeral services.
A contract can be easily transferred before a death or even after a death occurs. Simply contact Gwen Mooney Funeral Homes at (513) 681-PLAN (7526) and we will be able to assist you. In order to transfer the contract, all that needs to be done is to notify the third party holding the funds who the new funeral home will be. We make this process as simple as possible for you, personally handling all documentation and delivering it to your home for signing. In most cases the money never actually moves, only the funeral home designation changes.
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