Pre-Plan Funeral Lawyer

Are you worried about leaving your loved ones with huge funeral expenses when you pass away?

According to the Iowa Funeral Directors Association, the average cost of a funeral service in Iowa is over $13,000, and that’s not counting all the other expenses that can arise. Social Security provides a mere $255 to cover these costs, and only in certain situations.

In addition to dealing with the expense, your family will also need to make a number of critical decisions at a time when they are overwhelmed with grief.

You don’t want your loved ones to have to face this burden.

A Pre-Plan Funeral Lawyer Can Help

One way to prevent your family from incurring the expenses of a funeral and the stress of planning is to set up a plan in advance. This is sometimes called preneed planning or pre-planning. However, if the planning is not done properly, it can waste resources and end up causing even more frustration in the end.

An experienced pre-plan funeral lawyer at Huizenga Law can guide you through the process, ensuring that contractual arrangements will be honored and that your plan helps, rather than hinders, your eligibility to receive Medicaid long-term care benefits. We understand the importance of the contractual details, but we also see the big picture and how funeral planning arrangements should fit in with your future needs and goals. 

We take the time to explain all the options and the potential ramifications. This allows you to make informed choices that are best for your specific situation.

Honoring Your Wishes

One key part of the process is to identify and prioritize your desires. Rather than forcing your loved ones to guess what you would want, you can establish plans that not only let them know your preferences, but also ensure that those choices are fulfilled with no additional effort on their part. You do the work so they don’t have to.

After you make your choices, we set to work developing the right plans to be certain that your plans can be carried out. Iowa law has specific requirements for preneed funeral planning, so your plans and documents will need to comply with those requirements. In addition, if you might want to use Medicaid long-term care benefits to pay for nursing home care, we set up your plan to comply with federal requirements for eligibility.

Considerations as Part of the Pre-Planning Process

Before we get to the stage of preparing and signing pre-planning agreements, we will ensure that:

  • The provisions meet your needs and goals down to the smallest details
  • All contractual arrangements fulfill state and federal legal requirements
  • The provider is positioned to live up to the obligations in the agreement

Some of the details we will need to consider include whether payments on the plan will be made installments or a lump sum, and plans for making those payments. We will need to investigate how the  provider secures and invests the funds you’ve invested. If there’s a trust account associated with the plan, we determine the potential impact on Medicaid eligibility. We need to know whether the funds or the plan are transferable if you move. We will determine precisely what the agreed price includes and whether the price is guaranteed.

In addition, we will also review the unique questions specific to your particular needs.

What Does Iowa Require for Pre-Need Funeral Arrangements?

The Iowa Code and supporting regulations contains numerous requirements to protect those who purchase preneed services. For instance, the contract must:

  • Specify the merchandise and services included and the cost of each. If substitutions are allowed, the conditions must be clearly stated
  • Include the terms under which the agreement can be revoked and by whom
  • Be written in clear language in an “easy-to-read” font.
  • Show the total price and the payments terms
  • State whether the price is guaranteed, and include specific language if it is not

The law requires whoever is selling the funeral arrangements to give you up to three business days to cancel the contract without penalty if you change your mind. In addition, money paid for preneed arrangements is supposed to be handled according to strict requirements. If a provider fails to live up to their obligations, they can be held liable.

Let Huizenga Law Help with Funeral Pre-Planning for Your Family

Funeral costs are already high and expected to increase in the future, so they require careful consideration. Unfortunately, families often need to make decisions at a time when they are overwrought with grief and overwhelmed with necessary tasks.

One of the best ways you can help your family is to take care of planning in advance if possible. However, it is important to ensure that your investment meets your needs and that it is properly protected.

The dedicated team at Huizenga Law can work with you to ensure that your pre-plans will meet your goals and work with your situation. Schedule a consultation today to learn more about the ways we can help you make the future easier and more secure for your family.