Pre-Plan Funeral Lawyer

Next to homes and cars, funerals are often the most expensive purchase people make. To save loved ones the expense and the stress of planning, many people opt to put plans in place far in advance, sometimes referred to as pre-planning or preneed planning.

If handled correctly, this type of pre-planning can also form part of a Medicaid eligibility strategy. However, it is important to follow the rules and to be sure that your contractual arrangement is set up to deliver what you expect to get.

Huizenga Laws helps families pre-plan for funerals as part of their estate plan or long-term care strategies. We work to ensure that your interests are protected at all stages.

Iowa Requirements for Preneed Funeral Arrangements

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

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

The law also 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.

Considerations for Pre-Plan Arrangements

Before signing any agreements, it is important to ensure not only that they meet the legal requirements but also whether the provisions meet your needs and whether the provider will be able to live up to their obligations. Some questions to ask or to review with your attorney include:

  • Is the payment made in a single lump sum or in installments? Are the installments reasonable and do you have a plan to ensure that you can continue paying them?
  • How does the provider secure and invest the funds?
  • If you move, are the funds or the plan transferrable?
  • Is the price guaranteed and what does it include?
  • Will you have a trust account associated with the plan and if so, does it affect your eligibility for Medicaid?

Because every situation is unique, your legal advisor is likely to have additional points for you to consider as you decide on a plan and the payment arrangements to cover that plan.

Help with Funeral Pre-Planning for Your Family

Because the investment in funeral expenses is so significant, and it comes at a time when family members are overwrought with grief and overwhelmed with necessary tasks, it makes sense to take care of planning in advance whenever possible. Doing so can save money and aggravation. 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 give you what you need. Schedule a consultation today to learn more about the ways we can help you make the future easier and more secure for your family.