Today, more than ever, people of all ages agree that having an intentional plan in place in advance of a death is certainly a good idea and a responsible thing to do. These arrangements can include the preparation of a legal will, advance directives for healthcare, the selection and purchase of cemetery property and the selection of and payment for funeral or memorial arrangements
The cemetery professional you choose will assist you with the advance selection of and payment options for cemetery interment, entombment or inurnment options to meet your needs. With the increased frequency of cremation, your options are even greater. Numerous decisions will also be made at this time with their professional guidance, related to memorialization options.
What is pre-planning?
There are two phases in pre-planning your cemetery arrangements:
- Pre-arrangement involves the selection of cemetery spaces, mausoleum crypts or cremation placement locations, interment services, memorial products and more.
- Pre-funding means paying for the selected services and products in advance
- Provides time to plan for survivors and document one's personal wishes.
- Reduces the likelihood of emotional overspending, indecision and/or possible family conflicts.
Some or all of the following might be a part of the pre-arrangement process:
- Discussing your wishes with family and/or friends.
- Deciding on burial or cremation
- Selecting specific cemetery placement. This ensures you are in the location of your choosing, near family or friends, close to a special feature in the cemetery or near a tree or lake.
- Selecting specific memorialization, such as bronze on granite, upright monument or mausoleum personalization. Many options include the use of photos in bronze or granite, sand blasting or laser etching, to tell your story. This is an opportunity to leave a legacy for future generations.
- Some cemeteries also have funeral homes on-site or affiliated and can assist with funeral or cremation planning as well.
- Advanced payment serves as a hedge against inflation by paying for tomorrow's arrangements at today's prices.
- Protects financial assets in the event of the need to apply for SSI/Medicaid assistance for long-term healthcare.
- Important aspect of a comprehensive estate plan.
- Provides peace of mind.
Decisions made in advance may certainly relieve a level of unnecessary concern and eliminate potential burdens for survivors. Consult with your cemetery professional to decide what is most appropriate for you, your family and friends.
When to pre-plan
- After any significant transition or lifestyle change, e.g., the birth of a child, or the death of a family member, and/or before health begins to decline.
- When considering estate planning options e.g., making a will, prior to preparing for any type of public assistance (Medicaid/Assisted).
Why choose a Perpetual Care Cemetery
- In 1979 the State of Tennessee enacted legislation that required all cemeteries to establish a perpetual care endowment fund and today these are regulated by the Department of Commerce and Insurance. These cemeteries place 20% of the property cost into irrevocable trusts which are regulated and monitored by the state. Your family will never have to worry about the maintenance and upkeep of your cemetery.
- This provides you and your family the peace of mind in knowing that the cemetery will remain beautiful for generations to come.
- To uphold this promise, the trust continues to accumulate funds that address the general care and preservation of the cemetery at large, now and in the future. The trust, funded by a portion of the purchase price of burial rights sold, ensures that the cemetery grounds and facilities are properly maintained.
Why is perpetual care the best choice?
- Without a perpetual care trust, you are not assured that the responsibility of maintaining and preserving your loved ones final resting place won’t become your responsibility. The added burden and maintenance for you may incur additional expenses and hardship for you and your family.
- Because we have a perpetual care trust, you can rest assured there will be no additional burden for you or future generations.
Questions you may want to ask your cemetery professional:
- Which charges will not increase over time?
- Which charges may increase over time?
- Is my purchase secure?
- If I move out of the area, can my cemetery purchase be transferred?
- Can I make payments over time?
- Are my funds protected from Medicaid?
- What happens if the merchandise I select is no longer available?
For more information concerning this important aspect of estate planning, contact a cemetery professional in your community by clicking on "Locate a Cemetery" to choose a location near you. Your cemetery professional can explain the options of a pre-arranging and/or pre-funding to develop a plan that meets your individual needs.