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For many family caregivers, the death of the loved one they have cared for can be traumatic and stressful.  When a loved one dies without funeral arrangements, the stress and confusion can cause making these arrangements immediately after death even more tumultuous.

In the midst of a family’s grief, a family may fall victim to unnecessary up-sale techniques by funeral directors that increase the costs of a funeral.  Purchasing funeral arrangements prior to a loved one’s death, while difficult, will allow the family to plan an appropriate memorial within a budget the family can afford.

Pre-made and prepaid funeral arrangements can also make the care of a loved one’s remains at death easier; when a loved one dies, the funeral home to which the body will be released will already be determined.  Funeral home personnel will collect a loved one as soon as it is notified of the death.  The funeral home can begin proper care of the remains sooner than if the family has to decide which funeral home to use.  This may also keep a loved one from being placed in a hospital or city morgue immediately after death.

One additional benefit to pre-made and prepaid funeral arrangements is that certain arrangements are not counted as assets in the event a loved one needs Medicaid to subsidize long term care.  The specific requirements for these arrangements vary from state to state so an elder law attorney should be consulted to ensure they meet the state’s requirements.