We Honor All Pre-Paid Funeral Accounts From Other Funeral Homes
What this means for you: You can switch a pre-paid funeral to the Harris Funeral Home from any other funeral home without any additional charges or penalty by either the Harris Funeral Home or the funeral home you are switching from. In other words we will honor any existing funeral account from any other funeral home. It's simple and easy to do, just call us and we can take care of all the details.
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Why Plan Ahead
Advance planning is also referred to as “pre-planning or pre-arrangements” and with that, we would like you to consider some important thoughts. Unless you have been through the experience of arranging a loved one’s funeral, it is difficult to imagine the added emotional stress facing family members who are left with this responsibility. It may be more difficult if there were no previous discussions regarding a loved one’s wishes.
A funeral is one of the most personal and precious ceremonies that we will experience in our lives. Yet, many people will have to make all of the important arrangements in the space of 24 hours or less. These hours that are already filled with grief can be further burdened with more than 50 important decisions which must be made.
We believe it makes sense for people to plan ahead. Advantages of planning ahead include the following:
- Allows you to make decisions at your convenience and your decisions can bring peace of mind knowing that your personal wishes will be honored and respected. (This is true for all, but especially for those without immediate family available to make responsible decisions.)
- Helps you to understand the costs associated with the many types of funeral services available today.
- Spares your family from facing decisions that can be emotionally difficult at a time of grief and they can have the reassurance that they acted in accordance with your wishes.
- Advance planning can help minimize conflict among survivors by encouraging discussion and dialogue about the funeral service at a time when grief and emotion do not come into play.
- You can advance plan as little or as much detail as you desire and advance planning does not require you to have to pay in advance. However, once you have decided exactly what you want, you may wish to take advantage of the benefits of paying in advance. (Please see our pre-funding section of our web site for more information on advance payment.)
- Are you applying for Medicaid? If so, they will require you to pre-arrange and pre-fund the funeral expenses. This lets you set aside protected funds so you are assured of receiving the funeral services of your choice, Under New York State law, we are allowed to give you helpful information and thoughtful guidance. (See the pre-funding section Irrevocable Funeral Trust for more detailed information.)
Did you know that you can pre-plan funeral arrangements and pay in advance? Though pre-arrangement laws vary from state to state, New York State has some of the strongest legal protection in the country.
In New York State, all pre-funded funeral arrangements must be trusted, using either F.D.I.C insured or U.S Government-backed securities. This is the safest and most secure method of pre-funding funeral arrangements.
Revocable Trust: This form of trust account is used when you pre-fund your own or someone else’s funeral. Funds must be deposited in a Trust account in the name of the beneficiary (person whom pre-funded funeral arrangements are being made), with their social security number in trust for the funeral home. At any time and for any reason, the trust can be canceled and money refunded (the bank may charge a penalty for early with drawl of funds) or you can change the beneficiary funeral home at any time without any cancellation or transfer fee.
Irrevocable Trust: This form of trust account is used only when applying for Medicaid and is used primarily for sheltering some of the Medicaid recipient’s assets for funeral expenses. This trust account is set up the same way as a revocable trust, except this account can not be cancelled or refunded as per Medicaid laws in New York State, which is why it is an irrevocable account. However, the purchaser may change the beneficiary funeral home, thereby retaining the portability of their funds to their chosen funeral home.
The Harris Difference: To enhance the safety and security that New York State laws provide for pre-funded funeral accounts, the Harris Funeral Home will take that safety and security one step further! If you pay the pre-need account in full at the time the pre-need is established:
We will guarantee the pre-funded funeral account!!
What does that mean for you? When you pre-fund a funeral account, funeral expenses are itemized and paid at their current General Price List charges at the funeral home. As with everything else in life, the cost of funeral service increases a small percentage every year. So, in 5, 10 or 15 years, etc. the funeral that was pre-funded will actually cost more than when you originally pre-funded the account. Every pre-funded funeral account here in the state of New York is required to earn interest. The interest is used to offset those increased expenses, however the account may have not earned enough interest over the course of time, which means you will be required to pay the difference at the time of death. This is common practice for many funeral homes in the state of New York. However, the Harris Funeral Home will guarantee the pre-funded funeral accounts we set up, only as long as all of the earned interest remains in the accounts. Which means that if the interest does not keep up with inflation and the money in the account is not enough to cover the original funeral plan, then we will not ask for additional funds. On the other hand if there is more money in the account than is needed, then the difference is refunded to the decedent’s estate (except for those people receiving Medicaid Benefits).
This is just another reason that sets the Harris Funeral Home apart from other funeral service providers.
Where to begin once you’ve decided to pre-plan, what’s next?
Whatever your beliefs or preferences, it’s important to make sure that your funeral home can provide you with complete information, so you can make confident, informed decisions regarding pre-planning.
We also encourage you to discuss your funeral preferences with your family, and include them in your planning. In any thoughtful funeral service, your plans should address their needs as well as your own wishes.
Please feel free to ask questions and share your thoughts with us. Together we can help you make choices that are appropriate for you and your loved ones.
If you would like more information on pre-planning, simply call us at 585-544-2041 to arrange a convenient time to meet at your home or our funeral home.