New York State Funeral Directors Association

Pre-planning and Pre-funding Funerals

Many people choose not only to pre-plan a funeral, but to pre-fund it as well, either by paying the full amount up front or by arranging a payment plan with the funeral home.

Why Pre-plan?

Funeral prearrangements alleviate the burden on family members to make difficult decisions during a stressful time and provide peace of mind.

Many people think of funeral planning as part of their estate planning.

Benefits of pre-planning:

  • Have the opportunity to make personal and specific selections for the funeral service that most closely meets your wants and needs.
  • Prevent your loved ones from second-guessing your wishes at the time of need.
  • Take the time to research funeral homes, burial options, and financial considerations.
  • Consider the option to set aside funds for final expenses, relieving family members of an unexpected financial burden.
  • Medicaid/SSI recipients may set aside money to fund the funeral service of their choice as part of the “spend-down” process to meet eligibility limits.


Why Pre-fund?

Benefits of prefunding a funeral:

  • Place the cost of the funeral (at today's prices) in an investment vehicle that will earn interest to keep pace with inflation to cover the cost of the funeral (at future prices) when the death occurs.
  • Prevent life insurance policies from being depleted at the time of death.
  • Consider options at your own pace to make sound, fiscally-responsible decisions.
  • Spare your loved ones the unexpected cost of a funeral during a stressful and emotional time.
  • Medicaid/SSI applicants and recipients may set aside funds for their funeral expenses in an irrevocable trust, which is considered an excludable asset.