46 LONGISLANDPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2021
COPING WITH DEATH
NAVIGATING TRICKY WATERS
Discussing end-of-life issues can be an
emotional experience. Making decisions
upon the death of a loved one can be challenging,
especially if the wishes of the deceased
are murky or unknown. Funeral
trusts often help families avoid making
decisions at times when their emotions
may make such decisions more difficult.
WHAT IS PREPLANNING
Preplanning a funeral can save family
and friends from having to make difficult
decisions. It also enables people
to choose their burial space, services,
and transportation. Preplanning also
allows people to pay for or arrange
payment for their funeral costs ahead
of time. According to Consumer Protection
Ontario, a person can preplan
a funeral without prepaying. However,
many people prefer to have all financial
components in place as well for
WHAT IS A FUNERAL TRUST?
A funeral trust can be a smart investment
for people who have not spelled
out their wishes in a will or conveyed
them in writing to someone who will
be managing their estate.
Funeral trusts may be referred to as
revocable or irrevocable. An irrevocable
funeral trust, or IFT, is a tool
people who are facing the high cost of
skilled nursing care can consider. An
IFT establishes an account into which
money for funeral expenses is deposited.
The money cannot be withdrawn
or refunded, and funds must be used
for funeral expenses.
In the United States, an IFT is often considered
an eligible expense during the
social services spend-down process.
That means the money deposited in
the trust is exempt as a countable asset
from any financial lookback period
that helps determine eligibility for
government healthcare services such
Revocable funeral trusts can be cancelled.
According to the National Care
Planning Council, a revocable trust
can be created by anyone and, at a later
date, can be dissolved by the person who
originally created it.
Various organizations oversee the investment
and management of prepaid
funeral trust accounts.
WHEN IS A TRUST
In certain instances, a funeral trust
will not be needed. Those who have the
means to fund long-term care services
and will not need assistance later in life
may not want their money locked up
in a trust. Others opt for life insurance
policies to pay for funeral needs.
ASSISTANCE WITH FUNERAL
Funeral homes may work directly with
companies that manage funeral funds.
Speak with a funeral director if you want to
learn more about trusts. Trusts also can be
established by working with an elder care
attorney or with a funeral trust agency.
Taking care of funeral planning in advance
can relieve families of the stress
of making funeral decisions in the wake
of a loved one’s death.
-Metro Creative Connection
“A funeral trust can be a smart investment for people
who have not spelled out their wishes in a will.”
THE WHITMORE AGENCY
F U N E R A L S E R V I C E S