Preplanning Funeral Arrangements

Preplanning your memorial service is a loving gesture to those you leave behind. Most importantly, planning in advance will relieve your family from having to guess what your wishes were during a very emotional time following your death.

Before visiting a funeral home to discuss your prearrangements, give some thought to your preferences for a celebration of your life. Try to identify religious elements, songs or readings and personal touches you would like made part of your service. There are several pieces of information you want to have handy when you sit down to plan your celebration of life. Military history, education, life experiences and even your philosophy can all be elements of a meaningful memorial.

Meeting with a Funeral Director. When you meet with the funeral director, they will guide you through the different services and merchandise available so you can select those that match your personal preferences and beliefs. Your funeral director will give you a printed copy of their “General Price List” to show the cost of services and merchandise. This will enable you to create a meaningful service that meets your preferences and financial considerations.

Once the details have been finalized, your funeral director will prepare a preneed agreement and fully itemized statement for your review. You’ll get a copy to take home with you.

Consider also prefunding your funeral arrangements. Prepayment of your arrangements is not required, but it is an easy and secure option should you choose to do so. In New York State, your funeral director is required by law to deposit your prepaid funds into an interest-bearing government-backed trust account. The principal – and the interest earned – will remain yours.

If you choose to prefund/prepay for your funeral, keep in mind NYS law requires the funeral director to provide you with the following:

  • A General Price List with the current prices for any merchandise, services and facilities regularly offered by the funeral home.
  • A Preneed Itemization Statement that lists the items of merchandise, services and facilities that have been chosen, and the price of each.
  • A Preneed Agreement that outlines all the terms, as well as consumer’s rights. It must also state how the principal and interest will be applied to the cost of the funeral services and merchandise at the time they are provided.
  • If prepaying, Written Notice provided within 30 days of payment to identify where the money has been deposited.

Talk with your loved ones. It is important to discuss your decision to preplan and/or prefund your funeral with your loved ones. Discuss with them which funeral home you have made your arrangements with and consider providing them with a copy of your preneed documents.

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