The following are different ways to pre-pay for your funeral services.
Trust accounts are one of the most common methods of handling funds paid on a Preneed Agreement. These funds are deposited in a bank or trust company in a trust fund, which earns interest that is accrued in the account. If the trust account is invested on a commingled basis with other similar accounts, usually a higher rate for interest is earned than on current savings accounts. There are federal tax liabilities associated with the interest generated on the trust account that are generally your responsibility.
Savings accounts may be established with funds paid on Preneed Agreements. In the past they have been set up in the individual’s name to be held jointly with the cemetery. At the time of death, the account belongs to the cemetery. Interest earned on these accounts has federal tax liabilities and is generally your responsibility.
These accounts are not irrevocable trusts. Therefore, the funds may be counted as personal assets in a review of qualifications for SSI financial assistance.
If the Preneed Service and Merchandise Agreement is guaranteed, the interest helps the cemeterian to offset any impact that inflation may have on his or her costs. In this situation, any excess funds belong to the cemetery.
If the Preneed Agreement is not guaranteed, the interest enhances the ability of the account to accommodate your service and merchandise. In the event that there are excess funds after the provisions for the service and merchandise, the remaining funds will be refunded to the purchaser (if different than the beneficiary) or the beneficiary’s estate.