People preplan a funeral for different reasons. Here is a list of reasons why people preplan a funeral:
Preplanning a funeral involves the next of kin coming to the funeral home and meeting with one of the Brickman's to discuss their wishes. Information for a death certificate and newspaper is gathered, the type of funeral service or ceremony (visitation, burial or cremation, embalming, church or clergy preferences). The family may also wish to get specific and select memorial cards, casket, outer burial container, urn or types of flowers they desire. Once this information is gathered, the funeral home keeps it on file. Payment for the funeral would come from the family, life insurance proceeds, or other means. The prices of the funeral would reflect the prices at the time of death and not when the preplanning was made.
When someone is going to prepay for a funeral, they may also preplan it by going over information talked about above. Once someone has prepaid for a funeral at our funeral home, prices for our services and merchandise are guaranteed. We do NOT guarantee cash advance items such as newspaper notices, flowers, clergy, cemetery, luncheon etc. These items are provided by a third party and the funeral home has no control as to when and how much their fees will increase. However most people do include and amount for these items on the prepaid contract, in order to have the bulk of them paid for.
Once the funeral home receives the monies (usually in a lump sum), the funeral home deposits the money in an irrevocable trust with the Ohio Funeral Directors Association in Columbus, Ohio. All of the money is deposited with the exception of State Sales Tax. State law dictates Sales Tax is due to the state the month the prepaid funeral was made. The only way we can receive the money from the trust is with a certified death certificate. Credit Cards can NOT be used for prepayment.
Deposits into the trust for services, merchandise, and cash advance items, must be made out to “O.F.D.A. MASTER TRUST”. The amount for state sales tax must be made out to “BRICKMAN BROS. FUNERAL HOME”. Therefore, two separate checks are required, unless merchandise is not purchased. Credit cards cannot be used to purchase a preneed funeral.
IRREVOCABLE AND NON GUARANTEED PRICE
For Medicaid purposes, the funeral home can be made an Irrevocable Beneficiary of an insurance policy. However, this satisfies the requirement for Medicaid and does not constitute a prepaid funeral contract. Therefore the funeral home's prices are not guaranteed. The funeral home has no control over where the insurance company would invest the money or even if the insurance company is still in business at the time of need. Prices at the time of death would apply and an at-need funeral contract would be signed by the family. Due to inflation, there may be a balance due from the family if the insurance proceeds do not cover the entire cost of the funeral.
If there are excess funds from the insurance and the final expenses are paid, and the decedent was receiving Medicaid, the funeral home CAN NOT refund any unused money to the family. Therefore the following would apply:
According to a September 17, 2007 letter from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, funeral directors should ask the family members whether an estate will be opened for the deceased Medicaid recipient. If an estate will be opened, the check made out to the estate should be presented to the executor. Medicaid will then make a claim for those excess funds when it is notified by the probate court.
If the family member indicates that the estate will not be opened, the funeral home should still make any refund check payable to “the estate of (name of decedent)”. However, rather than presenting that check to the family, the funeral home should mail the check to: Collections Enforcement Section, Ohio Attorney General, 150 East Gay Street, 21st Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215
- Taken from Ohio Funeral Directors Association Newsletter October 2007
This prevents a family from making the funeral home a beneficiary of a $100,000.00 policy, purchasing a $10,000.00 funeral and receiving the excess funds, all the while the decedent was receiving Medicaid benefits. Although the funeral home has a Non-Guaranteed Contract form to be signed, a form from the Insurance Company denoting a change of beneficiary is required by Medicaid.
We hope that the preceding information helps you plan a more meaningful funeral service for your loved one. If you have questions, about an item or issue that has not been addressed please call us at (440) 951-7800 and we will be better able to assist you. Thank You.
Brickman Bros. Funeral Home
Phone: (440) 951-7800
37433 Euclid Ave., Willoughby, OH 44094
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