Pre-financed funeral agreements can be financed by a funeral trust or through life insurance products.
Once established, funeral trusts protect consumers 100% in the state of Wisconsin. Many different circumstances exist, but a revocable funeral trust is usually in the form of a savings account or certificate of deposit. You, the consumer, control the money and interest earned. You may withdraw the money anytime prior to death, but you automatically cancel the agreement by doing so. The interest earned on these trusts is taxable to yourself, but some are tax exempt. Trust agreements do not normally guarantee funeral prices, but they do allow you to keep complete control of your money. In the past the interest earned has kept up with funeral cost increases.
All irrevocable funeral trusts are non-refundable. Your money becomes locked in as payment for your funeral expense in the form of a certificate of deposit in your name. Irrevocable trusts can be advantageous if you are receiving financial assistance (an example would be assistance from the Washington County Department of Social Services) as the money in these trusts does not count as a resource.
Remember, revocable trusts are refundable. Irrevocable trusts are not, but in either case you still control which funeral home you want to use. A letter is all that is required should you decide to use a different funeral home prior to death. While the funeral trust may not yield a particularly high interest rate, it does allow you to retain control of the money (including interest) prior to death when done revocably. Please note that in almost all instances the contract will be declared null and void should you choose to withdraw any of the money (principal and/or interest) prior to death.
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