Most people prefer not to think about their own mortality. As such, the idea of planning your own funeral and burial may, at first, not be very appealing. Ultimately, however, many people do choose to incorporate a funeral planning component into their comprehensive estate plan. For those who do decide to include a funeral planning component into their estate plan an irrevocable burial trust is a common method of doing so. If you are considering creating one you may be wondering “Do I have to name a particular funeral home when I create an irrevocable burial trust?”
People who decide to plan their own funeral and burial typically do so for one of two reasons (or both). First, planning your own funeral ensures that your last wishes will be honored. Like many people you may have very specific beliefs about how a funeral and burial should be handled. Planning it yourself and making those plans legally binding is the only way to be sure your wishes will be honored when the time comes. Second, planning ahead takes the pressure off your loved ones who will be grieving your loss and may not be emotionally capable of making difficult decisions and/or handling the financial aspects of a funeral and burial. Though there are several ways to incorporate funeral planning into your estate plan, an irrevocable funeral and burial trust is among the best options for several reasons.
With an irrevocable trust you have the ability to name a Trustee who will administer the trust when the time comes to do so. Therefore, you choose who is in charge of your funeral and burial. You are then able to fund the trust using assets you transfer into the trust now or using a life insurance policy that names the trust as the beneficiary and then pays out into the trust when you die. Best of all, you can use the trust terms to decide the details of your funeral and burial. You can be as specific or as general as you wish. You can give your Trustee considerable discretion to make decisions or make all of them, down to the songs to be played at your funeral, yourself by including them in the trust terms. One of those decisions can be the funeral home you wish to use; however, you do not have to name a particular funeral home, instead leaving the choice of funeral home to your Trustee if you wish.
If you have additional questions or concerns about funeral planning, contact the experienced Missouri estate planning attorneys at Amen, Gantner & Capriano, Your Estate Matters, LLC by calling (314) 966-8077 to schedule an appointment.