The death of a loved one can cause a great deal of emotional stress and the
necessity of arranging a funeral invariably adds to that stress. Because we are
reluctant to think about a loved one dying, the consideration of planning a
funeral in advance tends to be put aside. Going through the steps of arranging
a funeral can be, at the very least, an overwhelming experience. Planning in
advance can eliminate much of the stress that would be encountered if you were
to wait until arranging the funeral was a necessity. Pre- Planning allows you
to think about the type of funeral service that you wish to have for either
yourself or your loved one. It gives you time to consider the many options now
available and to change your mind at a later date should you decide to elect
Funding a Pre-Planned Funeral
Practically, funding a pre-planned funeral (prearrangements) is the
best way to go. It allows you to pay for a funeral at today's prices with the
interest on your investment covering any future cost increases.
With our Prearrangement Program, we offer a variety of prepayment
programs. Once your pre-arrangements are made and on file, when the time of
need arises, a call to our funeral homes will enable us to proceed with what
was planned. If you have already made arrangements with another funeral home,
but would now prefer C.H. Harris or Giles-Harris Funeral Home and Cremation
Service, contact us and we can handle the transfer of your arrangements to one
of our locations.
For further information about pre-planning, transfer of an existing plan, or for answers to your questions, simply give us a call (of course, there is no cost
Thoughtful Responses to the Most Commonly Asked Questions About Preplanning and
Prefunding a Funeral.
Q. Are Preplanned funeral arrangements guaranteed?
A. When you preplan, and prepay, your funeral arrangements, we
guarantee that we will provide our services, and the merchandise you select, at
the time of need. You pay today's prices. The funds are invested, in accordance
with Virginia law, in a Preneed Funeral Policy. These policies are designed to
grow in value, so the proceeds will cover the cost of the selected funeral
Q. What Exactly is a Preneed Funeral Policy?
A. A preneed funeral policy is an insurance policy whose benefits are assigned
to cover the cost of a pre-arranged funeral contract. A funeral contract
typically includes professional services, funeral merchandise, funeral services
and even cemetery services and merchandise. The purpose of preneed funeral
insurance is to set aside funds before the need arises, thereby protecting your
loved ones and your financial assets by "locking in" on today's costs.
Q. What's the Difference Between a Standard Life Insurance
Policy and Preneed Funeral Insurance; Aren't They Basically the Same Thing?
A. Traditional life insurance is intended to provide for a broad range of
your survivors' future financial needs provide income, cover education costs,
pay off a mortgage, and the like. Preneed funeral insurance, on the other hand,
is specifically intended to cover only the predetermined costs of a
pre-arranged funeral contract. In addition, there are several other important
differences between the two types of coverage. For example: With regard to
benefit distribution at the time of death, preneed funeral insurance is payable
immediately to the beneficiary (generally the funeral home) upon the
policyholder's death; traditional life insurance policy benefit distributions
may require several weeks to be paid by the insurance company.
Q. Do I Actually Need Preneed Funeral Insurance; Can't I Simply
Use Some Other Source of Funding?
A. Preneed funeral insurance is a choice, not a requirement. Virginia also
allows preneed funeral arrangements to be financed with bank trusts. However,
trusts, unlike funeral insurance, may be liable for federal and state taxes.
Our plan also has the following benefits: Preneed funeral policies are tied
directly to the costs of a pre-arranged funeral. All of the services and
merchandise that you select will be completely covered by your insurance if
your funeral home has guaranteed the price of your funeral. Second, there is no
tax liability on the death benefit to your surviving family members. Third, the
benefit of your preneed funeral insurance is payable immediately to the funeral
home at the time of your death. Fourth, there is little or no underwriting
required to apply for a preneed policy. Our funeral directors, not anonymous
underwriters, make the decision.
Q. How Much Does Preneed Funeral Insurance Cost?
A. Your cost depends on the cost of the services and goods you select for your
funeral during the preplanning process. In other words, you control the costs
based on what you choose. As it relates to your insurance payments, you can
make a single premium payment and be done with it, or you can spread your
payments out over several years. Again, the choice and the control are all
Q. What if I move?
A. Virginia law requires that all preneed funeral plans be "portable." That
means, if you move, you may transfer your policy to virtually any funeral home
in the United States.
Q. Can't I just specify my arrangements in my will and let my
estate take care of the expense?
A. Wills are not probated until well after death, and usually not until after
the funeral services. Additionally, someone will have to qualify as executor or
administrator, which may delay further any actions specified in the will from
being carried out. If your wishes differ from those of your family or heirs,
stating your wishes clearly in a Preneed Funeral Policy may be the best way to
ensure they are carried out.
Click to Visit Our Online Pre-Planning Form