Preplanning a funeral does NOT require that a funeral be paid for in advance.
In serving families over the years we find that many people are unprepared to arrange for a funeral service at the time of the death of a family member or close friend. Because of this, we encourage people to meet with us before our services are actually needed, to discuss the many aspects of a funeral, and if they wish, to prearrange the entire funeral service. By getting this information and planning ahead, you not only provide peace of mind for yourself, but you also eliminate confusion and indecision on the part of the family and friends. By choosing to prearrange the funeral, a person can let all requests and desires be known in advance to other family members, a legal representative or the funeral director. The individual who prearranges a funeral service is under no obligation and may make any changes or additions to the service at any time. However, the services agreed upon can only be conducted if funds are available to pay for them at the time of the funeral.
Paying for a funeral in advance is not required and is not suggested for most people.
For some people, prepaying the funeral expenses makes a lot of sense, but this decision is not right for everyone. Prepayment offers peace of mind, knowing that your wishes and decisions will be carried out exactly as contracted for. Prepayment also gives some people a sense of security, knowing that there will never be a worry about whether the family or friends will be able to afford the cost of the funeral. The most important disadvantage, however, is that you lose access and control of your money. The State of Pennsylvania requires that the funds for the prepaid funeral be placed into an irrevocable burial reserve trust account that can not be used until the time that the services are actually rendered.