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Funeral Planning

We have all seen the commercials.  A grieving family talking in hushed tones at a funeral.  The widow does not have enough money to pay for the funeral.  Someone in the group has a funeral insurance plan and recommends it to a friend.

Funeral insurance plans are a response to the common and understandable fear of the sudden loss of a loved one.  This kind of planning takes several different forms.  Outside of insurance, individuals can simply set funds aside to cover funeral and final expenses.  If this approach is used, it is important to be certain that the funds are accessible soon after someone passes away.  Alternatively, individuals can fund funeral trusts.  People often do this in cooperation with a funeral home.

When someone works with a funeral home to establish a pre-need funeral plan funded by insurance or a funeral trust, they can also select the goods and services that they wish to receive.  The actual amount of coverage needed depends on an individual’s funeral plans and choice for disposition of their remains.

Pre-need planning through a funeral home can involve funding through either monthly payments or a lump sum.  Funeral insurance through television or mail solicitations usually involves monthly payments.  People must be careful to avoid a lapse of coverage in the event of monthly payments. Regardless of how an individual chooses to fund their funeral plan, it is important to keep the plan documents where they will be accessible when the time comes.  The specific funeral planning tool used can affect eligibility for public benefits such as Indiana Medicaid.  Funeral planning should be part of a fully integrated estate and long-term care plan including a full asset inventory and estate planning documents such as Wills and Powers of Attorney.

For more discussion of common issues with applying for Indiana Medicaid, click here.  If you are in need of legal advice regarding planning, long-term care, or Medicaid, please contact us at (219)-230-3600 or via email at  If you would like to schedule an appointment, please click the button below.

About the author

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Christopher Ripley is a Valparaiso native and a lifelong Indiana resident. He is the oldest of five children. After graduating from Valparaiso High School, Chris attended Purdue University where he received his B.S. in Mathematics. He then attended law school at Indiana University in Bloomington where he received his Juris Doctorate. Chris has practiced law since 2013 and has served clients across the State of Indiana from Porter County to Evansville in a variety of legal matters. Chris is licensed to practice law in Indiana and Illinois.

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