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She is to be cremated. I have already prepaid for a nitch for her on the advise of others . I realize that this prepayment avoids paying higher rates later on but I have difficulty coming to terms with making funeral and cremation arrangements as she could live for many years with good care. Does anyone have any experience with this?

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In order to spend down for Medicaid, I did a Pre arrangement and followed my Parents wishes to be cremated. My Dad passed in Fed and the Pre arrangement worked as promised! The emotions at the time could have put me over the edge had I not prepared us before the time of need. It was one of the best decisions I could make to secure my Parents final wishes and to help me as I am now the only child. As terrim posted...I had to do EVERYTHING, claim my Dads body, tell my Dementia affected Mom, notify family and friends, prepare Memorial service etc. Save yourself as much as you can NOW. Just be certain that you purchase a non-refundable, no cash value arrangement. Now for my Mom, I've even gone as far as to pre purchase a matching Urn. I never thought I would be able to talk about this so freely but it has put me and my Parents in a better place. If something were to happen to me before them...at the very least their final arrangements are taken care of. Best wishes to you.
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I am all for pre-planning and pre-paying! Yes, it does require thinking ahead when your mom will hopefully live for many more years but think of it like you would retirement planning or planning for future college attendance. When her death comes, do you really want to-in the throes of deep grief- have to go around trying to choose companies and make arrangements? Once you have prepaid and preplanned, it is done. When she dies- and I hope you have many more years with her- you will be able to grieve and not have all of this business and decision making to do.

When my dad died, it was a nightmare. I was much younger and had been caring for him (congestive heart failure and cancer) and he just suddenly dropped dead at 1:37 on a monday morning when he was to go see the doctor that day. My mother fell to pieces and I had to choose a funeral home out of the phone book in the middle of the night that turned out to have a creepy owner who made fun of the dead people including my dad. We did not own a funeral plot. I had to go with no sleep after finding Daddy dead and look at caskets, vaults, liners, etc and go order flowers and arrange for music as well as get a funeral plot bought and paid for and arrange grave diggers, etc. I also had to notify people, care for my devastated mother, etc. It was a nightmare! I don't wish that on anyone. Also, this funeral director wanted $7,000 upfront. I had to battle him and then battle the insurance company who did not want to guarantee the money since it turned out the insurance agent had sold the policy but never turned it in to the company and was collecting the premiums in person each month and so there was NO life insurance coverage. I had to take them to court and it was 3 years and a trip to federal court in the end for insurance fraud before I could get the money back. If I could have known about pre-planning and pre-paying then, I would have done it in a heartbeat when I was not in grief and when I could take my time and make careful and thoughtful choices.
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My mother and I did her pre arrangements about 9 years ago at the advise of an attorney. Doing this is part the spend down process concerning Medicaid. Now, with my mother's dementia in full force and having no assets except her monthly retirement check, I am comforted knowing the arrangements are made and PAID FOR! If you do not have $8 - 12,000 laying around to pay for your mother's funeral, I suggest you use her money to prepay the funeral expenses. The prepaid funeral expense is protected from medicaid if done properly.
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im still having trouble with funeral directors attitudes. i think they are sharks generally and getting a straight answer out of them is near impossible. you can prepay if you want but in the end they will juggle the different fees to the max allowed by law. they want to rush out here and get a personal check with little to no regard for the elders current mindset. they have one upped ambulance chasing attorneys imo..
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My dad purchased a pre-paid funeral arrangement and it was the best thing he could have done for himself and the family. Although the funeral home had changed owners the contract was still honored. There were a couple of things that had to be upgraded to current costs but they were minor and we were able to concentrate on the service itself as everything else was covered. We will be purchasing the same for my mom. I only wish they would have done it at the same time. From my experience with my dad, I highly recommend it.
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10 years ago my mom did this for my uncle who at the time was in a nursing home. He had the money so before his money ran out and he went on public aid my mom had to go before a judge and get approval for her to pre pay for his funeral arrangements. Had she not done this there would have been no money for a funeral as he had no life insurance policy. This all worked out very well. Also my MIL has taken care of all of her arrangements and I am trying to get my parents to take care of theirs. It really does take the burden off of you just knowing that this part of death has been taken care of so to speak. This is just my opinion, but i think it is a good thing to do.
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I understand the issue about the monetary side of the pre-arrangement, but what about the actual details of the funeral service? I think the hardest thing for me as I have arranged two funerals is picking out hymns, people to speak , etc. I know it might be lacking in tact to ask directly, but it might help you if you start listening and making notes when you hear something appropriate. It is so hard to think when we are numb. Best wishes!
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My Sister purchased a prepaid funeral for my Mom and Dad. The payment was put into a sort of trust in case the funeral home went out of business. The way I understand this is that if you prepay for a funeral, it lowers the money you have that medicare would take away. I think it was a great idea. We are probably going to spend all of our money paying for the Assisted Living facility, so at least this way, we will have less stress and problems when God does call them.
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I am a firm believer in pre-paying for funeral expenses. My son and I made the arrangements, my mom's money has now run out, and I would not have the funds to pay when she does pass. I have no worries, though, when the time comes. It's a very stressful time anyway, so I encourage you to finalize now.
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NEVER pay a funeral home their outrageous prices for a casket. by law any funeral home must honor your chouce in buying a casket elsewhere. I don't agree with pre-paying for a funeral. The only thing that should be paid for in advance is a burial plot. If you have the funeral at the elder's church, there are no costs. The only thing you pay the funeral director is for preparation of the body and then transportation of the body to the church and then to the cemetery. These maggots prey on the emotionally hurting and will drain your bank account if you allow them to. What really urks me is they do it with such "compassion" in their voices.
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My mom may be getting a small inheiritance soon from her mother's death. If she does, we're going to use it to pre-pay her funeral expenses. She's on Medicaid and can't have more than $2000 in assets, except that a pre-paid funeral doesn't count toward her assets.
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I always recommend pre-paid. Go with a reputable funeral home that has been in business for generations. In most states, there is some kind of escrow account that the funeral homes must have for prepaid funerals. Rather than making monthly payments, a simple cremation can be purchased in advance as a lump-sum payment. Phone around to different funeral homes and see what they have to offer.

Hey, I have had a grave plot already in place since I was a child. My headstone has been laid there since I was in my 40s with my name and birthdate on it......the church will fill in my death date when I pass on. I plan to be cremated and have my remains interred in the family plot.

I don't see anything weird about this. We do advance planning for everything else.....weddings, graduations, births, baptisms......so why not death, which is the ONLY certainty in life?
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YES YES YES pre planning and pre paying keeps the costs down and usually set to where you will even get refund so yes do all you can now make sure you have all services you want so all you have to do is call furnerl home and they will handle all and you dont have to d anything when time comes
of course they will try to seell you more when time comes but if you plan now you will have alll you want an need not leaveing them to try to seel you someing while working on your emotions
your friend truecolors
yes experenened 5 times in last 5 yrs
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My brother-in-law took care of all of that prior to my MIL's death. It was so nice not to have to worry about all the details when she finally passed away in the nursing home. We could all just be together to support each other without worrying about burial details. I think it is a great idea, but do your research.
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Dear TreadingWater,
Yes I have! Cremation makes it easier. Have a game plan in your mind so when it happens you can be direct, unemotional and shrewd. My experience was that if I did preplanned I would save a great deal. I didn't. The reality was, when the time came, I didn't buy a package. We didn't embalm. We didn't rent a coffin. In the end, it was $3000.00 less than they quoted me on the prearranged, prepackaged deal. I alerted them (the Funeral Home) 2 years before, that they would be the ones and left their name on file with the nursing home. When Mother died, the home called them and she was picked up. The arrangements were made 3 days later at the Funeral Home. I did no frills, straight cremation and the Memorial would be at the church. I got the ashes one week later. In Texas it takes about 10 days for filing paperwork with the State and completion of the process. If you want ashes at the funeral, you will have to wait for a time. We didn't. It saved the cost of the Urn. It's nice you all have a place for the ashes but what difference doe it make if they are not to be on display. We did a wooden, carved box.
Anyway, my experience it that prearranged is more expensive.
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My mother made her own arrangements two years before she got sick with cancer. She paid for everything except the flowers, head and foot stones. When the doctor told us he didn't think she would be with us much longer, my sister and I bought her head and foot stones. When she passed a few months latter, we were very thankful for our mother's foresight.
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Thanks to all of you for answering the question most children of elderly parents hate to face,me being the first to admit I think its cruel...but all these comments have changed my thinking.
Thank you again! Blessings
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I did it for my mom and when the time came I made ONE phone call and everything was done. They told me what to do and where to go. I didn't have to think. What a relief because I was so sad I would have done something stupid I'm sure.
lovbob
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I understand your delima. My mother has several terminal health issues but she too could live several more years. Most funeral homes have a preplanning pamphlet that can mostly be filled out in advance. It has a place that lists necessary documents so the locations can be recorded or gotten together, any special wishes for the memorial service desired by the loved one. I spoke with a friend of mine who owns and operates a funeral home about prepaid funeral and property arrangements. He told me the purpose of doing that is to avoid inflationary costs. Since my mother likely only has a few years remaining and has sufficient life insurance to pay the final expenses, he advised to put my money to another use.
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I have made arrangements 4 times so far and it is never easy. There is so much to do.. My best advice is to get all in order, birth,marriage, social security ,Talking to your confident in a church. Just so you are not looking for all these things when you just want to be at peace with your mother does pass away. Enjoy all your time with her now and not have to worry about all the paper work later when you just want to grieve for you mom and come to peace with her passing. Hope this helps.
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I took my mom several years ago at the advice an attorney (money paid in advance for a funeral cannot be counted as assets when getting medicare). She was more lucid and mobile then. She picked out her casket, lining, even a dress that they offered, in a pretty blue, her favorite color!) The cost even includes flowers and limo service for the family! The amount was about $10,000. I am glad that is taken care of. We went for the max with the idea of if we did not use all the services, the balance would be reimbursed to her estate. My mother is 88 now and has lived with me and my family for 7 years. I've worked hard enough caring for her all these years so when she goes (and I am still alive!), I don't want to be stressed about the arrangements or how it will be paid for. Make plans for your parent!
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Death is inevitable. Even when expected, when the time occurs many emotions are stirred. Preparing for an event that cannot be avoided seems like a good idea.
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Having worked in long term care for almost 30 years and buried both my parents, I do recommend prearranging and paying for burial. It makes it much easier on the grieving family to have that one less item to deal with. If she should ever go to the nursing home and outlive her money and receive Medicaid, prearranged burials is one of the expenses that is allowed.
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When my father-in-law died 23 years ago my mother-in-law prearranged her own funeral. She picked out her own casket and left us written instructions on the the hymms she wanted sung at her funeral mass as well as family photos she wanted displayed. She wrote down the information she wanted included in her obituary as well as her eulogy. She even set aside a photo of how she wanted her hair and make-up and instructions on what she clothes she wanted to be buried in. When she made these arrangements back in 1988 - our state did not allow pre-payment. But we will always be grateful for her planning. Instead of stressful decisions and disagreements over the arrangements all we had to do was call the funeral home and write a check.
One other thing - The purchase of an irrevocable pre-paid funeral is a permissible spend-down before applying for Medicaid and a good solution for families who find themselves in a position of potentially having no estate to pay funeral expenses.
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I know this sounds morbid, but having just gone through a funeral, I would definately recommend pre-planning. Although we had some clues as to what was wanted, pre-planning (as well as pre-payment) would have helped. It is so hard to be hurting and then have to plan a service, pay for it, etc. I hope this helps - Heidi
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I went down and prearranged my moms. I picked out everything and am making payments on it. I ask my sis and brother if they cared or wanted to help. They said go for it. It was a little wierd but glad it is over. When my dad died we all had to go pick everything out and we were sad and upset. I hated it . Now we don't have to do that for my mom. It is all taken care of and I just keep making payments after she is gone if I have not got it paid for yet. I think that will help alot. Good luck.
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yes, make arragments, caregiver for mom and dad for 4 years, dad laid down and went to sleep, not expected, tho he was 94, he and mom had pre-arranged their burial, people won,t be burried, until payment is made. this was a blessing for the remaining family, insures me to take care of mine ,now, so my children won,t have to. hugs to you firstgirl
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I believe it would be best if you go ahead and make plans for the inevitable. It truly is and knowing her wishes ahead of time as well as making the arrangements when you are not in a state of pain and immediate grieving is almost always best. It may be an upsetting issue fraught with fear and worry and hope and sadness about issues of family and love and mortality but think how much harder it will be when it comes time when it is moments after her death and you are dealing with relatives and the state and nursing home and any number of things that come up when a loved one passes. It is best to do as much as you can before it happens and not leave it till literally...after the last minute when your are thrown into grieving and emotionally fragile....
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I've been considering pre-arrangement for a while, I think it would be good to get it out of the way now, so much less to deal with when the time comes. Mom already owns a family plot so I would just have to arrange the cremation and small ceremony. I think I'll call the funeral home and get more info.
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To add to my original question ----If I decide to do the prepaid route I have no idea what a fair price is----I hear that these funeral
arrangements (cremation etc) go all over the board and that there are some very unscrupulous businesses out there.....Does anyone have a ballpark range of prices that are common?
I don't want to spend all her money on her death. I'd rather use it for the assisted living to help her life (and mine) be easier
Thanks for the previous comments----
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