Anyone had success getting a parent to pre-plan their funeral?


My 96 year old mom, who lives with my husband and I, doesn’t seem to want to pre-plan her funeral. She says she doesn’t really care, but I want it done because as POA, I can’t write a check from her account after she dies. I thought it would make things easier after, because it would be paid for already. Will a funeral home wait for payment until the will is probated? Or will I have to pay from my money and TRY to get reimbursed by my 5 siblings?



I have a joint account with my mother for these kinds of things. Can you make her agree to make a joint account with your name on it? You can tell her it's for 'emergencies', which is pretty much true... in my opinion. 🦋
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Heart2Heart
MaryKathleen Aug 8, 2018
Be careful how you have the account set up. If it isn't correct, the money could be frozen on her death.
While my parents were not focused on preplanning their funerals, but I was able to get my sisters to talk about it. Fortunately, with their tacit agreement, I was able to make the arrangements.
It's important that family members speak together, when feasible and reasonable, and designate someone to make the arrangements. This absolutely creates greater ease when death does happen.
If your loved one doesn't want to make the arrangements or talk about it, remember that the funeral, memorial is for you... Making arrangements is part of self-care.
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Reply to LorenMGG

Yes! My late mother had wanted to pre plan her funeral while I was living with her as I had to move in with her from my state. I was really dreading it. We sat down with the substitute funeral director as the regular director had died unexpectedly while atteding a wedding! Horrible. We go to the funeral home and I'm thinking "I just CANNOT look at a casket." Did not have to as there was a book and my late mother said "I think I'll be more comfortable in that one." My response="How will you know?" All 3 of us laughed and mother and I went out for lunch and ice cream. 180 degree expectation for me!
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Llamalover47

Your mother may not care, So, you do the planning, keep it simple, does she care if she is cremated or buried? is she religious? Does she want to "take anything" with her? Like a ring, dress, etc. My late sister-in-law was cremated, no urn, just a cardboard box, which we wrapped in her favorite fabric. She was a quilter.

My aunt in Dallas Texas died the first of June. To pick her remains up from the hospital, and cremate her cost $800.00. My cousin had an open house at her home, and catered it with her favorite restaurant. As I have said here before, he put her cremains in her favorite cookie jar. It seemed perfect to him, another cousin, and myself. She already had the plot and it was going to cost $2,000 to open and close it.

You can spend as much or as little as you want. I do recommend getting your ducks in line now, before you need to do it in the midst of your grief.

I often think that all of us on this forum need to think of these things too.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to MaryKathleen

My mom is 97 and wants to be cremated and no service. Cremation w/out a service in our town runs about $800 to $1500 depending on type of urn or box to hold ashes. That also includes a number of Death Certificates. She has no friends left, only family. We will probably have a lovely Celebration of Life Memorial for her when the time comes. If your mom doesn't care, keep it simple.
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Reply to sudalu

Grief twenty years ago caused me to spend well over $20,000 for my husband's funeral. He had wanted to talk about pre-plans and brought the subject up one day, but I could not handle it.

One of my children now works in a funeral home, a very good family-run home and has since counseled me on how many places take advantage of loved ones in their grief.

I am not at all good with death. Luckily, my mom and dad purchased their own burial plans many years ago. Dad is gone; Mom is still going strong at 93. We have four plots together already paid for, and headstones already down. Dad and my husband are in 2 spots, which leave 2 for Mom and me. So there wouldn't be too much left for my expenses, but I haven't done it yet either. (And, depends on my mood, Mom and I often argue, so not sure I want to be buried next to her "for all eternity" :). We will see.

Recently, one of my friends told me all about having purchased their mother's casket online (and apparently vaults are available as well). She had the casket delivered right to the funeral home... a very nice one for much less than would be available at a home.
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Reply to Myownlife

Since I had POA, I went to the funeral home and made the arrangements before my dad passed. From previous discussions, I basically knew what my dad wanted.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to jaylin

I’m one of 2 independent POAs, and I’ve preplanned and prepaid. I used my mother’s and my aunt’s funerals as a “template” for planning the current AL resident, since she planned the funeral for my previously mentioned aunt.
Peace of mind for everyone.
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Reply to AnnReid

My husband's parents had their sons go make the plans and they paid for them. It was part of their Medicaid eligibility process.
If you have POA and can write checks on her account now, why not just go do it yourself? She may not care what you plan, but may be quite happy to pay in advance.
Our local funeral homes expect payment up front, unless you assign them life insurance or make arrangements prior to services.
If you do pay personally, you should be able to be reimbursed by her estate; but it would be easier, IMO, to do the pre-plan.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Agingmyself

If you are her POA just do it. Most people do not do this planning but maybe you can get info from her in bits and pieces. Maybe sit with her and say you are planning your own and ask her opinion.

Now as far as my parents and aunt, they prepaid 20 years ago. They saw a local funeral director who set them up with a plan like an insurance policy which makes about 1 or 2 percent interest each year. I get the 1099 each year as mom is the only one living. The plan is portable however the local funeral director has all the information right down to the type of urn. They then purchased the plot and stone to be engraved as each one passed. Since they decided cremation and their plot allowed, they even invited my brother and I to join them if we decide cremation.

As far as extra costs there was a few based on our decisions for services, church, flowers, post funeral lunch, newspaper, and printing. I am also executor so things went smoothly with the 2 deceased. No probate was needed. All my brother and I had to do is meet with the director for about an hour. He even arranged for getting extra death certificates upon request.

As POA it is well worth that you start shopping. Did you know that pre funeral arrangements is a legitimate pre Medicaid spendown?
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to MACinCT