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My elderly mother established pre-need accounts for herself and me about six years ago. We decided on all aspects of the funeral arrangements and paid the balance in full. When I contacted the funeral home recently to check on the status of our accounts, I was advised of the funds currently in the accounts. I was also advised that due to inflation costs, we may not be able to get exactly what we chose initially; the package may have to be "tweaked" or additional funds required. Is this common practice industry-wide? We were never alerted to the possibility that we might not be able to get what we selected and paid for at the time of need.

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My mom did her prepaid plans a couple years ago, and they were very good about pointing out exactly which items could (or would) increase due to inflation. Off the top of my head I can't recall, but they were things out of their control, not the embalming or casket, but flowers or police escort which are thru outside vendors. Read your contract. It costs what it costs, is my take. We had a certain dollar amount for flowers (I think $600) which seemed generous then, but in 5 yrs might not be. If we want to increase that at the time, we can decide then.
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Unfortunately, it depends on what exactly you bought. There are price-guaranteed plans, but they aren't popular with the funeral homes because of inflation. There are insurance policies, there are trusts and probably other methods of pre-planning. Read your paperwork carefully and see exactly what you have paid for. I would even go out on a limb here and say that all of them require additional money at the time of the funeral. There are some things they just won't let you pay for in advance. Labor for opening and closing of the grave, for example. Cost of the stationary items, auto rental. Some people go ahead and buy the monument stone and have the dates of death left blank, to be filled in later.
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