Prefunding a Funeral
This section aims to answer many of the questions asked about the benefits, details and legal issues related to prefunding a funeral. Regardless of whether you decide to prefund your funeral, Duksa Funeral Homes will keep a detailed list of all your wishes on file at no cost.
Title XIX (Nineteen): 1965 federal law that provides for medical assistance to those who cannot afford to pay for it.
- Funds sheltered: Savings and some insurance policies must be cashed in to qualify for Title XIX. 100% of funeral insurance prefunding can be sheltered.
Prefunding Governed by the State
Connecticut's Funeral Preplanning legislation (Act 295 effective in 1995) is one of the most consumer protective preplanning regulations in the United States.
- Funds are placed into a separate account. Prefunding a funeral is not a way for a Connecticut funeral home to receive money early. A funeral home cannot access any money until a death has occurred, the family has contracted with a funeral home and services and merchandise are provided.
- Funds are completely transferable. In the state of Connecticut you may transfer those funds anywhere no matter the reason. They are in your name, not the funeral home's name.
- Sheltered from Title XIX/Medicaid and Healthcare Facilities.
- A preplanning specialist must be licensed. Not only must he or she be licensed by the state of Connecticut, but in order to offer both funding options available in Connecticut he or she must hold an Insurance Intermediary License and be contracted to a specific funeral home.
- Must be purchased through a funeral home.
- Should have a contract detailing specific manufacturer/product name merchandise selected and how services will be carried out so that any family member can clearly understand it.
Funeral Cost Breakdown
- Professional Services (transfer and care of deceased, hosting and coordinating visitation and services, etc.)
- Merchandise (casket, burial vault, urn, etc.)
- Miscellaneous (nothing to do with the funeral home: open/close grave, clergy, newspaper, luncheon, flowers etc. which can represent a large portion of funeral costs)
Duksa Family Funeral Homes Prefunding Guarantee
When you prefund a funeral you and your certified pre-planner will put the details of your wishes in writing—including specific services and manufacturer and model of the merchandise you choose.
At the time of death we will compare that detailed list with a current price list to gather current costs. If at the time of death the cost of services and merchandise chosen is MORE than the value of the policy, the funeral home will cover the difference. In that way you are guaranteed the service and merchandise you chose at no additional cost to you.
If after comparing the current costs with the value of the policy the total is LESS than what is in the policy, the excess money goes to the family. If the deceased is under Title XIX the family may use those funds for funeral related expenses (video tribute, luncheon, flowers etc.); however, if not used, that money must be returned to the state. If the deceased is not under Title XIX the extra money is returned to the family.
We cannot guarantee "Miscellaneous" fees, also known as cash advances or third party charges, as they have nothing to do with the funeral home. For example, we have no control over the increase in costs or the amount the family may want to spend for newspaper death notices, flowers or the cost of the luncheon or cemetery plot.
The American Association of Retired Persons' publications often touts the importance of preplanning: "Advance funeral planning gives you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your funeral arrangements are taken care of while lessening the burden on your survivors."
It also counsels consumers to be careful about prefunding. AARP advises people nationwide and there are many states around the country that have little or no consumer protection in place. In some states a funeral home receives 30 percent of the funds upfront. In other states the policy is not at all portable—if a consumer moves or changes his/her mind stiff penalties or forfeiture are the only options. In Connecticut, the funeral home receives no money upfront and the arrangements are completely portable.