Not at Rich and Thompson. There are some funeral homes that do charge a fee for consultation, but we feel it is part of our responsibility to provide information to the consumer so that they can make decisions that are best for them.
No, you do not. Prepayment is an option that you have, but it's only a part of making pre-arrangements. Providing us with biographical information and putting your desires concerning your service in writing is extremely helpful to your family.
North Carolina law is very specific in stating that any money brought to us must be placed into an approved insurance vehicle. We do not retain any of the funds given to us. At Rich and Thompson, we currently fund our pre-need funerals with an inflation adjusted life insurance policy.
No, it does not. The cost of services and merchandise will continue to rise over the life of the account. This is due to increases in overhead, supplier cost, etc. We do, however, give you written assurance that those responsible for your funeral arrangements will not pay any additional funds for the same services and merchandise that were originally selected.
The life insurance policy that we purchase with the pre-need funds is inflation adjusted. Over the life of the policy the face amount is increased at the discretion of the insurance company. It is this increase in the face amount that we use to offset any increase in our cost.
You can pay for services and merchandise and receive assurance that you will not pay any additional funds for those items. Services can include, but are not limited to the professional services of the funeral director, preparation of the body, use of the facilities, use of vehicles, cremation, transfer to other funeral homes, etc. Merchandise can include caskets, vaults, urns, clothing or other sundry items.
Virtually anything can be funded through the policy, but you do not have the assurance of not having to pay additional funds in the future for these items. Basically, anything that Rich and Thompson has no control over the cost of, is not guaranteed to cost the family more at the time of death. Examples of these items include North Carolina sales tax, flowers, grave charges, obituaries and honorariums. The funds placed aside for these items do grow at the same rate as the other funds in the account, so there is the possibility that the growth of these funds could offset any increase in their cost.
No, while it is in the best interest of the consumer to pay for everything at once, it is not required. Scheduled payments may be made for 3, 5, 7 or 10 years, depending upon a person's age. These payments may be annual, quarterly or monthly. You should be aware that the total cost of making payments would exceed the original cost of the funeral selected.
The factors used to calculate scheduled premium payments include a person's age, the length of time they wish to pay and the cost of the service and merchandise selected. Included in your premium are administrative cost to the insurance company and the cost of insurance. You should carefully consider these factors when you are deciding on how to fund your policy.
Depending upon the provisions of the policy that you have, you may be able to make the funeral home beneficiary of the policy. This, however, does not grant you any inflation protection. The majority of life insurance policies enforce are non-participating, which means they do not pay dividends. The face amount of these policies tends to remain the same over the life of the policy, unless it has a graded death benefit. You may still use the death benefit of the policy as a credit towards your final funeral expenses, but it's still possible those responsible for your expenses will owe the funeral home more money.