Estate planning often encompasses more than simply deciding who will receive which assets when you die. Among the various components that you may decide to include in your comprehensive estate plan is funeral planning. Although you may not wish to think about planning for your own funeral and burial, there are a number of important reasons why you may decide to include funeral planning in your estate plan anyway. If you so, you may choose to establish an irrevocable burial account, also known as an irrevocable funeral trust. One question people often have when creating an irrevocable funeral trust is whether or not they need to name a particular funeral home at the time the trust is established. The answer to that question is “no.”
In fact, one of the advantages to using a trust for your funeral and burial planning is the flexibility a trust offers. An irrevocable funeral trust is a specialized type of trust that once established cannot be changed, modified, or revoked by the maker (you). The trust terms are what make this option so attractive for funeral and burial planning. You have the ability to be as specific, or as general, as you wish with your terms. Therefore you can name a specific funeral home if you wish; however, you can also leave the choice of funeral home up to your Trustee or to loved ones. Likewise, you can choose to include great detail in your trust terms, such as what type of music should be played, what flowers are to be used, and who should speak at the service, or you can let your Trustee or loved ones handle the details.
Along with ensuring that your final wishes will be honored, an irrevocable funeral and burial trust also allows you to provide the funding for your funeral and burial so that your loved ones are not saddled with trying to figure out how to pay for everything while grieving your loss. One popular funding option is to use a life insurance policy to fund the trust. After creating the trust you purchase or transfer a life insurance policy into the trust. When you die, the proceeds of the policy pay out into the trust and can then be used to fund your funeral and burial. By combining an irrevocable trust and life insurance policy you are able to serve numerous important purposes in your estate plan as well as remove the need to make difficult decisions from your loved ones when your die.
If you have additional questions or concerns about funeral planning, or your Illinois estate plan in general, contact the experienced Illinois estate planning attorneys at Nash, Nash, Bean & Ford, LLP by calling 309-944-2188 to schedule your appointment today.
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