Utah Insurance License Number: 88816         Pre-Need Sales Agent Number: 325672-5802

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This agency only works with local, privately-owned funeral homes. This means you will be dealing with a trusted member of your community, not some distant corporation only worried about a bottom line.


After more than two decades of selling whole life insurance and pre-paid funerals, I have come to the conclusion that paying for a funeral with one check as far in advance as possible is one of the best investments a middle-aged or older person can make. But it must be done correctly or the intended benefits won't outweigh the consequences of choosing the wrong vehicle. Below are guidelines for making a single sum investment into a funeral plan funded by insurance work for you, as well as early payoffs.

The best way to pre-pay a funeral is through a large insurance company that is specifically in the business of "preneed," such as National Guardian Life, Homesteaders Life, Great Western, etc. that allows you to prepay quickly. Most funeral homes have this possibility available, but how good the quick payoff or single pay option is depends on the funding company. National Guardian Life's Funeral Expense Trust has the best early pay plan I've seen. I offer this plan continually for its many benefits. Some companies offer you no benefits or discount for single payment or early payment. Some even discourage it, so you instead pay on a plan as long as possible, on what I call a "buffalo" or "raw deal" funeral plan--where you in many cases pay twice the orginal cost of the funeral after all payments have been made. On many of these plans, you can only pay off early and reap the benefits within a short time frame, such as the first two to three years, after which time the option is forfeited and you are stuck paying the full term of the plan (so they can make more money, of course). National Guardian Life doesn't do this to people.

How NGL's Early Payoff Works - Click Here For Details

Funeral homes sell funeral plans that can be funded through either 1) a trust fund they maintain within their company where your money is safely separated from all their other funds and can't be co-mingled with their other funds, or 2) an insurance policy for that purpose. The second option is far more common. If you consider purchasing a funeral plan from a funeral home that offers the trust option as well as the insurance option, you can avoid paying any interest or finance charges that are normally associated with these types of trusts with a single payment or some other time period they allow "interest free," such as one year. But keep in mind that buying a funeral plan on a trust maintained by the funeral home "locks" up your money with a penalty to pay if you decide to use the money elsewhere. Your money is trapped with that funeral home. The penalty to get it back can be quite steep, such as 20-25%. This reason alone makes private funeral home trusts the worst of purchasing options. The only viable and sensible reason to purchase a funeral plan through the private trust option is that it allows you to use the funeral plan for anyone, not just a specific person as with an insurance-funded plan. Often folks can only afford one plan at a given time, and they want to be able to use it for "whoever goes first." This makes sense, but it is the only real benefit to using the private trust option (except for having costs guaranteed).

IMPORTANT NOTE: A private trust a funeral home maintains is not to be confused with a Funeral Expense Trust, which is sold by insurance companies such as National Guardian Life.

Insurance funded guaranteed pre-paid plans have cash value growth, as well as portability. (You must be sure, however, that you have not made the plan "irrevocable" to that funeral home, in which case the money is not portable.) But a major factor to consider with respect to cash value growth is how it grows, i.e., does it depend on how much is paid in and how quickly it is paid in? With many insurance plans, your cash value will grow much faster if it is paid off quickly. With others, however, the cash value growth is a simple "dividend" paid yearly based on the "face amount" of the policy or something else like a "paid up addition" of a fixed amount.

In other cases, however, the cash value may grow much faster if you pay it up sooner.

The best option of all is a funeral insurance company that offers a discount for making a single payment. This discount is often based on your age and health, two factors that determine how long you will live. Generally, the younger you are, the bigger the single payment discount will be. For example, I've written numerous plans funded through National Guardian Life that give you a discount of 12% up to age 55. That's an automatic "return on investment" of 12%. If your plan has a death benefit or "face amount" of, say, $5,000.00, you only have to write a check for $4,400.00 to get a plan worth $5,000.00. And the cash value will also grow thereafter as long as you are alive. The discounts go down as you get older, of course. So buying a funeral plan this way pays better if you buy it when you are relatively younger.

Check to see if the funeral funding company you are considering using will discount your total funeral cost for paying for it with one check. This is the best deal of all-everything considered. The discount is a return of your investment along with the cash value growth-and all of it is tax-free. If you are able to get such a discount and can swing it, consider transferring money from CD's, savings bonds, other insurance with cash value sufficient to pay for it, or with money from other sources or savings.

NGL is No. 92 of all insurers in the U.S. Read Report.

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I don't need your Social Security number. There is a major funeral funding company based in the Salt Lake area that owns many mortuaries and cemeteries that insists on getting your Social Security number when you set up a plan with them. Don't fall for this. That number is only needed for a death certificate, not for a funeral or burial plan. National Guardian Life does NOT require your Social Security number. Turn down any plan that does.

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    UtahsFuneralPlanningSite.com serves the funeral and funeral planning market in the Salt Lake City, Utah area. Our goal is to help you plan a funeral in as much detail as possible well in advance. This website provides the tools you need to pay for funerals the right way, so affordable funerals donít end up being a sacrifice but instead a more comfortable reality. We offer or point you to Utah's best funeral prices and lowest cost for funeral plans, which can include caskets and burial vaults, and final expense whole life insurance, especially for seniors with bad health and with low incomes. You will be able to not only outline your final wishes with accuracy, but you will know exactly how to calculate and control the cost of a funeral (church, mortuary chapel, or graveside), the cost of a burial, and, if applicable, cremation options. You will not become the victim of funeral rip-offs, over-priced caskets, or plans that donít suit your familyís true needs and budget. There will be no confusion in your family at the time of need concerning arrangements. Once you have done things correctly, they will know where the line has been drawn on spending for your final expenses, and no mistakes will be made.