What is the Best Funeral Funding Product on the Market for Nearly Everyone?
By Richard Bruneau
I have written approximately 800 final expense and “pre-need” plans to cover funerals, burials, and cremations in 28 years. About ten years ago, I needed to determine which was the best product for a client’s money in the United States. I came up with one product that I have used almost exclusively for ten years.
If You’ve Been Setting Aside Funeral Money
Many people in their senior years will “set aside” money for funeral and burial. Here are the reasons:
1. They don’t trust funeral homes. Even if they know about “pre-need” funding, they may not be decided on a funeral home. And they know many funeral homes over-charge, both in advance and at the time of need. On top of the high prices, they have been shown the high monthly payments on pre-need plans. So they’ll wait until they have all the money and take their time deciding on a funeral home.
2. They believe they will do better just “investing” their money. They believe that somehow they will come out way ahead choosing investments to switch in and out of.
3. They can’t qualify for life insurance. Keeping money set aside for when the time comes makes sense to them.
4. They’ve had health issues, and final expense life, even “guaranteed issue,” is too expensive, and they don’t want to make that high payment the rest of their lives.
5. They want their precious money hidden, especially in cases where they are applying for Medicaid.
6. Other reasons.
There is a solution appropriate for almost everyone, but not everyone has been made aware of it. It’s the Funeral Expense Trust.
If you have been setting aside money for a funeral, regardless of how long, or if you have money in investments that is earmarked for funeral and other final expenses, this is what I can do for you with the NGL Funeral Expense Trust.
1. I will help you select the funeral home that is the best value for the money in your area. I do not work for any funeral home, so there is no bias. I have worked as a pre-need counselor in the past, so I know all the games. My best choice at this point is Premier Funeral Services based in Midvale, UT, but there are other good choices. And you don’t have to choose a funeral home to set up the trust.
2. We can determine the maximum total cost of burial, funeral, and/or cremation as per your wishes. You will never exceed a certain total cost. We can do this, even if you have not chosen a funeral home. It works better if you do, best of all if you use my recommendation. Once the total cost is established, we work on a plan to fund the trust.
3. The Funeral Expense Trust is available as a SINGLE PAYMENT plan, or you can chose payment plans 3-5-7-10 years. You don’t even have to put a big down payment, but you can if you wish. Payment plans are much lower than final expense insurance or pre-need plans. The payment is based on your age. You will NOT be paying for your whole life. You choose how long. And there is an Early Payoff Option on every payment plan. Every payment plan has full insurance during the payment period, so if you pass away prematurely, the balance is paid by National Guardian Life.
4. There are no disqualifying health questions, so everyone gets a plan. Life-threatening illnesses or conditions have to wait on year for the insurance component.
5. I can write payment plans up to age 90. Over 90 must be a single payment plan, up to age 99.
6. You will pay less than a pre-need funeral plan or than a final expense insurance plan. You will win big if you are paying with a lump sum to begin with or pay it off in six months. Six months, “same as cash” also offers a small discount based on your age.
7. I work closely with you to “freeze” costs as much as possible. I recommend using a funeral home that does not raise prices very often, such as Premier Funeral Services, Holbrook Mortuary, Cannon Mortuary, or any other privately owned funeral home that doesn’t like to raise costs. The trust has a tax-free growing cash value as long as you’re alive. This will help with all increased costs.
8. All of the above gives you the best plan for your money. And your money remains in the trust until your passing. Your money is not “stuck” with any funeral home, which means it is portable should you decide to move.
9. There’s no way you can lose with a fully funded Funeral Expense Trust. Everything is set up on your terms.
I wanted to help everyone select the very best funeral home value for their money, as well as the best cemetery arrangements. I have done all the homework, so that “shopping around” is done for you. This cuts costs with no sacrifices of quality necessary. That is the first step.
The next step is to set up a funding plan to cover the funeral as well as burial costs. “Pre-need” funding offered by funeral homes is usually costly if payments are stretched out as long as ten years. For example, it is typical for a $7,000 “frozen cost” funeral to have a total of payments $15,000—double today’s funeral cost. Early payoff is the only option that makes these “pre-need” plans attractive. And that’s usually just for the funeral with casket.
I have tried using strictly “final expense insurance.” It works well much of the time, but the total payout is often costly as well—especially with higher ages and poor health. Here’s where we see the major difference between what I offer now and the final expense insurance plans.
What I fund with now is the National Guardian Life Funeral Expense Trust, also called “Asset Guard.” It has the same payment plans and insurance that come with “pre-need” insurance and straight final expense insurance. But it works out much better at every age and with every health condition.
The Web site www.finalexpenseinsurance.com will tell you how much a monthly premium is for any age and death benefit amount for final expense for a list of companies.. So you can tell what the average is by looking at each company shown and dividing by the total number of premiums shown.
A $10,000 final expense policy at age 65 with good health is on average about $75 per month. You pay this for your entire life. If you live 15 years, the total payout is $75 x 180 months, or $13,500. The funeral home gets $10,000. Whether that amount covers everything in 15 years is a big question mark.
To have a Funeral Expense Trust that pays $10,000 in 15 years, you only need a face amount of $7.000, because with NGL’s Funeral Expense Trust there is a tax-free growing cash death benefit. The cash value death benefit grows every year. In 15 years, that death benefit could easily be $10,000. The monthly premium on a ten-year plan with a starting death benefit of $7,000 is only $79.31 per month. The total maximum payout is 120 months, not for any longer than that. The most that this plan would cost is $9,517.20.
With the final expense insurance, $10,000 death benefit costs you $13,500. With the Funeral Expense Trust, the approximate $10,000 benefit costs a maximum of $9,517.20.
The waiting period for full insurance during the payment period with the Funeral Expense Trust if you’ve had bad health is one year, after which 70% insurance applies. After two years, 100% insurance applies.
Now let’s use age 80. With decent health, a ten-year $10,000 death benefit plan will cost on average $210 per month with final expense insurance. With decent health using the Funeral Expense Trust, the monthly payment will be $132.50. And with the FET, the $10,000 grows. And this is using $10,000 to start with the Funeral Expense Trust instead of $7,000 as I illustrated before.
If the person age 80 lives ten years, the final expense insurance will have cost him $25,200. The Funeral Expense Trust, on the other hand, will have cost him $15,900. Both plans pay the full death benefit of $10,000 if he dies any time in his 80’s.
And NGL’s Funeral Expense Trust has payment plans for five years up to age 85, and up to three years up to age 90, regardless of health. Most final expense companies don’t have these available at advanced ages and/or with bad health.
The NGL Funeral Expense Trust is available up to age 99 with a single payment.
It’s a no-brainer. Use the Funeral Expense Trust for everyone, regardless of age, and select the funeral home with the best prices who also doesn’t raise prices very often.
Funeral Trust vs. Final Expense Insurance vs. Pre-Need Pre-Funding
1. When you purchase a final expense policy, you are purchasing a small life insurance policy. It might be a term policy or a permanent policy. These policies are typically up to $20,000 fixed death benefit. These policies are “underwritten,” just like any typical life insurance. There are still heath questions and issues that can raise premiums and total cost paid for the insurance.
2. An Irrevocable Funeral Trust, like the NGL “Asset Guard Funeral Expense Trust” isn’t your normal life insurance policy. It can either be a single premium or a multi-pay policy. This trust/life insurance combination is a guaranteed issue product with no underwriting. There are not disqualifying health questions. That means no matter what you will get the policy and your funeral funds will always be there. The Funeral Expense Trust is issued up to the age of 99.
3. Another difference between a final expense policy and an Funeral Expense Trust is that up to $15,000 the Funeral Expense Trust is Medicaid exempt. Since final expense insurance plans can gain cash value over time and if Medicaid is needed, you must count final expense life insurance value as an asset under Medicaid rules. With the Funeral Expense Trust, your assets are totally untouchable by anyone: lawyers, nursing homes, creditors, and Medicaid “spend down.” Paying money on a final expense policy and having it at risk of being lost is something no one wants to have happen. You can protect your assets now and insure that funds will be there when the time is needed and take the burden off others.
4. Unlike pre-funding at a funeral home or “pre-need,” with the Funeral Expense Trust you are not locked into a specific funeral home and you are able to use these funds anywhere in the country. Often funeral homes will try to get you to make the funds irrevocable to that funeral home, in which case your funds are trapped there no matter what. With the Funeral Expense Trust, that can’t happen. No funeral home gets any money until the time of death, and that funeral home designation can be changed.
The Funeral Expense Trust is the best funding means available to preserve and protect your assets, as well as funds you want to be used for a funeral. Nobody knows what the future holds. You can ensure that the funeral money precious to you is 100% “untouchable" and protected and that all costs are covered with accuracy.
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