Prearrangement Information

Being Prepared

Many important events in our life are made with planning and forethought. From the time we are young, we are taught not to make uninformed decisions. We are shown that an informed decision not only helps us feel good about that decision, but it eases our mind that the decision we have made is what was best for all concerned. When we have made a decision in haste, there are times we second guess the decision and wonder "what if ...?" Pre-arranging a funeral for yourself or a loved one is not an easy thing to do. Time must be taken to make an educated decision. The pre-need counselors of the Lazear-Smith & Vander Plaat Memorial Home will help you make that informed decision after taking the time to explain all of your options.

Who should prearrange?

Pre-planning a funeral can help ease the stress of making these important lasting decisions at the time of death of a loved one. Preplanning can also help ease the emotional burden put on your family during the time of sadness and emotional distress. Should you decide to set an appointment with one of our pre-arrangement counselors, consider bringing a family member or close friend with you. Funeral pre-planning allows an individual to make his or her own specific funeral pre-arrangements detailing such important items as hours for visitation and the type and content of the funeral or memorial service. Individuals can also specify their desired casket, flowers, stationary items and monument.

Prearranging - SSI and Medicaid

Prepaying funeral expenses allows you to select the funeral of your choice before assets are used up for medical care and before assets are reduced to SSI or Medicaid eligibility levels. Federal and State law allows funds deposited into a properly established irrevocable account to be excluded from the assets of the person for whom the prepaid funeral is for.

Can I prearrange without paying?

Yes. Pre-arrange does not have to mean prepay. The pre-arrangement counselors at Lazear-Smith & Vander Plaat Memorial Home will meet with you, record all your wishes, and keep the information on hand. At any time after that, these pre-arrangements can be funded if desired with Pre-Plan.

What is Pre-Plan?

Established in 1988, PrePlan is a New York pre-funded funeral trust administered for the New York State Funeral Directors Association, Inc. by Funeral Director Support Services, Inc., a New York state corporation. Once your pre-paid funeral account is opened with a funeral home, PrePlan will send you a personalized confirmation that your funds have been received and deposited. Following that, regular statements of the account and interest will be sent from Preplan, so that a family member always has current information on the balance of the account. These funds are placed in FDIC-insured certificates of deposit which will give you a maximum rate of interest. The state of New York has some of the strongest laws as they pertain to prepaid funerals. All funds set aside for prepaid funerals must be placed 100% in a funeral trust.

Can I pay for my pre arrangement over time?

Yes. You can open an account with Preplan with as little as five hundred dollars. We will help you design a payment plan that will work for you. Your money will receive all the benefits of a fully funded account – interest, security, etc.

Can I transfer a prepaid funeral from another funeral home to Lazear-Smith & Vander Plaat Memorial Home?

Yes. If you have a pre-arranged funeral with another funeral home, the account can be transferred without any loss or penalty. Contact us and we will secure the necessary forms, fill them out and have the funds transferred. If your prepaid funeral is in another state or with some other type of trust account, please contact us and we will advise you of your options.