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New York Cremation Pre Planning / Pre Pay from City Funeral Service

Pre Arrange Cremation in NY

More and more, City Funeral Service is engaging with clients who wish to arrange in advance a cremation service for themselves.  Frequently, we are also contacted by a family member or caregiver because someone is applying for Medicaid Benefits upon entering a Long Term Care or Geriatric Facility and required to "spend-down" assets to comply with the Medicaid Law.  By planning in advance of a death, the wishes of all parties involved can be discussed and finalized in an orderly, calm manner.  Many times in the Funeral Home, we receive frantic calls from people who have experienced a loss - expected or otherwise, and suddenly find themselves in charge of the deceased's arrangements with no plan in place - this leaves them with a lot of unanswered questions.  What do I do? How do I do it? What is this going to cost me? are some of the questions we hear, usually in a tone of panic.  All these issues can be discussed and prepared for ahead of time without fear or worry.  City Funeral Service is happy to speak with you regarding these matters, and we will address any questions or concerns based on our vast professional experience.

What you need to know:

City Funeral Service receives questions from many New Yorkers about pre planning Cremation Services.  We have included some Q's and A's below so you can make your decision regarding pre planning before you begin:

Is this like an insurance policy?

No.  Pre payment is NOT life insurance.  

Why pre pay a cremation?

The cost of goods and services - for any industry, usually increase over time.  By pre-paying today, the funds are placed into an interest bearing escrow account with a rate of interest that is meant to keep up with price increases over time.  Some people feel it is easier to do this now, as they may not have any surviving relatives to represent their interests once they pass on, or their family may not be financially capable of a cremation or funeral purchase

Can I pay over time?

Yes. City Funeral Service offers the opportunity to begin a Cremation Pre Arrangement with as little as $100 to begin, and a monthly payment of $25 or $50.  If there is a balance at the time the beneficiary passes, the amount will have to be paid in full prior to cremation.

Is the pre arrangement taxable?

Yes, you will receive a 1099 every year for the interest that accrues on the account, along with a statement reflecting the balance
 

What happens to the money we give City Funeral Service when I pre pay?

Funds received by us for a Cremation are placed into an FDIC Insured escrow account and remain there until the beneficiary passes.  At that time, City Funeral Service presents a Certified Copy of the Certificate of Death to the escrow, and the funds are electronically transferred to us as payment for the services we provide, called "At Need".  At the conclusion of the pre arrangement process, once the funds you give us are deposited, you will receive written confirmation in accordance with the law.

I'm going on Medicaid and they are requiring I do this as part of the "Spending Down" process

Medicaid requires that you divest all of your assets as part of their eligibility process, and complete a pre arrangement of Funeral or Cremation Services, known as an "Irrevocable" funeral trust.  City Funeral Service will provide you the documentation necessary to comply with these regulations.

If you are presently not receiving assistance from Medicaid, but may elect to do so in the future, City Funeral Service will issue you a "Revocable" contract when you prepay now, and when you begin the Medicaid application process, furnish you an "Irrevocable" contract at that time.

What if you go out of business, or I move?

If we should ever cease doing business, or sell our business to another individual or entity OR if you move or decide on another cremation provider you have a choice of the following:

  • Stay with new ownership and do nothing

  • Transfer to another funeral firm

  • Full refund including any interest that may have accrued over time, provided the pre arrangement is not for someone receiving medicaid assistance

I see "guaranteed pricing" from similar providers.  Does City Funeral Service offer the same?

No. City Funeral Service does not offer guaranteed pricing.  "Third Party Cash Advance Fees" such as the Crematory or costs of a copy of a Certificate of Death are not set by us and we have no control of their future price point, therefore we do not guarantee price.

Once I pre plan / pre pay, is the arrangement "set in stone"?

No. While most of the time what is pre planned by the consumer is followed at the time of their death, there are instances where we are told by the deceased's representative that they wish to make changes to what was previously planned.  Sometimes it is due to circumstances at the time of the death. Remember, self-authorized cremation is not allowed in New York State, and at the time of the death, additional documentation such as the Crematory Authorization Form will need to be completed with us by your legal representative such as your Agent or Domestic Partner, Spouse, Child, Sibling, Niece or Nephew, Grandchild, Uncle or Aunt, Cousin, Friend or Executor of your will.

Start a Cremation Pre Arrangement

Review our prices for Direct Cremation Here.  Contact City Funeral Service to begin a Pre Arrangement, our office will need some basic information to start.  We keep this information in a file and will be used to draft the Pre Need Contract and Itemization we will provide to you as required by New York State Law.  In the future, this information will also be used to complete a Certificate of Death, and finalize all details of the Cremation Service.  You may also download our "information We Will Need Form" here.   You will need to provide the following:

  • Your Name, home address and telephone number, and your relationship to the party being planned for, if not for yourself

  • Date and Place of Birth

  • Social Security Number, Occupation and Name of Last Employer 

  • Veteran's information, if any, and military discharge documents such as the DD-214

  • Parent's names including mother's maiden name, if available

  • Name, address and telephone number of party responsible for you upon your death.  This is usually a Spouse or Domestic Partner, child or grandchild, niece or nephew, close friend or neighbor, executor of your estate or designated funeral agent.  This party will need to be available and willing to execute the necessary authorizations at the time of the death so that we may fulfill our obligations

The Next Step

Once your Information is received,  City Funeral Service will  create your Pre Need Contract and Itemization.  You will receive these documents via e-mail, or overnight carrier such as FedEx or UPS.  We will provide instructions regarding where you need to sign or initial each document.  Make copies for your records, and if necessary, the Social Worker at a Nursing Home or for Medicaid.  You may return the completed documents to us, along with a check or money order payable to City Funeral Service in the amount listed on your Pre Need Itemization Statement.  Credit Cards are NOT accepted for these transactions.   If you prefer, we will be happy to make an appointment to see you in person at our Yonkers Office, and plan on spending about an hour with our Funeral Director to complete the pre planning / pre payment process.

Once funds are deposited, you will receieve a confirmation letter in the mail.  A 1099 for interest that has accrued, and a balance statement are mailed yearly prior to tax time.  

At the time of the death, your representative will need to tell City Funeral Service there is a pre funded cremation agreement so that we may reference our records.