A How To Guide
So you’ve decided that the time has come to transfer the funeral arrangements you’ve already made. There are numerous reasons that you may find yourself in this situation. Perhaps you’ve moved here from another city or state. Maybe the funeral home or cremation society where you originally had your arrangements went out of business, or changed ownership. Or, you’ve just decided that our firm is the right choice for you. We’re here to help, and make this transition as easy as possible for you.
First, congratulations on planning ahead. You are already ahead of the curve when it comes to thinking about and planning for what you want your funeral to be. The important thing now is to make sure your wishes and finances are protected as you switch funeral homes. Our process always starts with the contacting the insurance company (or funeral home) where you have your originating contract. Many funeral homes write specific funeral insurance policies as agents for an insurance company (examples may include National Guardian Life, Forethought, or Homesteaders). These policies can be researched by calling the insurance company, whose name should be on the paperwork that you have.
IT’S ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA to periodically check in with the insurance company to make sure that your policy is in good standing, and to verify that your beneficiary is who you want it to be. If your beneficiary has passed away it is critical that you update your policy; and appoint a new beneficiary to follow through with your funeral arrangements when the time comes. If your original funeral home decided to place your money in a trust, they must be contacted directly to find out how to transfer that policy to our funeral home.
Once the details of the policy have been verified by the insurance company/funeral home, your next step is to set an appointment with our staff. We will ask that you bring your policy information and contract (which is a price itemization of all the merchandise and services you have requested) with you so that we can review it together. We want to make sure we have a clear understanding of the type of service that you are envisioning. There is also a financial aspect to this conversation. Most likely your contract was price-guaranteed through your original funeral home. We will determine with you if we can honor that price guarantee, or if there will be additional fees based on our current service prices – we don’t want there to be any surprises for your family when they are trying to complete your funeral services!
Our next step is to finalize any transfer paperwork as the insurance company typically has a “Change in Funeral Home” form that they can fax or email to us. Both you and one of our funeral directors will sign off on it. We will then return the documentation to the insurance company, and make copies of your contract and policy, so that we can create your file with our firm. That’s it – the process to transfer your funeral arrangements has been completed.
It is our hope that by outlining the process for transferring funeral pre-arrangements we have set your mind at ease. It is not a difficult process once you have made the decision to change funeral homes. Even if you are satisfied with your current funeral home (or already have your pre-arrangements through our firm) we encourage you to check in and make sure that the information the funeral home or cremation society has on hand is accurate, and provides you with the services that you are expecting to have covered when the time comes. Please contact our staff to start the transferring process, or with any further questions.