Yahoo Finance’s recent article, “Pros and Cons of an Irrevocable Funeral Trust,” explains that an irrevocable funeral trust is a legal entity that helps people pay for their end-of-life costs, such as funeral and burial expenses.
With this trust, you’re establishing a formal trust fund, a separate legal entity that owns the money you contributed to it. The purpose is to hold your money until you die. It then releases the funds to pay for your funeral, burial and other end-of-life expenses.
As with all trust funds, the trust has a trustee who manages its money. Here, the trustee is determined by an insurance company or funeral services company through which you set up the trust. It will usually hold as its single asset a life insurance policy that you have purchased.
The trust fund owns this life insurance policy and is named as the sole beneficiary. When you die, the fund collects the policy’s payment and uses this money to pay for your end-of-life costs.
A funeral trust may also name a specific funeral home as the trust’s beneficiary. For example, a given funeral home may agree to a fixed price for a funeral and burial.
When you die, the trust pays out its funds to the funeral home to cover the costs of your funeral, burial and any associated services.
As with most trusts, you can establish both revocable and irrevocable funeral trusts.
With a revocable funeral trust, you maintain ownership and control of the money and can withdraw it anytime.
However, with an irrevocable funeral trust, you no longer own the money, so you cannot withdraw it.
While an irrevocable funeral trust can help your loved ones pay for potentially expensive end-of-life costs, it locks up your money for good and cannot be amended. However, many times, this is a way of utilizing an insurance policy that might otherwise have to be liquidated if skilled nursing is necessary for an individual, and they would like to pursue the Medicaid program and preserve the insurance policy.
Reference: Yahoo Finance (April 29, 2023) “Pros and Cons of an Irrevocable Funeral Trust”
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