How to save on funeral costs

Prepaying your funeral can save money and family stress
Posted at 4:41 PM, Mar 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-26 18:33:16-04

KENMORE, N.Y. (WKBW) — According to the Bureau of Labor, funeral costs have gone up 227% since 1986.

Paying for a funeral is something that can catch a family off-guard.

"Some people are unprepared and have to turn to family and friends to pay for mom and dad's funeral services," said John Dengler, at Dengler, Roberts, Perna Funeral home in Kenmore.

Dengler said the best way to control cost is to consider pre-planning a funeral which will both save on cost and reduce family conflicts at the time of an individual's death.

In New York State, funeral homes can create a trust fund that collects interest. The money cannot be used by the funeral home until the time of death.

The benefit for families is that you pay the cost of the funeral now, and no matter how much prices go up in the future, you will not pay anything more for the same thing. (That could change if a family makes changes to a funeral plan after setting up a pre-arrangement).

"For people aged between 40 and 60, you are going to save a considerable amount of money long term," explained Dengler.

The cost of a funeral can vary with options such as burial or cremation, but the prices can run from a couple thousand dollars up to 13-thousand dollars," added Dengler.

There are two types of funeral trusts: revocable and irrevocable.

Revocable funeral trusts are portable and transferable.

Irrevovable funeral trusts apply to someone who is going into a nursing home on Medicaid.

"You can give us a small deposit of $500 and have up to five years to fully fund your trust," explained Dengler.

Dengler, Roberts, Perna Funeral Home is part of a network (Dignity Memorial) of 2,000+ funeral homes that will accept the pre-arrangement plans from fellow-funeral homes.

Others funeral homes in WNY, not part of Dignity Memorial, also have options for pre-planning.

Besides saving money, pre-plannng can reduce family conflicts because issues such as burial vs. cremation, wake vs. no-wake, and the types of funeral service have been set before the individual dies.

John Dengler shared the following tips:

7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly will have more in a Making Ends Meet report tonight at 6 p.m., including talking with a Kenmore man who experienced family deaths with and without pre-planning.