Plan Ahead

Pre-Planning a Funeral or Memorial--No one likes to think about death, let alone plan for it. In many families, discussing one's mortality is an extremely uncomfortable topic. By pre-planning your funeral, you relieve your family of having to make important financial decisions during a period of great stress and grief. Like it or not, death will visit even those who don't want to be there when it happens. And like it or not, death is a costly affair. To beat the rising cost of funerals, more people are starting to consider preplanning and prepaying. When you prearrange, you have control of the decisions relating to your death--the disposition of your body, the funeral or memorial services, what you want your obituary to say about your life, and a reasonable budget which will ease the financial burden for your surviving family members.

PRE-ARRANGEMENT: The Thoughtful Decision

Today, more people are recognizing that planning a funeral in advance of need demonstrates love and consideration toward their family members. It is a thoughtful decision that reduces the stress of indecision and uncertainty when death occurs. The following information has been prepared to answer some of the questions we frequently received about pre-arrangement.

Why do people pre-arrange a funeral service for themselves or a family member?

There are many good reasons. Some plan ahead because there will be no one who is capable of making responsible decisions. Others have definite preferences concerning their funeral service, and they want their families to be informed and involved in those decisions. Many people pre-arrange because they like the peace of mind knowing there will be adequate funds to cover funeral expenses. Also pre-payment can provide real benefits when you are applying for Medicaid in the U.S. Most importantly, pre-arrangement guarantees that rational decisions can be made ahead of time without the usual urgencies when death takes place.

What steps are involved?

After you determine your funeral preferences, we will explain your options and guide you in establishing your own plans. You should find the advice of your family, clergy, and our funeral director especially helpful when considering the options. We will record certain vital information and gather documents for the required forms. Next, you can select a casket, burial vault, and other merchandise associated with the services. Finally, you may pay for the services and merchandise ahead of time through our funding program.

What will the pre-arranged funeral service cost?

The cost is a matter of your choice. All of your selections and options are featured in our itemized pricing guide. This guide provides factual information concerning each item and its price. Funding the pre-arranged service is a choice most people make to ease possible financial pressures on their family. Pre-funding allows you to pay for the funeral service at current prices. As your plan grows over time, it offsets inflation and should provide adequate funds for the future cost of the funeral. An individual may insure his or her life for the full present day cost of the funeral arrangements. Our program can provide immediate and considerable cost savings.

Who Qualifies?

Most individuals between the ages of 0 and 99 may apply. No medical examination is required for the life insurance, just a simple questionnaire that is completed after advance funeral plans have been made.

Pre-Planning Advantages... Increasing Death Benefits

Reduce the impact of inflation, which would otherwise increase the cost of your funeral.
Extended Payment Options

Our insurance plans are underwritten by Homesteaders Life Company, rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best. There are various payment options available. Even those on a tight budget can gain the advantages of funding their pre-planned funeral service

How is Pre-Planning Done?

A funeral director will meet with you at a time that is convenient, and assist you in recording your wishes. You choose everything you want for your funeral: the type of funeral service, casket, burial vault, music, and flowers. Important obituary information will be recorded. Once you have made your selections, you will learn the payment options available to you. A record of your selections will be kept on file at the funeral home until needed.

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Where does the money go that I prepay into the plan?

Gilliam Funeral Home will deposit 100% of the money received toward a Funeral Plan into a Trust or Insurance policy, where it cannot be released to us until after the funeral you have chosen has been provided for you. 100% of the money you have pre-paid will be used for your funeral. There are two types of pre-need funeral contracts - Standard and Inflation-Proof. Under a Standard Contract, the consumer is putting some funds towards the provision of funeral goods and services. Although the consumer may express a preference about which goods and services he or she desires, no goods or services are actually purchased at this time. The Consumer may also express his or her desires in order to determine how much his or her funeral would cost if held today. This amount is used solely to determine how much funding would be required were the funeral held today. Again, no goods and services are actually purchased with a Standard Contract. Under an Inflation-Proof Contract, the consumer actually selects funeral goods and services. The funeral home guarantees to provide those funeral goods and services at the time of need. The consumer may also select cash advance items, but the cost of these items is not guaranteed

How can I be sure the funeral home won't charge my loved ones more at the time of my funeral?

If you have an Inflation Proof Pre-Need plan, Gilliam Funeral Home is contractually obligated to provide all the services and merchandise included in your plan. The only change would be if survivors would wish to purchase any merchandise or service in addition to the prearranged plan.

What if the cost of the funeral service I prepay is greatly increased in cost at the time of my death?

By contract, Gilliam Funeral Home guarantees to provide those funeral goods and services that you have chosen to be included in your Inflation Proof Pre-Need Contract at the time of need, no matter how many years prior to use your plan was established.

What if your funeral home is no longer in business at the time of my death?

Because your money is held in a certified Trust governed by state law, it will always be there for your funeral, even if our funeral home were to be purchased or go out of business.

What if my family moves out of the area before I die? Do we lose the money we paid?

Should you move outside of our service area, your Pre-Need Funeral Plan provides those funds for your funeral at the funeral home of your choice.

Won't my life insurance benefits cover all my funeral expenses?

It may, but aren't your life insurance benefits intended for your spouse's security or your child's education? Also, the cost of a funeral continues to rise, while your life insurance benefits don't increase over time.

Doesn't Social Security provide a death benefit?

Social Security provides a lump-sum payment of only $255, and only if you qualify! That is well below the cost of any funeral.

Shouldn't I wait until I'm older to deal with this?

No. The younger you are, the more you have to gain. Prices will continue to rise until you freeze your costs by your purchase.

How do I know you will really put my money in a Trust or Insurance?

You will receive confirmation by mail from Homesteaders Life Company of all the financial transactions.

Can the Funeral Home ever cancel my Pre-Need Funeral Plan?

Absolutely not. The Pre-Need Funeral Plan can not be canceled by the Funeral Home.

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Information about the person completing this form

Information about the person you are planning for

Same as person filling out the form
Sex *

Do you have a copy of discharge papers?
I prefer the service be
If different person,
I have made a last will and testament

Gilliam Funeral Home

618 Wood Ave. West
Big Stone Gap, VA 24219

Phone: 276.523.7000