Pre-need Q & A – Cemetery and Funeral Bureau

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A manual for creating pre-planned funeral and cemetery preparations.

Planning Ahead for Peace of Mind.

During challenging moments, you alleviate your family from the responsibility of decision-making and guarantee the fulfillment of your last desires by preplanning funeral and cemetery arrangements.

Making preparations in advance entails comparing prices, evaluating amenities, and choosing the services and goods you desire. You can also make provisions to prepay your funeral and cemetery expenses, ensuring that your family members won’t be burdened with the bills once you pass away. The act of comparing prices, reviewing facilities, selecting services and merchandise, and expressing your preferences constitutes making advance arrangements.

The outcome can be funeral or cemetery preparations that are carefully organized, significant, and cost-effective.

The Consumer Affairs Department, specifically the Bureau of Funeral and Cemetery, has already made preparations for answering these questions in advance of planning a funeral. To obtain further information, please refer to the Consumer’s Bureau of Funeral and Cemetery, which is part of the Consumer Affairs Department. Additionally, you can find more information on the Consumer’s Bureau’s Guide to Cemetery and Funeral Purchases online at www.Ca.Gov.

Q. Why should you arrange a funeral ahead of time?

By making preparations ahead of time, you have the ability to make well-informed decisions, evaluate prices and alternatives, and have conversations with your family about your preferences. This can ultimately lead to a sense of tranquility for both you and your loved ones.

Q. What choices are accessible?

Exploring these options beforehand helps you and your family decide what is best. You may also consider donating your body or tissue to medical science, or organ donation. Among these options, there are choices such as cremation, burial, entombment, scattering at sea or inurnment, as well as traditional funeral services and memorial services.

Q. How can I locate a trustworthy provider of funeral or burial services?

To verify the status of a license, you can visit the website of the Bureau or contact them at (916) 574-7870.. The Bureau does not grant licenses to cemeteries that are run by religious institutions, a cemetery district, any other government entity, the military, Native American tribal organizations, or other similar groups. However, the Bureau does grant licenses to all privately owned cemeteries in California or those owned by fraternal organizations. Moreover, the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau is responsible for licensing all funeral establishments (including funeral directors) that operate in California. In certain regions, there may be funeral consumer groups or organizations that provide assistance and guidance. To find such support, you can seek recommendations from friends or relatives, search online or in the Yellow Pages, or consult the Better Business Bureau.

Q. After I make a decision regarding my preneed arrangements, what steps should I take?

1. You may want to consult an attorney to include information about your preneed will or other legal documents. 2. Most funeral homes and cemeteries offer prearrangement guides that you can fill out to share and keep with your family. 3. It is advisable to create a written preneed plan.

Q. Is it possible to modify my plans before or after my demise?

If the arrangements are unclear or incomplete, changes can be made to make survivors if they are not fully paid for or if the changes allow documents to be made only if changes can be made. If your instructions are clear and provisions have been made to pay for costs, changes can be made to your arrangements only if they are needed.

Q. Should I make payment for my preneed selections in advance?

Prepaying your spares eases the burden of arranging payment for survivors. It ensures that your wishes will be carried out and also allows you to control the costs.

Q. How can I prepay expenses for funerals and cemeteries?

Prior to finalizing your decision regarding the payment of prearranged expenses, it is advisable to seek advice from both a lawyer and Medicare or Medicaid, if relevant. Potential methods of prepayment encompass life insurance, burial insurance, burial trusts, as well as trusts or savings accounts held by banks.

There are four typical methods to make payments for preneed services. Each approach has its own benefits and drawbacks.

  • Your survivors may need to pay some expenses for the costs of cemetery services and merchandise, as well as the costs of services and merchandise guaranteed by your preneed contract. The amount they will pay for funeral arrangements specifically purchased as life insurance is fixed based on the face value of the policy.
  • If you happen to not pay insurance premiums, you should be informed in writing about what will happen and exactly how much you will have to pay before you purchase funeral insurance. Funeral insurance should cover all the expenses guaranteed, if the costs are guaranteed. Insurance funeral can be purchased in an amount to pay for cemetery costs, merchandise, and services.
  • Full payment is required before death occurs. What happens if the trust is fully paid before death occurs? Will the remaining money in the trust increase in value after the contract is fulfilled? Before purchasing a funeral trust, you should get answers to the following questions. If the guaranteed costs are covered, will the trust cover all expenses? Can funeral trusts be purchased for a certain amount to pay for cemetery costs and funeral services?
  • Funeral services and merchandise costs are typically not assured with this account. It is your responsibility to inform your family and the funeral provider regarding the funds in the account. Bank-held trusts or savings accounts are commonly used to establish accounts for covering funeral expenses.
  • Q. Is there any additional information I should be aware of regarding prepaying my arrangements?

    A. Prior to signing any agreement, take into account the following:

  • Who would pay them? So, are there any costs included in the preneed contract that would need to be paid at this time?
  • Are the prices mentioned on the agreement assured?
  • Can the plans be transferred to another funeral home and/or cemetery if you relocate or simply have a change of heart?
  • What occurs to the agreement if the institution shuts down or gets sold?
  • Who exactly holds the preneed funds and how can one get in touch with the company?
  • If there is any interest generated from the account, who is responsible for paying the taxes on the earned income?
  • Can you terminate the agreement and, if yes, what would be the repercussion?
  • We recommend reviewing our Consumer Guide to Cemetery and Funeral Purchases before making any arrangements for a funeral. You can find a printed copy by calling us or requesting it online at cfb.Www.Gov. The Consumer Guide to Cemetery and Funeral Purchases is available in both Spanish and English.

    The Department is here to assist. Please reach out to us for help.


    1625 North Market Boulevard, Suite S-208.

    Sacramento, California 95834.


    (916) 574-7870.

    (800) 952-5210.