Prepay? Preneed?

For years consumers advocates have cautioned against paying in advance for funeral arrangements. Pre-planning is highly recommended, but pre-paying carries risks.  

Setting aside funds (e.g., in a Totten Trust, a Payable-On-Death account at a bank) to pay for your future funeral may give you and your family peace of mind. However, beware of prepayment ("preneed") contracts with funeral homes or insurance companies. Consider the risks involved. Read FCA's pamphlet, Prepaying Your Funeral: Benefits and Dangers (pdf) or this ElderLawAnswers page, Pre-Paid Funeral Plans: Buyer Beware.

In the past two days TV news reporters for Channel 40 and Channel 22 News have requested information from our organization about consumer rights and how to avoid the frustrations some families have encountered with the unfortunate situation with Ryder Funeral Home's abrupt closure. Here are links to the resulting news stories, including short excerpts from interviews I gave:

Families Try to Find Thousands of Dollars After Ryder Funeral Home Shuts Down (Ch.40)

When planning a funeral don’t pre-pay (Ch.22)

I'm pleased that these postings on both channels include a link to the national FCA website ( for further information.

Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed here in "Sandy's Blog" are written by one individual (volunteer Sandy Ward) and may or may not reflect the views, opinions or positions of the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Western Massachusetts.