Pre-Planning

Pre-planning your funeral is one of the most considerate ways that you can ease the emotional and financial concerns for your surviving family members. You have the opportunity to express your wishes and make decisions today that will spare your loved ones this difficult task in the future. At Snodgrass Funeral Home, we are honored that you have entrusted us with these arrangements. We are committed to serving you and your family today, tomorrow and in the days, months and years to come.

Why Should I Pre-Plan?

The death of a loved one is a tragedy every household will experience. Most families find themselves ill-prepared to handle the decisions and costs associated with this. Besides the opportunity to share in these important decisions with your family, pre-planning also provides you with the opportunity to:

  • Ease the emotional and financial burdens for your family
  • Have peace of mind for yourself
  • Make decisions now for yourself that otherwise you may not have the opportunity to make
  • Take advantage of financial savings
  • Make choices and decisions regarding end-of-life care

Financial Advantages

Funds used to pay for funeral expenses of your choice, are exempt as resources when determining Medicaid eligibility.

When you pre-pay for your funeral arrangements, there are certain items that are considered “guaranteed items.” The amount you pay for these items today will be provided at no additional cost to your family when the need arises. All Pre-paid arrangements are reported to the West Virginia Attorney General’s Office. Therefore your funds paid are guaranteed and transferable.

Paying for the funeral you have chosen can be accomplished by paying the amount in full on the day of the arrangements or by making payments over a period of time. Our licensed funeral director will be able to discuss the options available to you.

You do not have to pre-pay to pre-plan. Keep in mind that pre-planning without pre-payment does not provide you with any of the financial benefits that are available for pre-paid funerals.

What If I Have a Life Insurance Policy?

If you have life insurance then you may want to discuss this with your Insurance Agent to find out what options are available to you and your family, what your death benefits may be, and the policies and procedures associated with your policy.  You may also want to review your beneficiary information as well.

What About My Will?

No matter what the age or financial situation, every adult should have a will. A will is a legally binding document that can prevent a great deal of problems for your survivors. If you die without a will, state law will determine who inherits your property and assets, and it is unlikely that they will be given to the persons you desire or in the proportions you would choose. Without a will, state laws and the probate judge will determine who will administer your estate, handle financial matters, and act as guardian for your children. Through a will, you can make these choices and decisions yourself.

In making your will, you should name an executor of your estate. Because he or she will be responsible for filing with the court and carrying out the provisions of your will, the executor should be someone with whom you feel completely confident.

Upon your death, your will must be probated and your estate administered. The will is formally offered in court. The personal representative is then approved by the court, estate inventory is prepared and filed, the debts and taxes are recognized and paid. Finally, the representative files his or her account and requests that the remaining estate assets be distributed in accordance with your wishes, as stated in the will. This process takes time, is complicated, and has legal pitfalls. You are advised to discuss the administration of your estate with an attorney.

The law is quite specific in its requirements with respect to the drafting, execution, and witnessing of wills. Wills may be contested due to legal technicalities that may have been overlooked when prepared by someone inexperienced with the procedure. For this reason, the services of a competent attorney are recommended both in drawing up the will and in settling the estate. Some homemade or “do-it-yourself” wills lack some necessary legal requirements and are subsequently ruled invalid by the courts. In any event, it is always wise to comparatively shop for an attorney you can afford, trust and feel comfortable with.

You should review your will every few years, particularly if you have moved or if your family situation (i.e., divorce, birth of a child, death of a beneficiary, etc.) has changed since you last executed a will. State laws vary as to formal requirements and as to the rights of children and grandchildren born after a will was executed.

In the absence of a will, the procedure is the same except that the court, not you, makes many of the critical decision. In addition, the process is likely to take much longer, and there may be different tax consequences than if you had left a will. In the meantime, your assets may be tied up for quite a while before being disbursed by the court in accordance with state laws or inheritance.

Federal and state laws regarding will and estate taxes change from time to time. Your attorney should review your will periodically to ensure that it takes maximum advantage of the changes in law.

To learn more about pre-planning, click the button below and watch the Pre-Planning video at the top of the page.

Do you have a question about pre-planning for a funeral or would like to sit down and talk with us?

Let Us Know!

Pre-Need Resources

Human Gift Registry of West Virginia
PO Box 9131
Morgantown, WV 26506
ph: (304) 293-6322
fax: (304) 293-8159
includes donation facilities at WVU, Marshall and Lewisburg

CORE
(organ and tissue donation)
204 Sigma Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15238
ph: (800) 366-6777
fax: (412) 963-3564

West Virginia Center for End of Life Care
Understanding Your Options
ph: (877) 209-8086

Hospice Care of West Virginia
1606 Kanawha Blvd W
Charleston, WV 25312
ph: (304) 768-8523
Healing Steps newsletter published twice a year
Call to have a copy mailed to you

West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services
Mailing address:
1900 Kanawha Blvd E
Charleston, WV 25305
Town Center Mall, 3rd level
ph: (304) 558-3317
toll free: (877) 987-3646
fax: (304) 558-5609