One option for New York residents who are concerned about the cost of their funeral becoming a burden on their loved ones is a funeral trust. For people who have the ability to pay for long term care and are not concerned about costs near the end of their life, a funeral trust may be unnecessary. However, a revocable or irrevocable trust may provide peace of mind for others.
An irrevocable funeral trust may be helpful for people who are working their way through their assets in order to qualify for government assistance. The money placed in an IFT is considered exempt from calculations that determine eligibility for Medicaid or other government services. However, people should be aware that an IFT cannot be canceled, funds cannot be withdrawn, and the money in the fund must be put toward funeral expenses.
On the other hand, a revocable funeral trust can be cancelled by its creator although it may not offer other benefits that the IFT does. Both types of trusts can be part of preplanning a funeral. Other related planning may also include choosing a burial site and type of services. One advantage is that it can remove some of the decisions family members might otherwise have to make after the stress of a loved one's death.
In addition to funeral planning, people might also want to think about end-of-life care. A living will can specify their wishes while a health care proxy chooses someone to make health care decisions if they is unable to do so. A power of attorney allows a person to manage finances for someone who is incapacitated. These documents can be a good supplement to a basic will.