Pre-Funding of funeral related expenses has become a very common thing for families to do. There are several reasons individuals make these plans....peace of mind, set money aside so no one has to worry about it later, they have the money to do it now and/or they risk not having the money later (such as entering a nursing home and needing Medicaid).

ND Law (and MN Law is the same) requires that 100% of the money you set aside be placed into a fund with your name on it. The money cannot come to the funeral home in advance. Thus, a check that is written must be made payable to the entity that is going to hold the money.

We generally work with an insurance company to hold the preneed money. The insurance company will establish a policy much the same as a savings account that earns interest. There is a simple application form that is filled out and signed by the individual and a check is made payable to the insurance company. We will assist you with this.

If one is applying for Medicaid, there are three things that you will need.
     1.   A Fund
     2.   Irrevocable Designation of that Fund
     3.   Itemization of Funeral Expenses
At the funeral home, we can help you with all three of these items. These things are required by the state and county for being a Medicaid recipient. (Please be aware that if you are trying to utilize an existing insurance policy or bank account, you will need to work with whatever company or entity to earmark those funds as being irrevocable. Because of company privacy rules, we are unable to care for this unless we help establish the fund initially. All insurance companies and financial entities function different with regarding to releasing information and the forms necessary regarding irrevocable designation. Some entities do not offer an irrevocable designation option).

The irrevocable form means that the money cannot be cashed out prior to a persons death.

The itemization of funeral expenses is proof of what you are planning to spend the money on. You do not need to select each item unless you wish to. What Medicaid rules say is that you can have whatever amount of money you wish for in your funeral fund as long as it is shown itemized for funeral expenses (any money not spent on the funeral at the time of a loved ones passing is returned to the state). In addition to this funeral fund, the Medicaid applicant can also have a personal asset fund with up to $3000 in it (at the time of death this money is seized by the county and cannot be used for any further expenses).

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