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Choices
Whether you are arranging with our funeral home under at-need condition on a pre-arrangement, we promise to make every effort to assure you the "choices" you deserve. Should you wish to pre-finance a pre-need funeral agreement, the following options are available to you.

Irrevocable Burial Trust Funds
Available through YOUR local bank, allowing you to patronize the bank of your choice. We help you in establishing these account (often referred to as P.O.D. (payable on death) account or irrevocable burial accounts). Shop around for the best interest rates; your bank should offer this type of account their highest savings rate. Once established, you usually cannot add to the balance, nor will the bank allow any withdrawals until the time of death. Irrevocable Burial Accounts are protected from skilled nursing care expenses and in most cases, ease your requirements for application for SSI or Medical Assistance. As the bank is required to carry FDIC Insurance, your funds are protected regardless of the economic climate. A certified copy of the death certificate and an executed copy of the funeral purchase record will be necessary to close the account. Additional funds (over and above the actual cost of the funeral) are refunded to your estate. A 1099 Federal Tax Form is issued annually for the interest income on these accounts, therefore, for individuals who wish to have less annual income to report to the IRS, you may find that another investment option (below) works better for you.

Askew-Houser Funeral Home's Master Trust Plan
Administered by Micro-Data Systems, Inc. of State College, Pennsylvania and trusted by Mellon Bank, the Micro-Data pre-financed trust guarantees funeral services at no additional cost to your family regardless of the inflation rates in the ensuing years. The Master Trust Plan also pays its own expenses, as taxes and trust administration fees are deducted from the interest income. Micro-Data Systems has over 30 years of service in providing Pennsylvania based "member funeral homes" superior service and tax-deferred pre-funded trust options. No tax Form 1099 is issued to the pre-need client and your pre-fund funeral trust is not considered an asset when applying for SSI or Medical Assistance. Ask your funeral director for the latest yield and interest rates.

Existing Life Insurance & Annuities
As you may have already noticed, our funeral firm is very flexible in working with your pre-need funeral needs and do not wish to "sell" one pre-need funding product over another. By contacting your insurance company or local agent, you can arrange for the ownership of your insurance policy(s) to be assigned to the funeral home. Ownership changes and insurance assignments will affect your (or anyone else's) ability to borrow or cash-in insurance policies for any reason other than your final expenses. In cases where an application for SSI or Medical Assistance is being made, or may need to be made in the ensuing months, an "irrevocable" trust agreement may be entered into by you and the funeral home to secure the insurance policy as a funeral funding tool.

Purchase of Burial Insurance from Askew-Houser, Inc.
As many pre-need clients wish to have their existing life insurance go directly to their beneficiaries and not be swallowed-up by funeral expenses, our firm now offers a variety of pre-planning insurance products. All companies represented are pioneer companies with regard to burial insurance plans and offer guaranteed issue (no health questions) to our clients. Burial insurance plans also offer competitive dividend rates that in some cases exceed those extended by banks and offer a variety of payment plans including Single Pay (lump sum) Premiums, as well as one, three, five and ten year monthly, quarterly and annual premium plans. (During payment plans, full coverage is extended for an accidental death and generous matching rates are afforded for a natural death.) Though burial insurance plans offer little in "cash values," they do afford the pre-need client a higher growth rate and the ability to direct excess funeral funds to the beneficiaries, thus avoiding inheritance tax. Burial insurance companies with products available through our funeral home include:
  • Homesteaders Life Company, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Greek Catholic Union of the USA, Beaver, Pennsylvania
The purchase of whole life insurance products to pre-fund your funeral wishes is one of the best ways to provide funeral funding for many people of all age groups. All of the companies that we represent are leaders in the funeral pre-funding field. Insurance also offers the pre-need clients the luxury of being transferable for use at any funeral home in the United States. No other pre-planning financial tool is as flexible.

Finally, many people ask us why we offer so many avenues of funeral prepayment. To this question, the answer is very practical: "every pre-need situation is just a little different then another." Offering a choice in pre-funding products affords our funeral firm a varied portfolio of pre-need contracts, and insures that "all of our eggs are NOT in one basket." We invite you to contact your funeral director to discuss your individual situation. As your funeral provider, we promise to help you make a decision that is best for YOUR circumstance, to always offer you choices, and to allow your decision to be made on your terms, without pressure.