Planning for a Funeral; Goods and Services

Man sitting on steps inside a church

Disclaimer: With Medicaid, VA, and insurance regulations frequently changing, past blog posts may not be presently accurate or relevant. Please contact our office for information on current planning strategies, tips, and how-to's.


When a loved one has passed, naturally one would start thinking of and planning a funeral. However, many people do not realize the cost associated with a funeral and how, if your loved one has not planned for the expense nor can their estate cover the cost, your client may become responsible for the cost.

“Goods and services” are what you will be paying for regarding a funeral. The goods and services show the breakdown of the expenses while also guaranteeing the work is completed by a licensed Funeral Home.

Some examples of goods and services are preparing the body, use of the facility if you choose to have your funeral at a funeral home, flowers, caskets, and urns. All necessary decisions to make that may begin to add up, depending on your choice.

Some seniors may desire to pre-fund their funeral. In select states, a goods and services agreement is required to avoid an improper transfer for value argument. The states that currently require a goods and services agreement are Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, Tennessee and West Virginia. A client of yours may seek a goods and services statement from a local Funeral Home, but they may not want to do the Goods and Services unless they are guaranteed the whole funeral.

Also, funding your funeral while you are alive is a great way to spend down assets. There usually is a cap to how much you can invest in your funeral but this is a great spend down tool for Medicaid benefits. Check out our Irrevocable Funeral Expense Trust to learn more.

Many do not want to think about having to plan a funeral, much less pay for one but for the interest of your client’s loved ones, now would be the best time to plan. This takes the burden off of them, knowing that the expenses are paid for and the funeral is how your client desired it to be.