Pre-Arrangements | Frequent Questions

Click on the questions below to reveal each respective answer.


SSI / Medicaid

Prepaying allows you to pay for the funeral of your choice before assets are used up for medical care and before assets are reduced to SSI or Medicaid eligibility levels.

Ask your funeral director about Funeral Planning Choices™ prefunding options - the New Jersey Prepaid Funeral Trust Fund™ and Sure Trust™. These programs meet all Federal and State laws. And, visit our website at www.njsfda.org.

Federal and State law permit you to pay in full for future funeral arrangements by depositing funds into one properly established irrevocable account tied to a prepaid funeral contract. Such funds are considered excludible resources when SSI, Medicaid or General Assistance eligibility is determined.

If you prearrange a funeral through Funeral Planning Choices™-New Jersey Prepaid Funeral Trust Fund™ or Sure Trust™, you can be sure the funeral arrangements qualify for the SSI/Medicaid exemption and are being provided by a properly registered funeral home. Opening an account with Funeral Planning Choices™ allows you to arrange the funeral of your (or your loved one's) choice, provided that:

  • the cost of the funeral is reasonable;
  • the account is irrevocable, meaning the money cannot be refunded nor can it be used for any purpose other than funeral costs.*

*State law requires that any excess money remaining in irrevocable accounts after funeral expenses have been paid be forwarded to the State Medicaid Program (this applies only to accounts opened on or after February 27, 2000).

Established in 1981, the New Jersey Prepaid Funeral Trust Fund™ is a well managed trust that deposits 100% of your trusted money in an FDIC insured account.

Thousands of accounts are pooled together to earn the best possible interest intended to offset the costs of inflation. This means that, even with future price increases, your funeral director should be able to provide the funeral you selected. And unlike traditional savings accounts which may become inaccessible at the time of death, your New Jersey Prepaid Funeral Trust Fund™ account is immediately available to cover funeral expenses.

Yes. Sure Trust™, the Funeral Insurance Administration Trust, is a prefunding option that benefits families who would otherwise have to surrender whole life insurance policies during the spend-down process for SSI, Medicaid or General Assistance eligibility. Sure TrustTM meets all SSI, Medicaid and General Assistance requirements, ensuring that you will not be forced to "cash out" insurance policies in order to qualify for assistance.

Elder Law is a growing legal specialty that deals with legal issues concerning older persons. Since the rules regarding "Medicaid spend down," probating a will and setting up power of attorney are complex, you may want to seek the advice of an attorney who concentrates in this field.

For the name of an Elder Law attorney in your area, call the New Jersey Bar Association. You can also contact the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys or visit their website at www.naela.org.

Personal Items: clothing, furnishings, appliances, jewelry, equipment, car

Cash: limited to $2,000 liquid assets for an individual

Life Insurance: When an existing whole life insurance policy has a "face value" of $1,500 or less, it is not applied toward allowable cash assets. If the "face value" is more than $1,500, the "cash value" of the policy will be applied toward the total allowable cash assets (ask about the benefits of Sure Trust™ before having to "cash out" an insurance policy).

Prepaid Funeral Arrangements: Your total funeral costs may include: funeral director's professional services, funeral home facility and staff charges, transportation charges, casket, vault, similar merchandise, and cash advances for clergy, cemetery, monument, etc. SSI, Medicaid and General Assistance allow these funds to be deposited into one properly established irrevocable account tied to a prepaid funeral contract.


*Consult your County Department of Human Services - The information provided in this brochure was correct as of January, 2000. However, because SSI and Medicaid programs are subject to change, you should always consult with your county department of Human Services for up-to-date information.


New Jersey PFTF

When you prearrange and pre-fund your funeral you ensure, that the funeral reflects your wishes, that there is sufficient money readily available to pay for your funeral, and that your family or friends are not burdened with having to make important decisions or face financial concerns at a very stressful time.

The New Jersey Prepaid Funeral Trust Fund™ meets all Federal and State consumer protection preneed laws. Our goal is to ensure that people can pre-fund their funerals - safely, conveniently and with complete confidence.

Talk with family and close friends and let them know of your desire to preplan. It is important for them to know that you are making these arrangements.

Meet with your funeral director and discuss the kind of funeral you desire. If possible, bring a family member or friend with you. Select the specific services and merchandise (including: type of ceremony, viewing hours, memorial service, casket and place of committal). Your funeral director will then provide you with an itemized statement listing your choices and their charges, along with your trust fund agreement.

The New Jersey Prepaid Funeral Trust Fund places your money in an FDIC insured account - so you can be sure it is safe. Your money stays in your name and it is completely refundable, except in the case of SSI/Medicaid. Should you need to apply for a public assistance program in the future, your trust account can be converted to qualify as an excludable resource. (Ask your funeral director for our Medicaid Preplanning brochure.)

To earn the best possible interest, your money is pooled with thousands of other accounts. The interest earned over time should help to offset the costs of inflation. This means that, even with future price increases, as long as you do not withdraw any of your deposit or the interest earned, your funeral director should be able to provide you with the funeral of your choice. And unlike traditional savings accounts, which may close or become inaccessible at time of death, your New Jersey Prepaid Funeral Trust Fund account becomes immediately payable.

When your arrangements are finalized, simply write a check directly to the New Jersey Prepaid Funeral Trust Fund for the cost of the funeral. (You may pay in full, or make a minimum payment of $500 and arrange a payment plan with your funeral director.) Within 10 days, you will receive a confirmation of your account directly from the Trust Fund.

For more information about how you can benefit from the New Jersey Prepaid Funeral Trust Fund, ask your funeral director.

  • Your account is 100% trusted. It is totally refundable*, with interest and with no penalty, and is transferrable

  • Is managed in cooperation with one of New Jersey's largest banking institutions and is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)**

  • Returns the highest interest available, which varies with prevailing jumbo Certificate of Deposit (CD) rates, from day of deposit

  • Accepts flexible payments with a minimum initial payment of $500

  • Has no age limit and asks no health questions. And, is accepted for SSI/Medicaid and General Assistance asset exclusion

  • Provides yearly tax statement and summary of principal and interest earned (reportable if you are required to file with the IRS)

* By law, SSl/Medicaid or General Assistance accounts are not refundable.

** The Trust Fund receives a 1 % management fee annually for administration of your account.

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