St. Augustine Woman's Journal - Educational Resource to the Women of St. Johns County Since 2009

By Pamela Smith
Pre-Need Counselor & Cemetery Sales, Craig Funeral Home 

Why Make Prearrangements?


October 1, 2017 | View PDF

Talking about death is often difficult. Yet a death in the family may create problems for survivors which may be eliminated by pre-planning. Cremation, funeral and/or burial arrangements are important and should be discussed openly and frankly with family members. Some people choose to pre-arrange and pre-finance a funeral or cremation to assist their survivors after a death occurs.

There are many different reasons for preplanning a funeral or cremation. Some people who are alone in the world may want to assure their funeral and burial will meet their personal and religious beliefs. Others feel it is a responsibility to assist their survivors. Still others maintain summer and winter residences and want to be prepared regardless when and where the death occurs.

Before making definite plans it is advisable to consider and consult those survivors who will be affected most by the death. This is important because when death occurs it may have strong emotional impact on other members of the family. Allowing them to assist in making funeral, cremation and/or burial arrangements may alleviate some of the anxiety pertaining to death.

Aside from personal reasons for discussing final arrangements in advance of need, there is an additional benefit. The subject of death is brought out into the open and families are given an opportunity to share their thoughts.

Entering into a pre-arrangement agreement with a funeral home always provides an opportunity to indicate your own wishes and desires in writing. It also allows you to review current costs, funeral ceremonies and burial procedures as well as options pertaining to cremation.

Why to Pre-Finance

In many instances persons who pre-arrange will also wish to prefinance their final expenses. This can be done in various ways. Each state has a regulatory board to control and regulate pre-financing final expenses. In the state of Florida the most popular means of pre-funding is through a trust, insurance or annuities.

Types of Purchase Agreements

Guaranteed price: The funeral home will guarantee to provided services and merchandise for the amount paid and any accrued interest, with the exception of cash advance items (such as florists, clergy, death certificates, etc.)

Revocable: The purchaser may withdraw all funds paid without penalty in most circumstances.

Irrevocable: In the event the purchaser has needed to apply for state assistance the contract may be made irrevocable which means nonrefundable. This eliminates the money paid from being considered an asset. This is usually done if the consumer is placed in a care facility.

Selecting one's funeral or cremation in advance, and making the financial commitment for payment, gives a person peace of mind that all details will be carried out as previously instructed.

Pam Smith moved to St. Augustine in 1973. She worked at Atlantic Bank for 10 years before coming to work for Craig Funeral Home in 1983 as a prearrangement counselor and cemetery representative. She is an active member of Faith Community Church, St. Johns, Florida. She has been married to her husband James for 40 years. They have 1 son, Jay and his wife, Maria who are presently serving in the United States Air Force. She also has 2 granddaughters.

Craig Funeral Home has been serving the families of St. Augustine and all of St. Johns County for over 100 years with dignified and respectful funeral and cremation services. Always sensitive to the needs of the people of St. Augustine, they were the first funeral home in St. Johns County to own and operate their own cemetery, crematory and Cremation Society. Craig Memorial Park is the only local cemetery that offers traditional ground burial but also offers families the option of both public mausoleums and cremation niches. Dedicated to a tradition of caring for everyone as if they where our own family, we will be stand ready to be of service to all who need our services any hour of any day.


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