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Pre-Planning Frequently Asked Questions

What is the “average” cost of a funeral?

This is by far the most asked question when folks are beginning the prearrangement process. Unfortunately this is a very difficult questions to answer because of the vast variety of different services and merchandise. Funeral at our facility can range anywhere from $2,000 to $16,000. These costs don’t fluctuate only due to our service and merchandise fees, but also outside funeral home costs such as cemetery opening charges, newspaper notices, clergy/church fees, etc. the best way to find out the cost for your specific funeral is to call us and schedule a time for a no obligation meeting where we can write up an accurate estimate of expenses.

When I prepay my funeral with your funeral home, what happens to the money?

When a funeral is prepaid through Shepherd Funeral Home, it is required by Massachusetts Law that we set up a trust with your funds that is under your name, our funeral home name, and also a family member of your choice. This allows the money to not only be safe but earn considerably better interest than a standard bank account. If you ever move and need to change your funding to a different funeral home closer to your new living situation, all that is required is a phone call to us from your new funeral home of choice and everything gets taken care of. The interest on the account helps offset rising funeral costs in the years it is invested and often leaves your family with little to no cost at the time of need.

What is the difference between a Revocable Funeral Trust and an Irrevocable one?

A Revocable Funeral Trust can be cancelled with a full refund of whatever money is currently in the account. The issue with these types of trusts is that the money is considered an asset to the person the trust is setup in order to provide funeral services for, also known as, the beneficiary. This means down the line it is exposed to the possibility of being taken by the government in order to cover Nursing Home or other medical bills. For this reason, an irrevocable trust is much more common and beneficial.

An Irrevocable trust means that the funds contained in that trust account may only be used for funeral-related expenses. These funds cannot be removed until a death certificate is filed for the beneficiary. This type of trust is not considered a financial asset and is completely safe from the state during the filing process for Medicaid later in life.

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