Irrevocable Burial Trusts: A Simple Guide for Planning 

Last Updated on: June 27, 2024

Reviewed by Kyle Wilson

Irrevocable Burial Trusts

Have you ever thought about how your family will handle your funeral expenses? Planning with irrevocable burial trusts can ease that burden. It’s a way to ensure your final wishes are honored and your loved ones aren’t left scrambling for funds. But, like any financial decision, it’s important to understand what you’re getting into. Let’s break down the steps to set up an irrevocable burial trust and see if it’s the right choice for you.

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What is a funeral trust?

It may additionally help to think of funeral trusts like a funeral savings account. The funeral agrees with a legal settlement between three events:

  1. The trustor: This is the character who creates the funeral. They can also be known as the grantor or settler.
  2. The trustee: This is the financial institution, believed company, or funeral domestic that manages the funeral and agrees with it.
  3. The beneficiary: This is the funeral home to be able to benefit from the funeral accepted as true.

The cause of those trusts is to pre-set up funeral plans and prepay for fees. This money sits in a belief until the trustee passes away, at which point they accept it as true with a payout to the specified funeral home.

There are two forms of funeral trusts: revocable and irrevocable. The difference between them is whether or not you may change your mind and cancel the plan. If you set up an irrevocable burial agreement, then you switch management of your assets to the accept as true with account for management via a trustee. You cannot revoke the settlement or reclaim your advantages. With an irrevocable acceptance as true with, the property is locked till your beneficiaries get hold of the blessings upon your death.

What expenses are covered by a Burial trust?

Funerals can be expensive, with many charges to recall. There are numerous not unusual areas of expenditure to take into account whilst planning a funeral. Depending on the burial domestic and the arrangements of the burial trust, any of these charges could be covered:

  • A casket, burial vault, cemetery plot, or urn
  • Embalming or cremation arrangements
  • Clothing, presentation, and preparation for viewing and burial
  • Transportation and officiant services
  • Obituary and death certificate fees
  • Venue, food, flowers, and other event specifics

Irrevocable Burial trusts

An irrevocable Burial trusts is a specific type of legal structure that has been created to assist people in accumulating money for use in future funerals and burials. The signing of a formal irrevocable trust and depositing of funds into it means that the assets of a person are transferred to a new legal entity which is the trust until the owner dies. This is the time that the trust is used to cater for expenses of funeral service, burial plot, headstone, etc as a result of the death of the member.

- Features:

The core features of an irrevocable burial trusts are that it takes out a life insurance policy on the life of the trust maker. The trust is mentioned as the policy beneficiary in the relevant policy. As with most people, when the individual dies, there is a payout of the life insurance policy and the amount of money that is paid out is used by the trust to pay for funeral and burial expenses. It helps guarantee that the trust has the resources to cover these rather costly services that are sometimes provided for the dying.

At times, an individual can have irrevocable burial trusts where the funeral home of choice has been named as a beneficiary. The funeral home will offer specified funeral commodities and undertakings in the future at a price determined at the current date. The benefit of the life insurance policy is paid directly to the funeral home and the services are rendered for and by the deceased.

This makes it possible for people to budget for these kinds of expenses in advance.

Core Aspects to consider

There are a few basic aspects to consider when establishing an irrevocable burial trust.

  • First, try to assess how much your funeral may cost in the future in terms of today’s prices for caskets, cemetery, cremation, and other services, etc . Funeral services are known to rise in price due to inflation. It is wise to contribute enough cash into the trust to cater for the future expenses as projected.
  • You will also wish to choose a trustee to oversee the funeral trust. This should be an individual who will act as an agent of the deceased to see that his or her service is conducted and manage the funds as well as required. For this position, choose a person who is very close to you like a brother, sister, parent, or a good friend.
  • They also give a note that it is irrevocable which means once you invest your money in irrevocable burial trusts, you cannot reclaim your money even if you decide you have changed your mind about details concerning your funeral service. The way you arrange and plan how the money can be utilized will be permanent in the sense that you cannot alter it. This is a factor to take into consideration before establishing an irrevocable trust since it does not allow for diverse uses.

All in all, an irrevocable burial trusts may help to make sure that the funds will be there to pay for the end when the time comes. However, consider potential benefits and drawbacks in terms of the ability to adapt and funding in case there are certain changes in the plans or requirements.

Eligible Funeral Expenses Under an Irrevocable burial Trusts

Irrevocable burial trusts can typically be purchased for any value set by the buyer. When making a purchase decision, it is important not only to consider Medicaid eligibility and state limits but also to consider the approximate cost of a funeral. In doing so, it is helpful to recognize the wide range of funeral-related services that can be paid for by irrevocable burial trusts.

  • Caskets / Vaults
  • Hearse transportation
  • Car and limousine services
  • Funeral direction services
  • Cremation
  • Embalming
  • Dressing and cosmetology
  • Funeral home services
  • Burial plot
  • Cemetery services and fees
  • Headstones
  • Obituary notices
  • Flowers
  • Death certificates
  • Travel expenses for family members
  • Memorial following the burial

When Not to Purchase an Irrevocable Burial Trusts

Deciding on irrevocable burial trusts can be tough. Sometimes, it’s not the best choice. Here are reasons why you might hold off.

- Financial Flexibility

  • Once you put money in, you can’t get it back. Your funds are locked.
  • Changing Needs,Life changes. What if you need that money for an emergency?

- Costs and Fees

  • Establishing a trust isn’t free. Initial setup fees can be high.
  • Maintenance fees can add up over time, eating into your savings.

- Funeral Planss

- Medicaid Considerations

  • Not all trusts meet Medicaid’s strict rules. You could risk eligibility.
  • Transferring assets into a trust could trigger penalties.

- Trust Control

  • Remember, it’s irrevocable. You can’t change your mind.
  • You’re relying on someone else to manage it. Trust issues can arise.

- Alternative Options

  • These can offer more flexibility. Consider comparing options.
  • A high-yield savings account might be a simpler solution.

An irrevocable burial trusts isn’t for everyone. Make sure it fits your needs and circumstances before committing.

How to Buy an Irrevocable burial Trusts

Buying irrevocable burial trusts is easier than you might think. Follow these steps to navigate the process.

- Assess Your Needs

  • Evaluate Your Situation: Look at your financial state and what kind of funeral you want.
  • Determine Your Budget: Decide how much you can afford to set aside for the trust.

- Research Providers

  • Find Reputable Companies: Search for trusted funeral homes and financial institutions.
  • Compare Options: Look at different services, and costs, and read customer reviews. This helps you find the best fit.

- Consult a Financial Advisor

  • Seek Professional Advice: Talk to a financial planner or elder law attorney. They can explain the benefits and drawbacks.
  • Understand Implications: Make sure you know how this trust affects your estate and Medicaid eligibility.

- Choose the Right Trust

  • Pick the Right Plan: Select a trust that suits your needs and fits your budget. Different plans offer different benefits.
  • Review Terms Carefully: Read all the terms, fees, and conditions. Know what you’re signing up for.

- Complete the Paperwork

  • Fill Out Necessary Forms: Complete all required documents accurately. Mistakes can cause delays.
  • Provide Accurate Information: Double-check all details to ensure everything is correct.

- Fund the Trust

  • Transfer the Funds: Move the agreed amount into the trust. Make sure you have proof of the transaction.
  • Keep Records: Document everything for your records and future reference. This helps avoid confusion later.

- Communicate with Your Family

  • Inform Your Loved Ones: Tell your family about the trust and its details. They should know what to expect.
  • Provide Copies: Give them copies of the trust documents. This ensures everyone is on the same page.

- Monitor the Trust

  • Regular Check-Ins: Periodically review the trust to ensure everything is in order. Keep track of any changes.
  • Stay Updated: Stay informed about any changes in laws that might affect your trust. This keeps your plans secure.


Is  irrevocable burial trusts the best way to secure your funeral plans and protect your family from unexpected costs? By following the steps we’ve outlined, you can make an informed decision that fits your needs. Remember, it’s about peace of mind for you and your loved ones. Take the time to weigh your options, consult the right professionals, and communicate with your family. Planning now can save a lot of stress later.



Here is our expert author, Kyle, your go-to source for simplified insights into the world of life insurance. With years of industry experience, Kyle delivers concise and approachable content, ensuring you navigate the complexities with confidence.

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