Pre-need and Pre-funding Arrangements

As of the year 2000, approximately five million Americans had prearranged their funerals. In New York State, these arrangements must be completed by a licensed funeral director.

There are many elements that make-up a funeral contract and only your funeral director will have all the information you'll need to complete your arrangements. I have had a number of people tell me, "I have given my attorney my wishes and you are named as my funeral home, so I won't need to sit down with you." WRONG, Your attorney may have drawn up the best will or trust ever written, but the majority of wills are read after the funeral. As good as trusts are they need certified death certificates only obtainable after the funeral. Furthermore how accessible is that will or trust information on a weekend, holiday or during the attorney's vacation? Safe deposit boxes are sealed upon a death so even there, you aren't protected. Funeral homes are not allowed to close -ever- like a police or fire service we and our records are accessible 24 hours a day.

During the prearrangement consultation, vital statistics and biographical information will be obtained for the death certificate and obituary. Decisions such as the selection of a casket, vault, cemetery, and service selections are also made at this time. When you have made your selections, you will be given an Itemized Statement, which, for most funeral arrangements, will include contractual language which legally obligates you to pay the cost of the funeral. You will also be given the General Price List. Store these documents in a safe place and advise your family where they can be found. Again, a safe deposit box is not recommended, since it is normally frozen at the time of one's death.

Though there are no obligations, many people decide to set funds aside when preplanning a funeral. Pre-funding is another way to lessen the future burden on family members. It not only avoids later expenses at a time when family finances are often unstable, but it also often allows an individual to arrange a service at today's prices.
Pre-arrangement plans are regulated by the Pre-Need Funeral Consumer Protection Act. For more information, read the New York State Health Department's publication "Before Prepaying Your Funeral, Know Your Rights."

The legalities (briefly stated) surrounding pre-payment require:

1. All moneys paid to a funeral firm shall be held in trust for such person by the funeral firm.
2. Those moneys shall be deposited in an interest bearing account in a bank or savings & loan.
3. The funeral home shall annually provide the person who made such payment with a statement identifying the location and annual interest earned by the account.
4. Transfer of moneys to the funeral home only occurs at the time of death of the beneficiary.
5. The beneficiary can withdraw all funds and change funeral homes at any time.
6. Moneys paid for such an agreement for an applicant or recipient of supplemental security income benefits under section two hundred nine of the social services law shall be placed into a trust which shall be irrevocable.
7. In the above case if any money is left over after the funeral and burial expenses have been paid, those funds will go to the county in which the beneficiary resided. The funeral home can be changed at any time.

This has been a brief overview of pre-need law in New York State, and does not necessarily apply to other states or jurisdictions. Complete information may be obtained by contacting us at Fergerson Funeral Home, 215 South Main Street, North Syracuse, N.Y. or calling us at 315-458-1970.


Fergerson Funeral Home, Inc.
215 South Main Street
North Syracuse, New York 13212
Phone (315) 458-1970

< Directors > Alfred E. Fergerson Patricia H. Fergerson Alfred W. Fergerson

Print this page. Upon completion of this form, mail it to the above address. We will keep it on file
Instructions For My Funeral

To Whom It May Concern:

In the pages that follow, I have recorded my desires and preferences regarding decisions you will be asked to make after my death. Please read through this entire document before making arrangements for my funeral.

Witness (optional)
Upon my death, I want to donate my organs as indicated:
 Any needed organs or body parts 
 No Donation 
 Only those organs or body parts listed 
 I have a Living Will (location) 
Please let all these people know of my death:
Children (& phone numbers)
Parents (& phone numbers)
Brothers and Sisters (& phone numbers)
Friends (& phone numbers)
Business Associates (& phone numbers)
Place of Worship (& phone numbers)
This is who I want to handle my funeral:

Funeral Director:

Alfred E. "Fred" or Patricia "Pat" Fergerson or Alfred W. "Bill" Fergerson
Funeral Home:

Fergerson Funeral Home, Inc.

215 South Main Street, North Syracuse, New York 13212
Phone: 315 458-1970

Details of my funeral:
Please ask these people to be my pallbearers :
Location of Funeral
Location of Burial
I Prefer:
 Donations/Tributes to (charity or organization) 
Favorite Music
Requested Readings
Burial Wardrobe and Jewelry (Location)
Preferred Style/Material for: (Circle preferences)


 Cremation Container 
 Stainless Steel 
Burial Vault:
 Sealed Concrete w/ Liner 
 Sealed Concrete no Liner 
 Unsealed Box 
Last Will and Testament:

Here is where you can find my will:
Other important papers:

This list will help you locate documents necessary for settlement of my estate (birth certificate, marriage license, divorce decree, military discharge, deeds, automobile titles, insurance policies, pension information, income tax records, banking records, bonds, securities, stock certificates, etc.).

Location of Safety Deposit Key:
Obituary: I've indicated here topics I would like included in my newspaper obituary:

Residence Listing: (Past and Present) (length at each)
Spouse (maiden name)
Date/Place of Marriage
Children & Location
Brothers and Sisters & Location
Name & Address of Person designated to work with funeral director
Birth Date & Location
Education (schools & degrees)
Military Service & Location of Discharge
Occupation, Employers, Date of Retirement, Years Service
Memberships, Activities, Offices Held:
The funeral director will need this when filling out my death certificate:

Other Names I am known by: (AKA's)
Date & Place of Birth
Marital Status (Married, Separated, Never Married, Divorced, Widowed)
Social Security Number
Usual Occupation (Do not enter "Retired")
Kind of Business/Industry
Last Company Worked for
Military Service (dates, branch, medals)
Highest Level of Education Completed & Schools attended
Father's Name (first, middle, last)
Mother's Name (first, middle, maiden, last)
Place of Disposition (name and location of cemetery, crematory, or other place)
Thank you for taking the time to fill-out this form. Please advise all who are close to you that your arrangements are on file at Fergerson's. They should notify us of your death no matter where or when that occurs. If away from home, we will contact a local funeral home to arrange transportation home.