Buy now, bury later: exploring pre-paid funerals - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Buy now, bury later: exploring pre-paid funerals

Posted: Updated:
  • More NewsMore>>

  • Themes for WaterFire Sharon announced

    Themes for WaterFire Sharon announced

    SHARON, Pa. - WaterFire Sharon will return this summer to the Shenango River. The three big events will have several themes.  The theme on July 19th will be "Elements", August 23rd's theme will be "Origins"More >>
    SHARON, Pa. - WaterFire Sharon will return this summer to the Shenango River. The three big events will have several themes.  The theme on July 19th will be "Elements", August 23rd's theme will be "Origins"More >>
  • Hundreds expected to help with clean up of Dave Grohl Alley

    Hundreds expected to help with clean up of Dave Grohl Alley

    WARREN, Ohio - Hundreds are expected to show up in Warren on Saturday to take part in clean-up effort, after a vandal was caught on camera damaging a tribute to a Warren-born musician.From noon until 4More >>
    WARREN, Ohio - Hundreds are expected to show up in Warren on Saturday to take part in a clean-up effort, after a vandal was caught on camera damaging a tribute to a Warren-born musician.More >>
  • Motorists reminded of more Amish buggies on the roads

    Motorists reminded of more Amish buggies on the roads

    LISBON, Ohio - Orange barrels won't be the only thing motorists will have to watch for while traveling throughout Columbiana County.  Vehicles are often using the same lanes as Amish buggies and localMore >>
    LISBON, Ohio - Orange barrels won't be the only thing motorists will have to watch for while traveling throughout Columbiana County.More >>

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - It's a haunting figure for consumers in Ohio; new information from the Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors claims at least $1.25 million meant for funeral expenses are missing statewide.

Three Trumbull County funeral directors are accused of failing to fund pre-need contracts for their clients and a state investigation is following the money to determine how much has disappeared.

"Most funeral directors, the overwhelming majority of funeral directors, are good people, they want to give you a service, they're honest people, but there's a few bad apples and those really stick out," says Linda Betzer, trustee of the Cleveland Memorial Society.

Robert McDermott in Niles and Robert and Patrick McClurkin in Girard are all under scrutiny by the board of embalmers. The state board accuses McDermott of ripping off $150,000 from pre-paid clients. McDermott's state licenses were revoked by the board in July. 

The McClurkins face allegations from the board of stealing about $400,000 from pre-paid customers. 

At the request of the Trumbull County Prosecutor's Office, the Ohio Attorney General's Office has brought in forensic accountants to help both Girard and Niles police review the books of both funeral homes.

The state's investigation is in its third week and there's no estimate on how long it could take.

Thousands in Ohio pre-pay each year with no problems. One local funeral director says it's safe and can be comforting.

"The money-making decisions are really tough at a time of death and people aren't always clear," says Lane Family Funeral Home president and CEO Joseph Lane. "This way, families can look and say, this is exactly what I feel is a reasonable expense for me and for my family."

Experts say you need to do your homework before you write a check toward future funeral expenses.

"If you walk into a funeral home, speak to the employee, ask for a general price list, you can take it home, go to three different funeral homes," Betzer recommends.

You can comparison shop online and with a few clicks, download planning guides. 

Unless you're spending down your assets to qualify for Medicaid, Betzer agrees you should pre-plan but thinks pre-pay is unsafe because if your money gets into the wrong hands, there's no guarantee you'll get it back.

"Pre-plan, do not pre-pay," Betzer says.

Instead, Betzer recommends using different methods of paying ahead:
  • Obtain a life insurance policy or pre-pay an insurance policy and list your funeral home of choice as the beneficiary.
  • Put money into a payable upon death account.
  • Set up a trust and leave instructions with a trustee.
  • Write a payable check to the insurance company your funeral home contracts with. 
Safety, security, and solace are guaranteed if you plan and compare before you pay the bill.

To determine if a funeral home is reputable, Betzer says you can call the state board to see if any complaints are filed against the funeral home you're considering.
  • SpotlightSpotlightMore>>

  • Updated

    The Scrappers host “POPS at the Ballpark” featuring the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra

    The Scrappers host “POPS at the Ballpark” featuring the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 2:04 PM EDT2014-04-15 18:04:57 GMT
    NILES, Ohio – The Mahoning Valley Scrappers and the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra are excited to host one of the Valley's premiere summer events, POPS at the Ballpark,More >>
    NILES, Ohio – The Mahoning Valley Scrappers and the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra are excited to host one of the Valley's premiere summer events, POPS at the Ballpark, presented by Stanley E. Shearer with Northwestern Mutual and 21 WFMJ on Saturday, August 23, 2014 at Eastwood Field.More >>
  • Around the WebMore>>

  • Ohio teacher fired over comment on black president

    Ohio teacher fired over comment on black president

    CINCINNATI (AP) - An Ohio teacher has been fired following allegations that he told a black student who said he wanted to become president that the nation didn't need another black president.The Cincinnati Enquirer reports (http://cin.ci/1kIkFmQ ) the Fairfield Board of Education voted 4-0 on Thursday to fire science teacher Gil Voigt.Voigt didn't immediately return a call for comment Friday but has said the student misquoted him.Voigt, who is white, says what he actually told the teen was th...More >>
    CINCINNATI (AP) - An Ohio teacher has been fired following allegations that he told a black student who said he wanted to become president that the nation didn't need another black president.The Cincinnati Enquirer reports (http://cin.ci/1kIkFmQ ) the Fairfield Board of Education voted 4-0 on Thursday to fire science teacher Gil Voigt.Voigt didn't immediately return a call for comment Friday but has said the student misquoted him.Voigt, who is white, says what he actually told the teen was th...More >>
  • 13-1/2 pound boy born at southeastern Pa. hospital

    13-1/2 pound boy born at southeastern Pa. hospital

    Saturday, April 19 2014 8:54 PM EDT2014-04-20 00:54:06 GMT
    DREXEL HILL, Pa. (AP) - A woman has given birth to a more than 13-pound baby at a southeastern Pennsylvania hospital.Officials at Delaware County Memorial Hospital say Brian and Danielle Dwyer's son born Monday is the largest baby they can recall there.Waldo James Mysterious Dwyer tipped the scales at 13 pounds, 8-1/2 ounces.The couple loved the "Where's Waldo?" books as children, so that's where they got their son's first name.Brian Dwyer said the middle name Mysterious is because Waldo was ...More >>
    DREXEL HILL, Pa. (AP) - A woman has given birth to a more than 13-pound baby at a southeastern Pennsylvania hospital.Officials at Delaware County Memorial Hospital say Brian and Danielle Dwyer's son born Monday is the largest baby they can recall there.Waldo James Mysterious Dwyer tipped the scales at 13 pounds, 8-1/2 ounces.The couple loved the "Where's Waldo?" books as children, so that's where they got their son's first name.Brian Dwyer said the middle name Mysterious is because Waldo was ...More >>
  • Teen suspended for asking Miss America to prom

    Teen suspended for asking Miss America to prom

    Saturday, April 19 2014 8:44 PM EDT2014-04-20 00:44:23 GMT
    YORK, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania high school student is in hot water for asking Miss America to prom during a question and answer session at school.Eighteen-year-old Patrick Farves said he received three days of in-school suspension Thursday because he asked Nina Davuluri to prom.The senior at Central York High School stood up and popped the prom question, then walked to the stage with a plastic flower. Davuluri just laughed and the students cheered.School officials heard about Farves' plan in...More >>
    YORK, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania high school student is in hot water for asking Miss America to prom during a question and answer session at school.Eighteen-year-old Patrick Farves said he received three days of in-school suspension Thursday because he asked Nina Davuluri to prom.The senior at Central York High School stood up and popped the prom question, then walked to the stage with a plastic flower. Davuluri just laughed and the students cheered.School officials heard about Farves' plan in...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms