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Are you thinking about pre-planning your funeral? Pre-planning is the best way to choose how you're remembered, to ease the emotional and financial burden on your loved ones, to protect yourself from rising funeral costs, and to let your family know your final wishes.
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McAlister-Smith Funeral Home
2501 Bees Ferry Rd.,
Charleston, SC 29414
2501 Bees Ferry Rd.
Charleston, SC US
If you are looking for information on a particular topic, or if you are looking for a loved one who has been entrusted to our care, you can use the form below to narrow down your search.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Below is a list of questions and responses that we commonly receive at the funeral home. We will continue to include any new questions in this section that we feel would be helpful to others.
If you have a question that has not been covered in this site we would like to hear from you. You may use the "Ask the Director" section of our site to forward your question or comments to us.
If you would prefer to call us on the telephone, our staff would be pleased to provide an answer to any funeral related matter you may have. If we do not have the answer immediately, we will find it for you and contact you the minute the information is in our hands.
|Question #1||Should I consider a Prepaid Funeral Contract?|
|Answer:||Prepaid Funeral Contracts allow a person to consider his/her funeral needs and wishes and control the cost and nature of funeral services desired. These contracts are governed by Section 32-7-10 to Section 32-7-130, as amended, of the South Carolina Code of Laws and are under the jurisdiction of the South Carolina State Board of Financial Institutions. They vary in terms and coverage and should be reviewed carefully before execution.|
South Carolina law requires that any seller of prepaid funeral contracts be licensed by the South Carolina State Board of Financial Institutions. Be certain that your seller has a license and that the proposed contract form has been approved by the same board.
|Question #2||Where are preneed funds held?|
|Answer:||Preneed funds are held in either a financial institution’s trust account identifying the purchaser and must be federally insured [Code Section 32-7-20 (H)]; or a preneed life insurance policy approved by the S.C. Board of Funeral Service and the S.C. Department of Insurance [Code Section 38-55-330].|
|Question #3||Is there more than one type of Prepaid Funeral Contract?|
|Answer:||Yes. There are two types of prepaid contracts: Guaranteed and Non-Guaranteed Prepaid Contracts. Each contract can either be revocable or irrevocable.|
A revocable contract is one that may be cancelled in writing at any time. An irrevocable contract cannot be cancelled after thirty days of the contract date. A funeral home is not required to offer each type of prepaid contract.
|Question #4||What is a Guaranteed Prepaid Funeral Contract?|
|Answer:||In a guaranteed contract the funeral provider agrees to furnish the services, merchandise and facilities, regardless of future price changes. There may be additional charges for items that are not part of the prepaid contract. These may include cemetery fees, casket lowering equipment, opening and closing the grave, certificates of death, beautician, and obituary notices.|
|Question #5||What is a Non-Guaranteed Prepaid Funeral Contract?|
|Answer:||In a non-guaranteed contract the principal and interest will be credited against the cost of services and merchandise at the time of death. Any shortfall in funds must be paid by the estate or next of kin of the beneficiary.|
|Question #6||Is the interest earned on prepaid accounts taxable?|
|Answer:||The interest earned from a trusted prepaid account remains with the account. According to the IRS, the purchaser of any prepaid contract is responsible for taxes on interest earned since the money is not paid to the funeral home until the time of death.|
|Question #7||What if I change my mind or want my money back?|
|Answer:||By written request, you may get your money back in either of the revocable contracts at any time, while irrevocable contracts can only be cancelled within 30 days of the purchase date.|
If a preneed contract is funded by a preneed life insurance policy, insurance refunds are determined by the individual insurance contract.
|Question #8||Can I transfer my prepaid funeral contract to another funeral home?|
|Answer:||You may transfer any prepaid contract from one funeral establishment to another licensed establishment.|
|Question #9||How do I know if a funeral home is licensed to sell preneed funeral contracts?|
|Answer:||You will need to contact the following agency to determine if a funeral home is licensed to sell preneed funeral contracts or to file a complaint regarding such contracts:|
S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs
P.O. Box 5757
Columbia, SC 29250
You may contact the following agency to determine if a funeral director is licensed to sell a preneed life insurance policy to fund a preneed contract:
S.C. Department of Insurance
300 Arbor Lake Drive - Suite 1200
Columbia, SC 29223
|Question #10||Can't I just specify my arrangements in my will and let my estate take care of the expense?|
|Answer:||Wills are not probated until well after death, and usually not until after the funeral services. Additionally, someone will have to qualify as executor or administrator, which may delay further any actions specified in the will from being carried out. If your wishes differ from those of your family or heirs, stating your wishes clearly in a Preneed Funeral Policy may be the best way to ensure they are carried out.|
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