Irrevocable Funeral Trusts 

Planning for the future includes considering the inevitable. Making arrangements for your funeral is a crucial part of ensuring that your wishes are honored and your loved ones are not burdened with unforeseen expenses related to the cost of a funeral. Irrevocable funeral trusts are a valuable tool within an estate plan, providing a protected way to set aside funds specifically for funeral and burial expenses. Making such plans might feel difficult, but it’s a thoughtful step that brings clarity and ease during challenging times.


Call William C. Roof today. Our law firm is ready to help you make an estate plan that fits your needs and gives you peace of mind.

What Does a Funeral Trust Do?

A funeral trust is a legal arrangement where money is set aside specifically for funeral expenses. An irrevocable funeral trust locks these funds, ensuring they are used exclusively for funeral and burial costs. Having this trust means that your family won’t have to worry about these expenses during a time of grief. It ensures that everything is paid for in advance, and the services you want are carried out according to your wishes.

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Are Funeral Trusts Allowed in Florida? 

Yes, funeral trusts are allowed in Florida. Funeral trusts are allowed in all states except for Michigan and New York. However, most states have limits on how much money can be placed in a funeral trust. In Florida, you can only put up to $15,000 in a funeral trust.


Additionally, Florida Law requires a “Goods and Services Statement.” This means you need to list what is going to be paid for by the funeral trust. The amount in the trust needs to match the items you are paying for.


The purpose of these limitations is to make sure that Florida residents don’t use funeral trusts improperly to shield money from a Medicaid assessment.

Two Types of Funeral Trusts

There are primarily two kinds of funeral trusts – revocable and irrevocable.


Revocable Funeral Trusts allow flexibility. You can change or cancel them. However, these types of trusts may count against you for Medicaid eligibility purposes.


Irrevocable Funeral Trusts, however, are more solid. Once established, they cannot be easily altered or canceled. These trusts are particularly helpful because they are not counted against you for Medicaid eligibility.

How to Create an Irrevocable Funeral Trust

Creating an irrevocable funeral trust involves some legal steps, but it’s made easier with guidance from an estate planning lawyer. Firstly, you decide the amount to be set aside for the funeral costs, which should align with current or anticipated expenses. You then fund the trust with cash or other assets. The paperwork is then completed, outlining the terms, beneficiaries, and the funeral service provider’s details. It’s essential to ensure that the arrangements align with your wishes and that the trust is compliant with state laws, especially for Medicaid eligibility.

Funeral Trust Fundamentals

Understanding the fundamental aspects of an irrevocable funeral trust is key to leveraging its benefits fully. Here are essential points to consider:


  • Funding: You can fund the trust with different assets, such as cash, annuities, or life insurance.

  • Control: Even though the trust is irrevocable, you maintain a say in how the funds are used, ensuring your wishes are respected.

  • Medicaid: These trusts are especially valuable for those considering Medicaid. The funds in the trust are not counted as assets for eligibility purposes.

  • Taxes: The trust’s earnings are subject to taxes, but the funeral expenses paid from the trust might not be taxable.

  • State Laws: Each state has different laws governing funeral trusts. Ensuring your trust complies with Florida laws is essential.

FAQs About Funeral Trusts:

  1. What is a funeral trust?
    A funeral trust is a legal arrangement that allows individuals to set aside funds specifically for future funeral and burial expenses, ensuring that these costs are covered ahead of time.

  3. How does an irrevocable funeral trust differ from a revocable funeral trust?
    An irrevocable funeral trust cannot be easily altered or canceled after it’s created, protecting the funds from being counted as assets for Medicaid eligibility, whereas a revocable funeral trust offers more flexibility but fewer protections.

  5. Can a funeral trust affect Medicaid eligibility?
    An Irrevocable funeral trust is not considered a countable asset when determining Medicaid eligibility, potentially making it easier to qualify for Medicaid benefits.

  7. What expenses does a funeral trust cover?
    A funeral trust typically covers expenses related to the funeral plans and burial, such as the casket, a burial plot, cremation, embalming, funeral home expenses, headstones, funeral service, funeral director fees, grave markers, and other associated costs.

  9. How is a funeral trust funded?
    A funeral trust can be funded with various assets, including cash, life insurance policies, or annuities, and the amount should be aligned with anticipated funeral expenses.

  11. Do I need a lawyer to set up a funeral trust?
    Having a lawyer assist in setting up a funeral trust is advisable to ensure that it complies with state laws, maximizes benefits, and accurately represents your wishes for funeral arrangements.

  13. Who can set up an irrevocable funeral trust?
    Usually, the population most interested in setting up funeral trusts are elderly folks spending down their assets before qualifying for Medicaid. However, in some cases you can also set up a funeral trust for an immediate family member. Contact an attorney to discuss your individual situation.

Holistic Approach to Estate Planning

An irrevocable funeral trust is an important part of planning your estate, but it’s only one piece. It helps pay for funeral costs and makes things easier for your family after you pass away. But there are many types of trusts you can use to plan your estate well. Each kind has a different job and helps in a different way.


Besides funeral trusts, there are other trusts like charitable trusts and life insurance trusts. Charitable trusts help you give money to causes you care about and can also give you tax benefits. Life insurance trusts help manage the money from life insurance policies, making sure it’s used the right way. There are also special needs trusts, which help take care of disabled family members financially, without losing important government benefits. Each type of trust helps manage different parts of your money and property.


Using many kinds of trusts together can help make a full estate plan. This way, all parts of your estate are taken care of, from your funeral costs to supporting family members and charities. A good estate plan can help make sure your wishes are followed and makes things easier for your loved ones in the future.


Establishing an irrevocable funeral trust is a big step in comprehensive estate planning. It eases the financial and decision-making burden on your loved ones during a challenging time. With the legal guidance of William C. Roof, you can navigate through the complexities of creating a trust that stands firm, aligns with your wishes, and brings you peace of mind in knowing that everything is appropriately taken care of. Call William C. Roof today.


The contents of this article are not comprehensive, they provide only a general overview of the subject matter discussed. This article does not establish a client-attorney relationship with the reader, and no legal decisions should be made based on the article’s contents. Because every legal matter arises under unique facts specific to the client, no legal decision should be made without consulting a licensed attorney.

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