New rules in place to ban funeral homes from holding pre-paid funeral expenses

CHICOPEE POLICE AT 594-1700 BARRY: IT'S ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT DECISIONS YOU CAN MAKE, THAT YOU CAN'T PERSONALLY FIGHT WHEN SOMETHING GOES WRONG

22NEWS REPORTER MATT CARON IS WORKING FOR YOU WITH A WARNING ABOUT PRE-PAID FUNERAL EXPENSES MATT: I SPOKE WITH THE FUNERAL CONSUMERS ALLIANCE OF WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS THEY ENCOURAGE YOU TO PRE-PLAN, BUT TO BE CAUTIOUS ABOUT PRE-PAYMENT AFTER THE SCANDAL INVOLVING THE NOW- DEFUNCT RYDER FUNERAL HOME IN SOUTH HADLEY, THE STATE PUT NEW RULES IN PLACE THAT BAN FUNERAL HOMES FROM HOLDING YOUR PRE-PAID FUNERAL EXPENSES IF YOU WANT TO PAY IN ADVANCE, MAKE SURE THAT MONEY IS DEPOSITED INTO AN INTEREST BEARING "PAY ON DEATH" ACCOUNT AT A BANK, OR WITH AN INSURANCE COMPANY

KEEP THE PAPERWORK AND LET A CLOSE MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY KNOW ABOUT IT NEVER CUT A CHECK DIRECTLY TO THE FUNERAL HOME OR THE DIRECTOR IT'S ALSO GOOD IDEA TO SHOP AROUND SANDRA WARD, PRESIDENT, FUNERAL CONSUMERS ALLIANCE OF WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS: BY LAW, IF YOU GO IN THE DOOR, THEY MUST GIVE YOU A GENERAL PRICE LIST WE ASK FOR THOSE BY MAIL AND PUT THEM UP ON OUR WEBSITE SO WE HAVE A COMPARATIVE CHART THAT WE DO EVERY TWO YEARS

MATT: PRICES FOR STANDARD SERVICES CAN VARY BY THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS DEPENDING ON WHICH FUNERAL HOME YOU CHOOSE MATT: FINALLY, DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTION LIKE, CAN I CHANGE MY MIND? WHAT AM I PAYING FOR? AND AM I PROTECTED IF YOU GO OUT OF