The purpose of planning a meaningful funeral is to commemorate a person's life and to remember and be thankful for your time together. When a family has lost someone they love, it is a time of sadness and stress. Taking the time to have your requests known is a thoughtful gesture that will ease the task for your family and friends and will ensure that your wishes are honoured. Everyone in your family should be made aware as to where to find this information when the time has come.
More and more people are realizing the advantages of pre-arranging their funerals. The process is simple and the benefit to loved ones left to handle the arrangements is well recognized. The benefits are numerous: pre-planning allows you to express your own wishes; there is a guaranteed funeral price; there's no income tax liability; your funeral plan is transferable in case you move away; it relieves your family of the financial burden. By relieving your family of burdensome decisions at a difficult time, you are showing your love and respect for their needs too.
What is the purpose of planning ahead?
Here are three important reasons to plan your funeral now:
Your wishes are recorded and fulfilled.
Your family is not forced to make difficult decisions when distraught.
You make decisions now, with a clear head, unclouded by emotion.
Isn't funeral planning primarily for older people?
Funeral planning is for anyone who is interested in outlining their preferences, relieving their family of difficult choices and unnecessary expense and making important decisions without the pressures of illness or circumstance. Many more people in their 50s and 60s are prearranging and prepaying for their funerals. Some view it as a matter of getting their estate in order; others see it as a sound investment.
Why is paying ahead beneficial? Why do I need to fund a funeral plan if I make my wishes known?
By funding your plan, you can be sure your family is not stuck with an expensive funeral when they are in no position to argue. Funeral costs are rising and prepaying guarantees your specific service and product selections, no matter when the funeral takes place.
What happens to my money?
The death benefit is designed to grow over time to keep pace with the rising cost of funerals. At the time of need, the death benefit is paid to the funeral home when the funeral home delivers the goods and services. If the funeral home guarantees certain costs, the death benefit will cover those costs. The remainder will cover non-guaranteed costs - those over which the funeral home has no control.
What are the chances a funeral home will be bought out before I die?
Although the purchase of funeral homes by corporations has slowed, it's always possible your chosen funeral home's owner(s) could decide to sell. As most independent funeral homes are family owned, the most common reason for selling is that the next generation has decided not to pursue a career in funeral service. The owner(s) may sell to a corporation or to another independent funeral professional who has worked for the firm or who already owns a funeral home and wants to expand his or her presence.
Can I make arrangements now and pay later? What do I have to lose by waiting?
Yes, you can make arrangements now and fund them at a later date. At the very least, we encourage you to file your arrangements with your local funeral home. Then, when you are ready to pay for them, simply contact the funeral home to make sure that appropriate paperwork is filed. The risk you face in waiting to pay for your funeral is losing the cost protection that comes with planning and funding your funeral now.
Won't my Veteran's benefits or CPP take care of the funeral costs?
Chances are that your Veteran's benefits will not cover your funeral costs. Benefits fluctuate based on the availability of government funding. Even if benefits remain constant, they will not keep pace with rising inflation rates, CPP is available only to those who have paid into it. The maximum amount available is $2500.00
How much does a funeral cost?
The average cost of a funeral ranges between $5,000 - $7,000. This includes the following:
Professional service charges
The transfer of remains
Embalming and Preparation
Use of facilities for viewing and service
A solid wood casket with velvet interior
Hearse and limousine
What if I want to compare prices before committing to a funeral home?
You have the right to compare prices. Be certain to compare the same items and services to get the real picture. That is why completing a detailed plan is so important. As with any major purchase, price alone should not be the determining factor. Reputation, service level and personal experience with the funeral home are also critical.
What if I can't afford my plan right now?
A variety of payment options are available. At the very least, record your wishes and file them with your local funeral home. You can fund your funeral arrangements at a later date.
Should I involve my family? What will they think?
As with other major decisions, most parents want to involve their children. Often, sharing your ideas with family members helps form a closer bond and they appreciate your decision to include them in such a critical discussion. Feedback from loved ones may help clarify your funeral choices. It's important to discuss your decision before it's made, helping your family feel a part of it. Opinions may vary, but what's important is the genuine concern and caring you display by making these plans now, so your children and other family members won't be forced to later. Explain it in that manner and it's likely they will respect your wishes.
How do I get my spouse interested?
Funeral planning is a subject that not everyone is ready to openly discuss. Explain that you would like to make such an important decision without emotional pressures and when you are not forced to make it. Involve your spouse in the planning process.