Without a doubt, dying is one of the few events in life that is certain to occur. You may never marry, or have children; but without fail, one day you will take your last breath. For most of us, this is a disquieting thought. Yet it is still something you should plan for – if not for your own peace-of-mind, then for the well-being of those you’ll leave behind.
This section will help you make decisions for the future by explaining what is involved in pre-arrangements, the benefits of pre-planning a service, and what options are available.
What is Funeral Pre-planning?
Funeral pre-planning is basically planning a funeral before it is needed. People may choose to pre-plan when they have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, or they may choose to pre-plan when they are perfectly healthy. In either case, pre-planning allows people the opportunity to plan their burial or cremation exactly the way that they want, and choose the merchandise that is right for them. In most cases, planning ahead allows people the opportunity to compare costs and options, and make choices in a less emotional setting (avoid the emotional overspending that can sometimes occur at the time of need).
When pre-planning, you may choose to arrange every last detail, or decide the main decisions, and allow the family to personalize the details. When you meet with us to discuss your wishes, we will walk you through all of the details to consider, and either record your wishes and instructions, or make note that the family is to decide.
Typically when pre-planning a funeral, the following items are discussed and preferences are recorded and kept on file:
1) Vital Statistic information required when a death occurs.
2) Casket Burial or Cremation (cemetery information if applicable).
3) Private viewing, public visitation, Prayer Service.
4) Location for service (if applicable)
5) Funeral merchandise (caskets, vaults, cremation containers, urns, keepsakes, etc).
6) Personalization information such as flowers, music, tributes, eulogies, pallbearers, clothing, ministers, obituary, etc.).
After we have recorded all of your information, you may choose to leave the file as is, without pre-paying. We call this an unfunded pre-arrangement. The information is kept on file, and when the time of need comes, the current price for the services and merchandise selected would be charged to the family or the estate. People who have purchased a life insurance policy may find this the option best for them. The only caution in this case is that if the services and merchandise are not pre-paid, there is no protection from inflation.
If you choose to pre-pay and lock the prices in, that is termed a funded pre-arrangement. People who choose this option, pay at today's prices, which are guaranteed and protected from inflation. There are laws that govern pre-paid funerals to ensure that your money is available when needed, and that you cannot be charged extra for services and merchandise that you have paid for in advance.
There are a growing number of options available to the public today when seeking to preplan and prepay final wishes. When pre-planning with a funeral home, the funds will either be held in Trust, or placed in an insurance based product. In Alberta, It is illegal for a funeral home to accept pre-paid funds paid directly to the funeral home and deposited into the funeral home bank account.
At Choice Memorial Cremation & Funeral Services, we use an insurance based product from Assurant Life of Canada for pre-paid funerals. We believe that this is a superior product for families, as it is fully transferable in Canada, and allows for a beneficiary to be named in the event there are funds available at the time of need. From single pay plans to automatic monthly bank withdrawals to payment by credit card, we will work with you to discuss budget concerns and ensure that you choose a payment plan that works best for your financial situation.
A prepaid service will protect you and your family from future inflationary trends while providing the peace-of-mind of knowing that they will be cared for after you are gone. We would be happy to discuss your pre-planning needs and answer any questions that you may have. Please note that we are not commissioned sales people - we are professional, experienced Funeral Directors. Our only concern is that you are making the choices that are right for you, your budget and your family. We will present and discuss all of your options, but you will NEVER feel pressured to purchase additional services and options that you do not want.
If you have any questions on funeral pre-planning, costs, options, transferring pre-arrangements from another funeral home, etc. please feel free to contact us at any time. If you are more comfortable in your home, and wish for us to come to you, we are happy to do so at no obligation to you.
When is the Best Time to Pre-Plan Your Service?
We’d like to say “right now”, but know you may not be emotionally ready to take on this task. Perhaps the best time to begin making your service pre-arrangements is when you have a family you wish to protect from the emotional and financial burdens they will carry when you leave them with no plan at all.
By taking time now to collect service cost information and calmly making choices related to your own service arrangements, you'll be protecting your family against the stress of having to make these decisions at a time of extreme emotional stress. This way you can carefully choose specific items you want and need... and pay for them now.
The Six Common Reasons for Pre-Planning a Service
Today, more individuals and families are making the decision to prearrange their services than ever before. Because of the factors such as inflation, fewer extended family members living close by, and other changes in our society, planning your own service can make a lot of sense.
In a recent survey, these were the most common reasons people gave for prearranging their own services:
Communicates your wishes
Reduces stress for friends and family at an already emotional time
It may guarantee your family will never have to pay more for your service — no matter what happens with inflation
Shows you care
Relieves your loved ones of the financial responsibility
Any one of those reasons is good, but when you take them all together, it’s easy to see why pre-planning your service is one of the wisest things you can do. If you agree, give us a call to set an appointment, or get started right now, with PreArrangement Online. Don’t worry. It’s safe, secure, and completely private.