Preplanning a funeral may seem morbid, until the benefits are fully considered. Having family members make decisions while grief-stricken may be traumatic for them, and could also be costly to the estate. Grief, combined with indecision as to the deceased’s wishes may cloud their judgement. Imagine a room filled with expensive orchids and roses and a gold-trimmed ebony casket, when the deceased actually wanted cremation and a memorial service with a simple bouquet of their favourite flowers … daisies.
Preplanning arrangements are available through funeral homes. Most provinces require funeral homes to provide a price list, including a detailed breakdown of charges for various products and services. This can assist individuals in determining whether cremation or burial is the appropriate choice for them. It also allows for price comparisons between funeral providers.
Any preplanned funeral should allow for flexibility, in the event the individual reconsiders, or their circumstances change. Another consideration is whether the transfer of the funeral plans to another funeral director is permitted, should the individual relocate.
Prepayment options for chosen products and services are available through funeral homes. Selected plans allow either:
- payment of the full cost of the funeral when the plan is purchased;
- payment of a specified amount on a monthly or other periodic basis; or
- direction for funeral costs to be paid from the estate or insurance policy proceeds.
When making arrangements for prepaying, it should be determined whether:
- the funds will be held in trust and not used for any other purpose;
- funds can be withdrawn if necessary and what, if any, administration fees would be charged;
- funds can be transferred at a later date to a different funeral home or cemetery.
Individuals are encouraged to discuss their preplanning information with family, and the executor, who is legally responsible for making the final arrangements.
Preplanned documents should be filed with other personal papers available immediately upon death, rather than included in a Will. Often the Will isn’t read by the executor before the funeral or memorial service, so including funeral instructions in the Will may not be practical.
Guidance provided on burial and funeral preferences will ease the burden for those responsible for making the arrangements, help ensure personal wishes are carried out, and may reduce unnecessary expenses for the estate.
Preplanned funerals … an idea worth considering.
This Article Provided by Concentra Trust
Concentra Trust is a national trust company specializing in estate and trust solutions for over 65 years. The strength of Concentra comes from deep roots in the co-operative system, built on shared values to grow and serve communities across Canada.
We specialize in personalized service, impartial guidance, and peace of mind for Canadians.
Concentra Trust is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Concentra Bank.
The information in this article cannot be considered to be legal, tax, real estate or financial planning advice, nor a substitute for professional advice.