Plan Ahead

Why should I pre-arrange my funeral service?

For a variety of reasons. First, you have the peace of mind knowing your funeral service will be arranged the way you want it. Some people have definite ideas about their funeral service, such as the type of casket to be used, where the service is to be held and the method of final disposition.

Second, family members are spared the necessity of making important decisions at a time of stress. Although the family is not bound by law to follow every instruction, they are rarely changed.

Third, by pre-arranging your funeral service you decided how much to spend on these services. At the time of your death, funeral expenses will not decrease bequeaths paid by your estate.

Fourth, most nursing homes now ask that your funeral services be pre-arranged as part of their application for admission. Under certain circumstances you may be limited in the amount of your funds that can be used for funeral expenses if you wait until the time when you are applying for nursing home admission.

I have my funeral instructions in my will so why should I pre-arrange my services?

While a will is one of the most important documents a person can have, it is usually read after the funeral. Unless other family members are aware of the fact that the will contains funeral instructions, it may be too late to act on these instructions when the will is read. Or, the will may be in safekeeping in a place that is not accessible on a weekend or holiday. When we pre-arrange a funeral service you are given a copy of the agreement for every family member. In addition to the merchandise and services to be provided, our pre-arranged agreement forms provide space for you to give instructions as to the place of service, information for the obituary and eulogy, clergy choice, music selections, organizations taking part, pallbearers and jewelry you may wish to be left with you.

Do I have to select a casket now?

While it is important that every aspect of the funeral service be approved by you, including selecting the casket, it is not absolutely necessary. Your family can make the selection at the time of need.

If I select a casket, do you keep that one just for me?

No. In our agreement we give a description and include a picture of the casket you selected and then add the words "or equal". If a supplier's product is discontinued we substitute a casket of equal value. Your family has the picture to make the comparison.

What services other than the casket are included in the pre-arrangement?

This is a choice that you make and the agreement includes a page listing all of the services that you have chosen to pay for. It also lists all of the services that you have chosen not to pay for so there is no misunderstanding by your family at the time of need. Each line of the pre-arranged agreement is read and explained to you before you sign it.

Do I have options in methods of payment for my pre-arrangement?

Pre-arranged funerals are usually paid for in one of three ways.

First, by payment in full at the time of pre-arrangement. We are required by the Pre-arranged Funeral Services Act to deposit these funds with a trust company and we have chosen TD Canada Trust. Confirmation of the deposit will be sent to you by TD Canada Trust within two weeks. The interest that the original deposit earns becomes the property of the funeral home at the time of need and offsets the increase in the cost of providing the funeral services in the future. Any tax on the interest is paid by the funeral home and you do not receive a T5. An exception to this would be in the event you decided to cancel your pre-arrangement. A T5 would then be issued in your name and you would be responsible for declaring that interest as income.

Second, you can make payments over a period of time of your choosing. No interest is added, and we will either deposit your post-dated cheques or arrange to have automatic withdrawals from your account.

Third, we can arrange for you to have your pre-arranged funeral funded by insurance. We are associated with Pierce National, also known as Fortis, Family Side or Purple Shield. If you are considering this method of payment we encourage you to call us first to arrange an appointment at one of our funeral homes or a visit to your home by us, so that we can show you the merchandise and services that we provide and the amounts that we charge for these services. We will then contact Pierce National and a representative will call you to arrange an appointment.

Thank you for taking the time to read this information and if you have any other questions call us at any time at the numbers listed on the opening page of the web site or use the web site e-mail. You will be under no obligation.

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