10 REASONS IT MIGHT BE TIME TO PRE-ARRANGE / PRE-PAY YOUR FUNERAL
1. LESS EMOTIONAL ATMOSPHERE
A funeral arranged in advance offers a far less emotional setting. It allows decisions to be made in a more relaxed and educated fashion. It will offer more time to ponder, discuss and decide the many options you can choose from and give you an opportunity to have your good-bye planned the way you wish.
2. SAVES YOUR RELATIVES ADDED STRESS
Your family, executor or the friends responsible for your affairs, will often be searching, many times at the last minute and under time constraint, to find answers to information such as your full given name, social insurance number, date and place of birth, your parents names including your mothers' maiden name and birth places, your occupation, your full address complete with postal code, cemetery or cremation information. And this is just the beginning! When you prearrange, your completed file is accurate because you have personally answered all the necessary questions. No guess work remains for those you care about.
3. CHANCE TO CHECK OUT THE MANY OPTIONS
If you had not discussed your wishes in complete detail, would those you leave behind really know what your wishes were? Would you like cremation or burial? If cremation, what should be done with your cremated remains? If you have a cemetery plot, would they know where in the plot you wanted to be? Would they know if you wanted an open or closed casket? Would they know where you wanted your service, Funeral Home, Church, hall, or graveside? Would they know your choice of officiant, either clergy or celebrant, with religious or non-religious components to your service? Would someone be able to list all of your family members for placement within a death notice, and be able to spell all the names properly? Which newspapers should the notice should appear in? Should they have visitation? If yes to a visitation, should it be before the day of the funeral or the day of the service? Would that person or persons know who should act as pall bearers? Would they know what songs, poems or readings were important to you?
As you can see, there are so many aspects to arranging a funeral service. Even the most simple service still has many of these elements to consider. Planning in advance allows an opportunity to think, consider and decide upon these important issues.
4. THE DECISION TO PRE-PAY
At Whattams' we only offer one type of pre-paid funeral, and it is called "Guaranteed". In the context of pre-paying a funeral "Guaranteed" means that whatever you decide to pre-pay in advance is guaranteed to be provided at no additional cost at the time of your death. Once you have decided upon the type of funeral and merchandise that is appropriate, a detailed contract will be entered into by you and the funeral home. The funds are then deposited into an interest bearing account. The anticipation is that the interest gained will offset the inflation of the funeral cost. At the time of death, if the cost of the funeral exceeds the amount of money that is held in trust, the shortfall becomes a loss that the funeral home must absorb. Subsequently, if there is more money held in trust than the pre-paid arrangements cost at the time of death, any extra funds must legally be returned to your estate. In this way, costs are indeed guaranteed!
5. PAY UP TO 15 YEARS AND STILL HAVE A GUARANTEED PRE-PAID FUNERAL
You may choose from three payment options. Whatever you determine to pre-pay can be accomplished by writing a cheque to cover the entire amount in one payment. Option two allows you to pay a portion of your choosing and paying the balance monthly. If you are 74 years of age or younger, you may pay monthly and take up to 15 years to pay off balance directly from your bank account. The third available option is to pay the entire funeral cost in convenient monthly payments, again, depending on age, for up to 15 years. Once a monthly payment plan is entered into an option still exists to pay out the remaining balance in one lump payment. The options are many and you can decide what works best for you.
6. TAX BREAK
A small tax break is offered through Revenue Canada whereby there is no tax owing on the interest gained on your pre-paid funeral when funds are used directly for the funeral. If there is a rebate back to the estate of more than $50 then the estate will only pay the tax due on the refund. If you were just to put money in an interest bearing account at your own bank with the purpose of having sufficient funds for your family or executor to pay funeral expenses, all interest would have to be claimed as income and reported on your tax return.
7. YOU ARE ALWAYS IN CONTROL OF THESE FUNDS
If your circumstances change and you require the return of your money, the contract can be cancelled and your money returned. The financial institution or the funeral home may levy an administrative cost or penalty for early withdraw, but you can indeed have your money back at any time. As well, if your living situation changes and you move to a different city or community, these funds can be transferred to a different Funeral provider. In this way, your funds always remain yours and you never loose access to it.
8. DEPENDING ON YOUR AGE AND WISHES, MONTHLY PAYMENTS AS LOW AS $25.
Yes, funerals can be somewhat expensive. Depending upon your age and the specific type of funeral you feel is appropriate, monthly payment could be as little as $25.00 per month. There was a time that the only method of pre-paying a funeral was to write a cheque for the whole amount. With new insurance funded products, most anyone can now afford to pre-pay their funeral expenses and do so in low, convenient monthly payments. When the payment is done over a period of years, the contract can be life insured. Only the answering of a couple of simple health related questions are required. Once you qualify and make your first payment, your prepaid funeral contract id insured. If you die before all payments are made, the insurance will pay off the balance.
9. FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
We could probably assure you that your family would spend more money on your funeral than you. We have a tendency to be a little more practical and money conscious as it pertains to ourselves. Detailing your wishes as it pertains to the financial considerations of a funeral gives you control over your funds.
PEACE OF MIND
This expression is often over used, however many have shared with us over the years that an emotional burden has lifted from them once they've planned and prepaid their own funeral. Once completed, your file goes into our permanent records. No question is left unanswered, no matter is left unconsidered. Now you can go back to everyday life knowing this important task is done, that in itself gives peace of mind.
TIME TO ACT
There is no cost or obligation to sit with one of our staff to discuss your wishes. Meeting with us is certainly the best way to obtain the information you need to become better informed and organized. Please complete this form and we will respond as soon as possible