- What does advance planning mean?
- I’m still young – why should I plan now?
- What are some of the benefits of advance planning?
- What are the steps to prearranging my funeral?
- What are the financial options involved with advance planning?
- How can I make an obituary notice more meaningful?
What does advance planning mean?
Advanced planning is the act of preparing in advance for your funeral service.
It can be as simple as writing your wishes on paper and attaching them to your will, or contacting a funeral home to discuss the many details surrounding the funeral service, and paying for these services in advance.
And remember, if you are discussing advanced planning with any funeral home or company, plans should be flexible enough to accommodate a wide range of wishes (i.e. different religious or cultural customs), as well as all financial circumstances.
I’m still young – why should I plan now?
It’s true; people are living longer. But many are also finding themselves part of the “sandwich” generation – those who care about, and take care of, a lot of other people. Your parents. His parents. Children. Maybe even grandchildren or other family members.
Advanced planning is not just about planning your own funeral. Women especially find themselves in a position of handling other people’s responsibilities – often without the benefit of planning ahead.
Encouraging and helping others you love to plan their own funeral needs – before the need arises – is something you can both do together, today.
What are some of the benefits of advanced planning?
Eases Emotional Stress
Making funeral arrangements made after the death of a loved one can be an emotional and stressful experience. Most people are unaware that there are 200-300 tasks involved in arranging a funeral. Many find planning for this eventuality in advance makes the process easier.
From a financial point of view, arranging and paying for the funeral in advance can be an easy and economical part of your financial plans:
– save on funeral costs when a guaranteed price is locked in today
– money is held in a guaranteed trust fund and earns interest
– many payment options: a single cash payment or terms of up to ten years
Advanced planning can also make the funeral service more personal and meaningful for survivors. The wishes of the deceased – including music, type of service, and other preferences – are made known.
What are the steps to advance planning my funeral?
One of the benefits of prearranging a funeral is that you don’t have to make planning decisions in a hurry.
When planning ahead, ask a trusted friend or family member for a recommendation, then call a “short list” of two or three funeral homes in your area that have a good reputation. It’s a good idea to select a funeral home you think will be around in 25-40 years to execute your advanced planning wishes.
Most funeral homes will give you information over the phone or by mail, but it may be helpful to make an appointment to discuss the funeral process in person.
Prepare for a meeting with an advanced planner in advance:
- Ask yourself about preferences regarding the service: traditional or non-religious.
- Would you want to be buried or cremated?
- Do you have a particular cemetery in mind?
- What type of music would best reflect your life and passions?
- Are there readings or poems that would add meaning to your ceremony?
- Are there other gestures you would include? (i.e. having a tree planted in your memory, having a faithful pet in attendance, releasing balloons, integrating important cultural traditions).
- Who are the people who need to be notified in the event of your death?
- Make a list of important papers, such as wills or insurance policies, and their location.
- Remember to mention religious affiliation, cultural customs, or other meaningful items that could be included in the service.
- Think about personal information relating to your life you might want to include in a newspaper notice.
If you find yourself hesitating about making these plans, it’s natural. Discussing and planning for death can be surprisingly difficult.
Whether you write your own instructions, or get the help of a funeral home, it’s important to let someone know where the information is so it can easily be found by survivors at the time of death.
What are the financial options involved with advance planning?
How much does a funeral service cost today, and how much might it cost in the future?
Over the last ten years, funeral costs have more than doubled, so it can be financially responsible to lock these services in at today’s prices.
Many funeral homes offer advanced planning assistance without obligation, and this information can be provided to you in person or sent to your home to review at your own convenience.
Consider these advanced planning options:
- Many funeral homes help you prepare your wishes in writing and keep them on file at the funeral home, without having to pay.
- An estimate can be obtained and you can prepay in advance, locking in the cost of the funeral at today’s price.
- Different payment options exist (check with the funeral home) from term financing to credit cards.
- Some Canadian provinces require advanced planning funds only be accepted by licensed funeral homes, and funds are placed with the Public Trustee or a trust company.
- Prepayment is refundable any time upon written request.
McInnis and Holloway has investigated several options for arranging and financing funeral services, and have found the most flexible option.
- Simple enrollment.
- Convenient payment plans to fit your budget.
- A 30-day free look.
- Growth in death benefit (unlike other plans, our coverage is designed to grow to keep pace with one’s final expense needs).
- Easy, rapid claim service.
- No tax liability on the death benefit.
- Transferable throughout the world.
If you would like to receive more information please contact us.
How can I make an obituary notice more meaningful?
At McInnis and Holloway we believe an obituary (or newspaper notification) should be a personal reflection of a life lived – a “meaningful history”- not simply a list of facts, dates, and survivors.
Gathering this information in advance can save your loved ones the time and effort later.
We have trained all our McInnis and Holloway staff to help families compose more personal, meaningful obituaries. Some of the tools and information we have given them is available here: