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The Great-West Life Assurance Company, London Life Insurance Company and The Canada Life Assurance Company have become one company – The Canada Life Assurance Company. Discover the new Canada Life

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Why it’s important to pre-plan your funeral

Key takeaways

  • Pre-planning your funeral is like creating a helpful guide of your wishes for your loved ones.
  • You could lock in prices and help provide financial relief for loved ones after your passing.
  • Pre-planning lets you choose the details of your farewell, from the ceremony to specific preferences.

Thinking about and pre-planning your funeral might not be the most cheerful topic, but it's a crucial step in preparing for the future. Much like making other important life decisions, planning your funeral in advance helps ensure that your wishes are known and honored. By taking the time to organize these details ahead of time, you can spare your loved ones the burden of making difficult decisions during an already challenging time. 

In this article, we help answer some common questions about pre-planning your funeral. 

Is pre-planning a funeral a good idea? 

Pre-planning your funeral might not be the first thing on your to-do list, but it's a smart choice that can help bring comfort to both you and your loved ones. Imagine this: when someone passes away, their family is left not only with heartache but also with the stress of making decisions quickly. 

Here's why pre-planning can be a good idea:

  • Financial relief: Funerals can be expensive, and sudden expenses can add financial stress to an already tough situation. Pre-planning lets you make financial arrangements, reducing the burden on your family.
  • Avoiding emotional overload: Grieving is hard enough without the added pressure of making important decisions. By pre-planning, you help spare your family from the emotional trauma of figuring out what you would have wanted during a difficult time.
  • Ensuring your wishes: Pre-planning allows you to express your preferences for your farewell, helping ensure that your wishes are followed precisely. This thoughtful act can provide comfort for both you and your loved ones.

Taking a little time now to plan for the future can make a big difference later, helping with both financial security and emotional support when it's needed the most.

What is involved with pre-planning your funeral?

Planning your funeral is like making a helpful map for the person you appoint in your will to handle your estate after you pass away. 

Here's what's involved when you decide to pre-plan your funeral:

  • Thinking about your wishes: Start by thinking about what you want. Do you prefer a big ceremony or a small one? Burial or cremation?
  • Talking to a funeral director: Reach out to a funeral director. They're there to help, like a guide on your journey. They can explain options and costs, making sure everything fits your wishes.
  • Choosing the details: Decide on the little details, like the type of music, flowers, or any special touches you'd like. 
  • Locking in prices: When you pre-plan, you could lock in prices, just like getting something on sale. It can help manage costs and gives you and your family less to worry about financially.
  • Writing a will: A will is like a letter to your family and friends, telling them how you'd like your things handled. It's not just about money; it can also include your wishes for your funeral.
  • Estate planning: Estate planning involves organizing your belongings and deciding who gets what after you're gone. It's a bit like making sure your favorite things find new homes with the people you care about.

How much are pre-paid funeral plans? 

The cost to pre-plan a funeral in Canada can vary based on location and individual preferences.

Funeral costs in Canada can include services like:

  • Death certificate and registration
  • Transfer service
  • Funeral home services
  • Church ceremony
  • Flowers
  • Reception
  • Cemetery costs

There’s also cremation and burial costs to consider. Cremation is more affordable because you don’t need things like a burial plot, casket, or other burial-related services (e.g., cemetery costs). Additionally, when you pre-pay for these things, your prices usually get locked in, so you’d be saving money in the future and sheltered from inflation increases. 

How many people pre-plan their funeral? 

According to The Funeral Service Association of Canada it’s estimated that only about 1 third (30%) of Canadians pre-plan their funerals are varied and can be influenced by several factors. 

Here are some possible explanations:

  • Limited awareness: They may not be fully aware of the benefits or ability to pre-plan.
  • Uncomfortable topic: Pre-planning your funeral can be a morbid topic that many people could shy away from.
  • Procrastination: Some people may delay pre-planning because they think they have plenty of time or that it’s something to consider later.
  • Financial concerns: Some people may worry about the costs associated with pre-planning a funeral even though it can be a smart way to manage expenses and lock in prices.
  • Cultural and religious beliefs: Cultural or religious beliefs can influence attitudes towards pre-planning.
  • Lack of understanding: There could be a lack of understanding about what pre-planning involves and how it can integrate into overall estate planning. 

Increasing awareness about the benefits of pre-planning, addressing misconceptions, and promoting conversations around end-of-life planning may contribute to more Canadians considering and adopting this proactive approach. In the end, pre-planning your funeral is like giving your loved ones a helpful guide when the day comes. It's a thoughtful way to make sure your wishes are known and to make things easier for your family and friends. 

What's next?

  • Research and consider various pre-planning options that are available to you.
  • Discuss your wishes with your family and friends, explaining the importance of pre-planning.
  • Seek guidance from an advisor to gain insights into the pre-planning/estate planning process.

The information provided is accurate to the best of our knowledge as of the date of publication. This information is general in nature, and is intended for educational purposes only. 

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