THE BASICS OF PREARRANGING SERVICES
It is advisable to talk with a licensed Funeral Professional to discuss all of the options available to you when prearranging services.
Services can be very basic with no funeral, memorial or celebration of life service. They can be of a traditional nature including a casket, a service at a church or the funeral home or other location or something in between the basic and the traditional..
The prearrangement can be for burial or cremation and can include prepaying the cremation costs as well.
All prearrangements can be paid for in advance or simply having your wishes recorded.
If you choose to prepay your services, the prepayment is guaranteed and there will be no further charges to your estate at the time of your death unless your executor makes changes and adds additional services and supplies at that time.
If you choose to prepay for the services and supplies of your choice at the time of prearranging, you can pay the whole amount or make installment payments. There are many monthly payment plans that range from 1 year to 15 years and longer. If you choose the monthly payment plan option, there will be an additional fee over the term of the payment plan you choose, so it is important to ask what the total cost will be.
There are life-insured plans and non life-insured payment plans. The insured plans are meant to pay the balance owing on your prearrangement should you die before the payments are completed. For all insured plans there are some health questions that will determine if you qualify for an insured plan.
You have the right to cancel your plan at any time, in writing. If you have an insured plan and wish to cancel it, the money you will receive back may be less than your total payments to date to cover the cost of the insurance for the time the plan was in place. If you have a non-insured plan, you will receive back what you paid into the plan plus interest/growth that has accumulated in your plan.
You have the right to transfer your plan to another funeral home if you move or simply decide to use another funeral home, however, the funeral home has the right to retain a cancellation fee.
The money you pay for your prearrangement is not kept with the funeral home but in a financial organization(bank, credit union, annuity through an insurance company, etc.) so there is no risk of your money not being there when it is needed by your estate to pay for the services at the time of your death. All prearrangement funds are guaranteed by the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation up to $100,000 and by Bereavement Ontario through their compensation fund.
I have shared the basics of prearranging but it is important that you have all of the information, options and choices available to you before making any decisions so talk with any licensed funeral professional. They will be glad to provide the information to you and discuss the options available to you at NO CHARGE.