10 Things Everyone Should Know About Planning Ahead for a Funeral or Memorial Service


A Sensible Way to Make Informed Decisions Before Your Time of Need

The death of someone you care for, together with wanting to make the right decision—especially when you have a limited amount of time to attend to all the details—leaves many families feeling overwhelmed. Often these decisions must be made when a family is grieving and is the least prepared.

Many people have done everything they can to protect their family’s future: invested wisely, opened savings accounts and acquired insurance on their life and home, but they haven’t taken care of their own funeral arrangements—leaving one of the most difficult tasks to their loved ones to figure out at a time of sadness and loss. That’s why it’s so important to give serious thought to your personal wishes and to plan your services in advance.

The following 10 guidelines will answer some of the more common and difficult questions that people have about funerals and the options available. You’ll also understand why many people find prearranging their funeral or memorial service is the best decision they can make for themselves and their family.

1. Be Informed About Your Choices

Your funeral or cremation service should be personalized to reflect your wishes and should bring comfort to your family and friends. Prearranging gives you the opportunity to become informed about your options in a calm environment, when you have time to think things through. You’re in full control and you can select and specify the services that truly have meaning to you and your family.

2. Record Your Wishes

Many people think they have taken care of everything by writing a will, establishing a living will or even purchasing their cemetery plot, but that may not be enough. You should make sure that your funeral, cremation or cemetery wishes are recorded in writing and shared with family members and your attorney.

3. Talk About it With Your Family & Incorporate Their Wishes

When planning your funeral or memorial service, the opinions and wishes of your family should be considered. Prearranging is an excellent time for families to discuss and make objective decisions calmly and rationally together, away from the pressures and stress that often occur at a time of sadness and loss. Involving those most affected by your death can bring them peace of mind.

4. Decide the Final Disposition

Whether you choose traditional burial, mausoleum entombment or inurnment in a cremation garden, determining your final disposition is a very personal decision, influenced by your faith and beliefs. Your wishes should be specified in your prearrangement document.

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask About Prices

The cost to arrange a funeral or cremation service can vary considerably from place to place. Prearranging also gives you the opportunity to become informed about your options and their various costs in an unpressured environment.

6. Consider Planning & Prepaying for Your Arrangements

Planning your funeral or cremation service in advance can take care of the details. But only prearranging (prepaying for your services) can take care of the actual expense of the funeral or cremation service ahead of time, easing the future financial burden on your surviving loved ones. Your local Dignity Memorial® provider offers affordable prearrangement options with low monthly payments.

7. Why Insurance May Not Be Enough

Usually, life insurance, as well as final expense insurance, provides a one-time, lump-sum benefit after a death has occurred. However, there is no guarantee that the funds will not be consumed by the expenses that result from a long illness or serious accident. Even with insurance in place, the actual funeral or cremation service still needs to be planned and paid for, and this can be a complicated task at a time of grief and loss.

8. Complete the Personal Planning Guide

The Personal Planning Guide will be of value to you and your family. Once completed, it is a confidential record of your personal information and your wishes. Since the number of decisions to be made and the amount of information to be gathered at such a time can be overwhelming, we encourage you to complete this guide today.

9. Find Out Ahead of Time What Government Benefits You Are Eligible to Receive

Unfortunately, most funeral and burial benefits provided by the Canada Pension Plan/Quebec Pension Plan as well as the Department of Veterans Affairs are limited. Most families find that additional funding is necessary in order to provide the type of funeral or cremation service they find appropriate for their loved one.

To find out exactly what benefits you are eligible to receive, contact the administrative offices.

10. Speak With Your Local Dignity Memorial Provider

Dignity Memorial funeral counsellors are trained professionals who can be a vital and supportive resource for you and your family. With years of experience, they can explain all the options available and help you make informed decisions. They can also guide you step by step through the process of prearranging your funeral or cremation service.

For more information about service options, recording your wishes, locking in pricing and more, download our free Insider’s Guide to Funeral & Cremation Planning. Visit CARP.DignityMemorial.com today.

We are committed to providing a superior customer experience. In addition to celebrating each life with highly personalized send-offs, Dignity Memorial providers are proud to offer special savings and benefits to CARP members and their families.

To learn more, visit CARP.DignityMemorial.com or visit 866-668-1841.


This article is provided courtesy of ©2019 SCI Shared Resources, LLC on behalf of Dignity Memorial®. The Dignity Memorial brand name is used to identify a network of licensed funeral, cremation and cemetery providers that include affiliates of Service Corporation International, 1929 Allen Parkway, Houston, Texas. All rights reserved.
Dignity Memorial is a division of Service Corporation International (Canada) ULC.