Funeral Memorial Service – The Cost of Procrastination

funeral preplanner MississaugaHave you ever wondered how much procrastination could cost you? Eight years ago a gentlemen stopped into the funeral home inquiring about the cost of a Memorial Service. During our conversation I outlined what was included in the service and the cost of this type of funeral.

At the conclusion of our discussions he gathered up the quotation sheet and the pre-need information package and said “This sounds really good, I am going to go home and talk to my wife about this, and we will get back to you in a week or so.” I thanked him for his time and mentioned that I would follow up with him next week. When I followed up they were busy with other things and promised they would get back to me.

They did 8 years later.

When we met the second time, the type of funeral they wanted to celebrate their life had not changed, but guess what? Eight years later the pricing had gone up 50%. When the couple looked at the current price of the Memorial Service, I did not say a word. She looked at the total eight years ago and now, then turned to her husband and elbowed him in the side saying “We should have done this 8 years ago!”

In 1994 the cost of a Direct Cremation was $984.50 in 2014 the cost was $3212.50. That is a 326% increase in the cost of the same service over the last 20 years.

If you are reading this and you live in Ontario, then there is further incentive to consider prepaid funeral arrangements. In July 2012, the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act came into effect. This Act mandates that funeral homes in Ontario must guarantee the future cost of fully prepaid funeral services and merchandise.

To you the eventual consumer, this means that when the prearranged funeral plan is paid for in full, then the Funeral Home must take on the inflationary risk that the funds will cover the cost of the funeral merchandise and services, at the time they are delivered. If there is not enough money in the fund, then the Funeral Home must absorb the loss.

If you would like to know more about how you can contain your eventual funeral cost now, please contact me. I am here to help. I offer a complimentary 30 minute conversation to see if there is a way I can assist you. Is it time for us to chat?

You can connect with me by phone or email, leave a comment right here on the site, or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website.

Until next time,

Kat

Can Prepaid Funeral Payments be Deducted on Tax Returns?

licensed Pre funeral planner MississaugaOne of the questions that I am asked is whether or not prepaid funeral payments can be deducted on Personal Tax Returns. The answer unfortunately is no and here’s why.
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has designated that funds held in a prepaid funeral account called an Eligible Funeral Arrangement (EFA) must be guaranteed to $100,000.00 and earns tax exempt interest. The funds held in the EFA continue to earn tax exempt interest throughout the life of the funeral beneficiary.

When the funeral beneficiary dies, the funds are released to the selected funeral home. These funds are used to pay for the desired type of funeral service. If there are residual funds in the EFA, a T5 may be issued to the estate of the deceased.

CRA Tax Bulletin IT-531 states that is the residual funds in the EFA is less than $50.00 as T5 does not have to be issued. Conversely, if the residual funds in the EFA are greater than $50.00 than a T5 must be issued to the estate of the deceased. For example, if the initial deposit in the EFA is $10,000.00 and when the funeral beneficiary dies, there is $12,000.00 in the EFA, and the funeral provided at the time is $11,955.00 then a T5 would not be issued to the estate of the deceased ($12,000.00 – $11,955.00 = $45.00). If the funeral provided was $11,000.00 then a T5 would be issued to the estate of the deceased ($12,000.00 –$11,000.00 = $1,000.00).

The T5 refund to the estate is included in the earning of the deceased from the January 1 to the date of death. When the income tax return is prepared the T5 amount may be taxed as income, depending on the amount of money that is declared as annual earnings for the deceased in the year that they died.

I hope you find this information helpful. If you have any questions regarding this or how to set up a pre-paid funeral plan, I am here to help. You can connect with me via email or telephone, leave a comment right here on the site or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website.

Until next time,

Kat

What Happens to Gold in Teeth Upon Cremation?

cremation and gold teethWith the price of gold, the question “what happens to the gold in my teeth when I am cremated?” has been asked of me a few times recently. A friend’s mother for example has always said “don’t cremate me with all this gold in my mouth!” Contrary to popular belief there is actually very little gold in the gold dental crowns, caps or bridges that people have in their mouths.

During the process of cremation, the retort (or chamber where the body is placed), is registered at 1800ºC. During the 3 – 4 hours that the retort is active, the gold in the dental work oxidizes. Many people think that the gold vaporizes and this is not the case. Gold vaporizes above 2000°C. Continue reading

Who Will Preplan & Prepay Your Funeral Arrangements if you Can’t?

Alzheimers and funeral preplanningIt is estimated that by the year 2020 – 1 in 4 people will be diagnosed with cognitive related issues under the Alzheimer’s umbrella. The onset of cognitive decline may be slow and progressive or rapid and unexpected. The Alzheimer’s Society advocates “Speak Up” – get your affairs in order now. I have adapted this information in the context of prepaid funeral pre-planning. The question I pose to you is:  If you are not of mental capacity – then who will make your funeral pre-arrangements for you? Continue reading

3 Reasons this is not your News to Share on Social Media

licensed funeral preplanner MississaugaWith the advent of social media, it is so much easier to get messages out to many people quickly. This can be a good thing, and it can also backfire quickly. When a person dies and this person is not your immediate family member, is it your news to tell first that the person died? I don’t think it is. Here are 3 reasons why.

1. Premature Announcement

The public posting of someone’s death may reach some relatives before the family has had a chance to tell them themselves. Whether the death was sudden and unexpected or the family knew their loved one was dying, I feel it is the responsibility of the immediate family members to let people know in their circles, that their loved one died. Continue reading

Are you Concerned About Protecting your ODSP Payment?

Ontario Disability PaymentIn the Province of Ontario regulations, the Ontario Disability Support Payment (ODSP) is a monthly payment, paid out to people who are found to be a “person with a disability” as defined under the Ontario Disability Support Program Act. A person with a disability is someone who has a substantial physical or mental impairment that is continuous or recurrent and is expected to last a year or more. The physical or mental impairment must directly result in a substantial restriction in the person’s ability to work, take care of his or her self, or take part in community life. Additionally, the Province of Ontario regulations state that the impairment(s), its’ duration, and the restriction(s) must also be verified by an approved health care professional. Are you concerned about protecting this payment? Continue reading

Canadian and Allied Veteran Funeral and Burial Program

canadian and allied veteran funeral burial programIn honour of Remembrance Day, I thought I would share this article from The Bugler that was published in 2011. There are still many people who are not aware of this Canadian and Allied Veteran Funeral and Burial Program, which the Last Post Fund delivers on behalf of Veterans Affairs Canada. Please click on the images below to enlarge them for easier reading. Continue reading

When is the “Right” Time to Consider Prepaid Funeral Planning?

funeral preplanner MississaugaThis weekend I was at the Toronto Zoomer Show helping out in our ‘Funeral Planning Made Simple’ booth. It was enormously interesting to watch people look at the banner – Funeral Planning … and then look away quickly; not making any eye contact with me. They would scowl, mutter, swear, sigh, shake their head and keep on walking. The people who read the banner and commented said things like: “I’m not ready yet”, “It’s too soon”, “That’s not something I want to talk about”, “I don’t care what my family does, I’ll be dead.” So my question to you is, when is the “right” time to talk about and make prepaid funeral arrangements? Why is it that the general public does not want to talk about their eventual mortality? Continue reading

Is Cremation Right for You? – 12 Questions to Consider

cremation2Increasingly more people are preplanning and selecting cremation as their preferred eventual form of disposition. The rationale that people share with me is that they feel it is easier for the family and that it will be less expensive. Very likely this is the case, yet I would ask you to consider the following 12 questions to be sure this is right for you and that it is the most suitable option that reflects your values, wishes, and the needs of your family. Continue reading

Death Away from Home – Secure Return Travel Assurance Plan (SRAP)

cheap travel insuranceA while back a gentleman called me and said: “I want that travel thing you have.” I thanked him for calling, and I was thrilled that he knew about “that travel thing.” I suggested that I meet with him to explain the benefits of the Secure Return Travel Assurance Plan (SRAP). He said: “No I live in Toronto and gas is too expensive to have you drive here and explain it to me, can we do this over the phone?” I said: “Absolutely!” Little did he know how important that phone call would be.

We proceeded to cover the features of this very affordable lifetime plan: Continue reading