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Do I need a Casket, a Container, a Coffin…?

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Have you asked the question – do I need a casket, a container or a coffin? Did you know that when an individual wants to be cremated, buried or entombed, by law the body must be in a casket or container?

A coffin is rarely used in Ontario and differs from a casket. A coffin is 8 sided and usually made of wood (see right). It is more common to see coffins used in Europe rather than Canada.

For earth burial many people are familiar with the casket (pictured above) being lowered into the ground. A casket is a 6 sided container made of particle wood with a felt cloth covering, a mix of particle wood and solid woods, soft woods, hard woods or metal. The range in price of a casket can vary widely from $500.00 to over $10,000.00. Read more

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Pre-paid Funeral Plan – Will I Get What I Paid For?

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During a recent presentation to a Lions Club a lady asked me “How do I know that the prepaid funeral will actually give me what I paid for – not something cheaper in the end?” When people have the courage to preplan and prepay their eventual funeral arrangements, they enter into a contract with the Funeral Home and a licensed Funeral Director. The binding legislation for the profession is the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act. In this legislation, it is mandated that every funeral home must have a current price list, and all goods and services must be itemized on the prepaid funeral contract – exactly as these items are listed in the price list. Additionally the Ontario Board of Funeral Services has outlined how all prepaid funeral contracts must be organized. Read more

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How Much Does Burial Cost? 3 Items to Consider

pre funeral planner Mississauga Oakville

“I have been considering funeral options and have been wondering how much a burial will cost?” is a question I hear a lot. I think when people ask this question, they already have a number in their mind. And while they don’t usually share this number with me when we begin to discuss the type of funeral they want, they are often surprised and pleased that the total value is less than the figure they had in mind. Here are 3 costs to take into consideration in a full burial service. Read more

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Cremation – What is the cost of a Funeral Anyway?

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What is the cost of a funeral anyway? is a question I am often asked. The answer is that it depends on the type of funeral or celebration of life you wish to setup and prepay. For example, there is a growing trend to select cremation as the choice of disposition, so I will discuss this option in this blog post. The cost of cremation depends on the crematorium that the funeral home uses and can range from approximately $450.00 to $650.00 or more. Additionally with cremation there are 2 mandatory disbursements: Read more

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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.

Read more

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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. Read more

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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? Read more

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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. Read more

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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. Read more

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Dying Away From Home

dying away from homeOver the weekend a friend contacted me to let me know that his wife’s memorial visiting and service was this week. I was in shock. I hadn’t seen them in a year or so and I couldn’t believe it when he told me she died while on holiday in Italy. On top of the shock, he relayed part of the logistical, financial and nightmare dealing with the authorities in Italy.  Here is his story.  How would you deal with your loved one dying away from home? Read more