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casket legacy matters kat downey
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9 Financial Benefits of Re-Investing Your Tax Returns with an Eligible Funeral Arrangement

Do you receive a tax refund? If yes, you may be wondering how to best optimize your hard-earned money in a way that is both meaningful and financially sensible for you and your family. Why not have your money work hard for you by prepaying your future funeral arrangements? The best way to do this is by using all or part of your tax refund to set up an Eligible Funeral Arrangement. 

What is an Eligible Funeral Arrangement 

An Eligible Funeral Arrangement (EFA) is a fully prepaid or partially prepaid eventual funeral arrangement that you set up with a licensed Funeral Home and a licensed Funeral Director. 

Financial Benefits of an Eligible Funeral Arrangement 

The financial advantage of prepaying funeral arrangements is that your money is: 

  1. Always invested under your name 
  2. Your funds are insured up to $100.000.00 
  3. Your funds earn tax exempt 1.75% interest 
  4. There are no medical questions asked 
  5. It is easy to enroll 
  6. It is simple process 
  7. It is a loving gift to your family 
  8. You are in full control of your money and your wishes 
  9. You lock in the future price of the funeral and any inflationary risks rest with the funeral home, not your family.  

Why is This a Good Idea? 

Eventually, we will all need to have some type of funeral to celebrate our life. Don’t leave your family a huge funeral tab. Instead, leave them with a solid plan for how you want your life to be celebrated.  Your loved ones will be both relieved and grateful that you already have a plan in place for them to follow – completely free of financial strain or burden. Show your family how much you truly care, even after you’re gone.  

I would love to hear from you and help get the conversation started.  You can connect with me via email or telephone, leave a comment here on the site or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website. Don’t forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter too. 

Until next time, 

Kat 

Katherine Downey is the #1 Funeral Preplanning Professional in Canada for the fourth time. She is a professional educator, author, licensed funeral director and insurance advisor. Not only is she a Certified Professional Consultant on Ageing and an Executive Advisor, but she is compassionately understanding.  To set an appointment or have your questions answered, please contact Kat directly.  

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What is the difference between a funeral service and a memorial service Part 2

There are several ways to celebrate the life of a deceased loved one.

In part 1 of this blog I mentioned that a funeral service means that the body of the deceased is present at the service.  Now I will go over the details of a memorial service and the primary difference between a funeral service and a memorial service.

A memorial service means that the body of the deceased is not present at the celebration of life.  The deceased may have been buried or cremated prior to the memorial service.  Or in other more tragic circumstances, the body of the deceased may not be available to hold a funeral service and the family elects to have a memorial service instead.

Visiting is very common with a memorial service.  Visiting could be a day or two before or a few hours prior to the memorial service on the same day.  Visiting is not obligatory, yet many families value this time to have the support of their family and friends.

A family could hold a memorial service in addition to or in place of a funeral service.  For instance, the family may elect to hold a funeral service in the town where the deceased lived and died. Then hold a memorial service at a later date in the town where the person was born.

Whether you prefer a funeral or a memorial service, the important piece is to think through how you would like your life to be celebrated.

Take a quiet moment and ponder what this looks like for you.  Then take massive action.  Set up your plans and prefund them at the funeral home of your choice.  Finally, let your family know you have done this, especially your Estate Trustee.  Do not include your funeral or memorial services in your will, as the will is typically read after the celebration of life.

One family comes to mind that experienced this unfortunate issue.  When their father died they had no idea how he wanted his life celebrated.  They discussed this and elected to have him cremated and then held a memorial service.  Later when they read his will, they found out he had wanted to be buried – oops!  Unfortunately cremation is irreversible and this family had to live with their decision.

Don’t put your family is this position.  Take charge of your celebration of life and set it up the way you want now.

If you are unsure where/how to start, then I invite you to connect with me.  I work with my clients to make this process easier and to avoid any headaches during an already emotional time after the deceased has passed.  To help start the discussion, I offer a free consultation to see the available options and how to get started preplanning.

I would love to hear from you.  You can connect with me via email or telephone, leave a comment here on the site or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website. Don’t forget to join in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter too!

Kat

Katherine Downey is the #1 Funeral Preplanning Professional in Canada for the fourth time. She is a professional educator, author, licensed funeral director and insurance advisor. To set an appointment or have your questions answered, please contact Kat directly.

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Does Your Family Have an Emergency Preparedness Plan?

What would you do if you were one of the people in Fort McMurray who were told they only have 10 minutes to pack and that you have to leave everything behind right now?

Shocking, horrific, incomprehensible, and overwhelming for the 80,000 + people who had to do exactly this this past week after forest fires destroyed their homes and everything except what they could physically carry.

What would you decide take?  Where do you even start?

Have an Emergency Bag Packed at All Times

Even without the threat of an impending emergency, having an emergency bag packed and placed in one accessible location at all times is a great idea. Family members could pack their own bag, a bag that they can easily carry themselves, such as a backpack.  Consider having a family emergency plan, detailing where your packed emergency bag(s) is/are, where you would meet and how you would communicate or rendezvous to let each other know your status.   The Canadian Red Cross and the Federal Government website both suggest that your emergency bag have enough supplies to last for 3 days.

What to include in your Emergency Bag:

  1. Important papers or photocopies of these documents:
  • SIN card
  • Health Card
  • Passport
  • Birth Certificate
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Personal Identification Card
  • Will
  • POA
  1. Cash, especially small bills, Debit and Credit cards
  2. Basic first aid kit including Band-Aids, disinfectant, small scissors, etc.
  3. Basic tools and equipment such as a shovel, bungee cords, tape, multi-function pocket knife, manual can-opener, whistle, string, etc.
  4. Battery or crank radio and flashlight
  5. Extra batteries
  6. Blanket or sleeping bag
  7. Personal items and comfortable clothing and shoes
  8. High-energy non-perishable food items such as power bars or dried foods
  9. Potable water stored in small containers; 2 liters per person per day

What Can You Do Now to Prepare for an Emergency?

  1. Prepare your emergency bag
  2. Place it in your readily accessible location
  3. Where applicable prepare a family emergency plan
  4. Have an In Case of Emergency ICE contact readily located on your phone or person (see below)
  5. The same should be done with a list of any allergies that members of your family have
  6. Update your contact list on your phone, virtually or on paper
  7. Keep your vehicle in top running condition with regular maintenance
  8. Keep your devices fully charged. You can even charge and store a “backup battery bank” to recharge your devices on the go

To help get your family emergency plan started, I invite you to contact me to receive a free In Case of Emergency ICE contact form.  Does your family have an emergency preparedness plan in place?  I would love to hear from you.  You can connect with me via email or telephone, leave a comment here on the site or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website. Don’t forget to join in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter too!

In the meantime our thoughts prayers and perhaps donations go out to our fellow Canadians in Alberta.

Kat

Katherine Downey is the #1 Funeral Preplanning Professional in Canada for the fourth time. She is a professional educator, author, licensed funeral director and insurance advisor. To set an appointment or have your questions answered, please contact Kat directly.

Living Organ Donation – Let’s Talk

organ and tissue donation OntarioMany people are familiar with deceased organ and tissues donation, however it is possible to also consider healthy living organ donation. Living organ donation could include a kidney, part of the liver, lung, small bowel, or pancreas. The focus of this blog is live kidney donation.

Unfortunately the need for transplanted organs – live or deceased is far greater than the supply. Many people on the kidney wait-list will die before they receive a compatible kidney. Read more

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. Read more

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9 Ways to Get Full Value from Your Funeral Plan

pre-paid funerals OntarioDid you know Funeral Homes must provide you with a current price list that describes all the goods and service they offer and that this price list must be provided without cost or obligation? And, by law, all funeral homes must follow the same format in their price list. This assists the consumer to be able to compare and contrast the prices and selections fairly. However for many people the price list can still be confusing.  The best way to directly compare cost, is to shop around ahead of time and work with the funeral home and licensed funeral director you are most comfortable with. Here are 9 ways to ensure you get the full value from your funeral plan. Read more