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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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Tombstone to Monument: Part 2, Flat Marker

According to Random House College Dictionary, the term tombstone originally referred to a stone marker that was usually inscribed on a tomb or grave

In this 4 part blog series I will talk about upright, flat, pillow and digital markers.  This blog will focus on the flat marker.

There are many things to consider when arranging for a memorial marker.

A flat marker can be used to commemorate a person or an event.  A flat marker is also called a grass marker, as this type of memorial marker is sited on the ground.  Flat markers are typically made of granite or bronze.

If it is a flat marker the first consideration is the cemetery regulations.  Cemetery by-laws regulate the placement of flat markers on graves within their grounds.  The rules and regulations will also stipulate the size, materials and type of flat marker allowed.  Before your finalize your order be sure you are in compliance with the Cemetery regulations, as they can and are known to refuse the placement of an flat  marker that does not comply with their by-laws.

Can a Flat Marker Be Personalized?

A flat marker can also be personalized with emblems or symbols that are carved into the granite or attached to the bronze plaque. To the right is a very small sample of the personalization options available.

How much does a Flat Marker cost?

Several factors are involved in the price of flat marker.  Factors that will influence the cost include: the size, type of material, personalization details, number of letters, and the type of engraving or etching on the stone.  Included in the pricing of a flat marker will be the foundation that the marker is placed on, as well as the installation cost of siting the flat marker.

For information on upright markers, please see my previous blog by clicking here.  And stay tuned for my upcoming blogs on pillow and digital markers.

If you would like to know more about the process please connect with me.

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 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

Ps.   Tombstone is also the name of a city southeast of Tucson, Arizona named by prospector Ed Schieffelin who found silver there in 1877 after being told all he would find was his tombstone.  Tombstone became one of the richest and most lawless frontier mining towns.

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Tombstone to Monument: Part One, Upright Marker

According to Collins English Dictionary, the term tombstone originally referred to the flat stone on top of a grave or the lid of a stone coffin.  The term dates back to 1711 and can also be another term for a gravestone or headstone.  In present day, tombstones are now referred to as “markers”.

In this 4 part blog series I will talk about the four different types of markers: upright, flat, pillow and digital.  This blog will focus on the upright marker.

There are many things to consider when arranging for a memorial marker.

If it is an upright memorial marker or headstone, the first consideration is the cemetery regulations.  Cemetery by-laws regulate the placement of upright markers on graves within their grounds.  Their rules and regulations will also stipulate the size, materials and types of headstone allowed.  Before your finalize your order of an upright marker be sure you are in compliance with the Cemetery regulations, as they can and are known to refuse the placement of a upright marker that does not comply with their by-laws.

Upright marker - no walkerHow soon can a marker be sited on a grave?

Typically this falls into two categories.  Some people install an upright marker prior to their death, while others do this when the first partner dies.  For family, the upright marker serves as a focal point when visiting the grave and setting in stone the memorialization of a loved one.  Typically the date of birth is on the stone and the date of death can be added onsite at a later date.

How much does an Upright Marker cost?

Several factors are involved in the price of an upright monument.  Things to consider are the size, type of material, personalization details, number of letters, the type of engraving or etching on the stone and the number of sides that are polished or left rough on the upright marker.

Included in the pricing of an upright marker will be the foundation that the upright marker is placed on, as well as the installation cost of siting the upright marker.

If you would like to know more about the process please connect with me.

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 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.

P.S.   Tombstone is also the name of a city in Arizona named by prospector Ed Schieffelin who found silver there in 1877 after being told all he would find was his tombstone.

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Do you Have Your Advance Care Plan in Place?

Advanced Care PlanDo you Have Your Advance Care Plan in Place? An Advance Care Plan is a process of conversations and decisions while you are of capacity. Reflecting your values, beliefs, goals, wishes, resources and faith, an Advance Care Plan outlines your wishes concerning future care.

Future Care takes into consideration your wishes concerning personal hygiene, nutrition, shelter clothing, safety, as well as health care, medical treatments, services or interventions. In the event of a sudden and unexpected incapacity such as car accident; or a longer progressive incapacity such as Alzheimer’s disease, your Advance Care Plan outlines your wishes for future health and personal care preferences in the event you are incapable of consenting to or refusing medical treatment or other care. 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

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Sending Cremated Remains to Poland

Polish flagLast week I worked with two adult daughters who want to send their mother’s cremated remains back to Poland.

There are two scenarios to consider. One is when taking the cremated remains personally and the second is if the cremated remains are going to be shipped to Poland.

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The Art of Saying Good Bye to Someone You Love

iStock_000012294126XSmallThere is an art to saying goodbye to someone you love dearly and until last week I had never had to use it.  Fortunately I had the opportunity to do this in person.

My Aunt had a knee replacement and was on the road to recovery with Occupational and Physical therapy underway for 2 weeks following the surgery.  Then about 9 days ago she mentioned to my Uncle that she didn’t feel well.  He took her to the hospital and they admitted her immediately.  The issue was pneumonia and fluid on her lungs.  They started an antibiotic regime.   After 8 days of intravenous therapy the pneumonia was not subsiding.  The following day the Doctor was in to see my Aunt and Uncle saying that if the medication did not kick in soon, or Mother Nature took over, there was not much more they could do, and she had 1 – 2 days to live.

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When Your Spouse Won’t Discuss Death

I really want to preplan my funeral arrangements but my Husband/Wife won’t talk about it. Are you someone who has a spouse who won’t discuss death? I have heard this many times, and it is frustrating for the partner that would like to organize things ahead of time, not to be able to take advantage of the opportunity.

It is frustrating when one partner has the veto power and the other partner has to follow along and keep the peace in the relationship. Often the partner that wants to organize things ahead of time, can see the emotional and financial advantages of doing this.  Yet they must bite their tongue and go along with the usually uninformed decision of their partner.

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What Happens if I Can’t Pay For a Funeral?

bigstock-Grieving-Family-4457703Have you ever asked the question ‘what happens if I can’t pay for the funeral?’ If people have not prepaid part of all of their funeral expenses, then their next of kin or whoever signed the funeral contract are responsible to pay the funeral account.  Many Funeral Homes will require a deposit prior to making any arrangements on your behalf and some Funeral Homes require payment in full by the day the funeral services are provided.

This can cause extreme disagreements between brother and sister as to the type and level of merchandise to select for mom or dad’s funeral.  I know of two brothers’ that agreed to split dad’s funeral cost 50/50.  The one brother put the full account on his credit card and the other promised to write him a cheque for his half of the funeral cost.  Well that cheque never got written after several requests for reimbursement.  The outcome?  These brothers’ have not spoken to each other in 25 years!  Is this worth 50% of the cost of the funeral?

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Are your Affairs in Order?

18766738_sFive words that will change your life:  “Are your affairs in order?” or perhaps you know someone who has been told “You better get your affairs in order.”

When people hear this, there has usually been a sudden change in their health, serious illness, an accident or even imminent death.  Of the approximately 300,000 deaths per year in Canada about 30% of these are sudden and unexpected.  The remaining 70% of these deaths or 200,000 deaths are known and expected.  Are your affairs in order? –  Is the gift of time.

How the individual hearing these words or their loved ones’ deals with this knowledge can be very diverse.  Certainly there can be anger, denial, procrastination, and any myriad of other emotions.  Or these words can ignite action.

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