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Life is Short – Be Grateful for the Moments

Last week I had the privilege of spending a week with my Mom in Curacao.  What a beautiful place and the weather was absolutely fantastic.  As Thanksgiving is approaching, I wanted to take the time to share my appreciation of this experience that I am very thankful to have shared with my mom.

During the week one of the many things I am grateful for is that Mom and I were able to take this trip and spend quality time together.  There was time to reminisce and share memories.  And to laugh over silly things that have happened over the years.

There was also the opportunity to ask Mom questions that only she would know the answers to. What a gift!

Many people no longer have the opportunity to sit and reminisce with their loved ones.  Seize the moments that you now have and treasure these memories.  There will come a day when I can no longer ask Mom those questions or hear her voice.  That will be a very sad day indeed.

Another thing I am immensely grateful to Mom for is that she has all her plans and personal affairs organized.  When that day does eventually come, it will literally be one phone call and everything she wants done to celebrate her life will fall into place.

Too many people do not realize what a gift this is as they have to learn about Celebration of Life options and decide what to do after their loved one has died.  If you were to witness the pain, anguish, and turmoil that families go through, I am not sure you would willingly or knowingly leave your affairs in disarray.

If you are not sure what being organized looks like, contact me – there is a solution and the time is now to get your affairs in order and leave a loving legacy for your family.

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!

As Thanksgiving approaches, I wish you a wonderful weekend full of making memories with loved ones.

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. 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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Taking Care of Business Executor Workbook – 2nd Edition

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click to enlarge

At this time of year many of us turn our thoughts to holiday preparation. What will the menu be, how will I find the time to do all the shopping and how can we juggle our time to visit among various families? Then before we know it, all the preparations and festivities are over. Between Christmas and the New Year many of us take time to reflect on the holiday season and put thought into getting more organized for the coming year. In preparation for that reflective time, I am thrilled to announce the launch of the 2nd edition of Taking Care of Business – Executor’s Workbook! Read more

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The Importance of Naming a Beneficiary

Benefits of a beneficiaryWhy is it important to name a beneficiary on our life insurance policy?

A beneficiary is the person, charity or other organization that you name to receive your money or property from your life insurance policy, investment accounts or trust funds. For example: Mr. Anderson has a $30,000 life insurance policy and named his wife as the first beneficiary and his two children as the second beneficiaries. If Mr. Anderson dies before his wife does, then she will receive tax free, the $30,000 death benefit of his policy.

Read more

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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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Locating Missing Life Insurance Policies

funeral preplanning OntarioMy Father always said not to worry there is lots of life insurance.  However when he died and I was helping my mom to close the estate, we could not find any life insurance policy.  We looked in all the obvious places; safety deposit box, and important files at home, finding nothing.  For all these years Dad had indicated that there was a fair amount of life insurance implying around $300,000.00.  This is a lot of money and would make a tremendous difference for my mom. What can we do about locating missing life insurance policies? Read more