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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, 


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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Brain Donation

brain donationMany people consider body or tissue donation but have you considered brain donation?

Brain donation to the Douglas-Bell Canada Brain Bank provides national and international researchers with the necessary brain tissue; cells, proteins, and genes to study neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases.

Both healthy and unhealthy brains are required to provide the brain tissue for researchers to strive to understand mental and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer Disease, Parkinson Disease, frontotemporal dementia, Pick disease, and the biological factors associated with mood disorders, and suicide.

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Making Eco-Friendly Choices about Your Funeral Arrangements

click image to enlarge

click image to enlarge

Being environmentally aware all your life, you intentionally lighten your environmental footprint.  Increasingly, people are considering making eco-friendly or green choices for their departure from earth in terms of their funeral arrangements.

The three R’s of environmental responsibility can be adapted to end of life planning as well.  Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.


Not so long ago the “traditional” funeral would involve 2 even 3 days of visitation, followed by a funeral service and then burial in a cemetery.

This is changing.  Often people want to minimize the time commitment and stress on their loved ones by having one day of visiting and the funeral service or celebration of life service the next day.  There is another option of having the visiting and the funeral or celebration of life service all on the same day.

Other ways to reduce the time and distance traveled by people is:

  • on line funeral,
  • memorial,
  • tributes, or celebration of life services.

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Airport Regulations Regarding Flying With Cremated Remains

travelling with cremated remains People often ask if you are allowed to fly with cremated remains and what the airport or government regulations would be. The answer is, yes, you can fly with cremated remains. Often people want to take their loved one home and bury, scatter or entomb their cremated remains outside of Canada. Cremation containers are allowed on the plane with you providing you meet certain criteria.

In addition to accompanying documentation such as the: Cremation Certificate and Funeral Directors Proof of Death and Letter of Contents; x-ray screening of cremated remains will be taken at pre-boarding airport security checkpoints, to ensure there are not prohibited items inside the remains.

On July 26, 2013 Transport Canada (TC) released regulatory changes requiring the Canada Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) to follow these procedures regarding the X- ray screening of cremation containers in checked baggage or carry- on baggage.

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Do You Wish you Had More Contribution Room in Your TFSA?

23735008_sDo you wish you had more contribution room in your TFSA? Consider this.  If you made TFSA contributions since 2009 then you may have contributed the maximum of 5,000.00 per year, totaling approximately $20,000.00.

If you were to prearrange and prepay your eventual funeral arrangements you would be moving your money from a tax sheltered TFSA into a stable, guaranteed and tax-saving EFA – eligible funeral arrangement.

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Christmas – A Season to be Grateful

bigstock-Grandparents-Outdoors-On-Patio-4135776As 2012 winds down, it is a time to reflect on what we have accomplished this year and the items still left to complete.  During the Christmas season, the list can be especially lengthy. There are gifts to purchase for family and friends, decorations to put up, cards to send, groceries to purchase and special meals to plan and prepare. How fortunate many of us are able to do these things. Do you feel grateful?

Recently I watched a woman struggled to get out of the car at the store.  I realized how much I take for granted; the ability to get in and out of my car easily, drive to the stores I wish to go to and be able to find and purchase the items I want. For many people these seemingly simple tasks are monumental.  For me it was a reminder to be thankful and grateful that I am able to complete these tasks. Read more

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Dispelling the Myths about Funeral Preplanning – Part 1

A Coffee a Day is a Funeral Prepaid

iStock_000023619424XSmallReally?  Absolutely!  It can cost as little as $50.00 per month or even less to prepay your final funeral arrangements.  The couple I worked with this past weekend started their prepaid funeral arrangements for under $25.00 per month.  We worked within their budget and what they wanted to fund first and that is how the contract was set up.  We will add different items into the prepaid funeral contract over time and they will eventually have their entire funeral pre-funded within a budget that is comfortable to them. In this blog series, we will dispel some of the myths about funeral pre-planning.

Unfortunately, many people are under the impression that funerals are expensive or that they have to prepay funeral arrangements in one lump sum.  This is not the case. The average funeral cost in Ontario is around $8,800.00, and I have organized funerals that were $2,000 to over $15,000.00.  It really does depend on what you want to set up ahead of time and how you want your life to be celebrated.  People often ask me about the cost of a funeral, and that can depend for example on the casket selected.  Caskets are usually made of wood, metal or cloth covered particleboard.  The entry level pricing for a casket is around $600.00 and can go as high as you wish.

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Landing Papers – Who Knew They Are so Important?!

bigstock-Passport-Stamps-4027299As part of our After Care program, I was recently assisting a man with some of the necessary paperwork involved in closing part of his mom’s estate.  One of the questions I asked him was if his mom had a valid Canadian Passport?  He replied that she did not; rather she had a valid British Passport.  In the course of our conversation I asked him if I could look at the passport.  One great part of my job is that I get to look at old marriage certificates, immigration papers, passports, or birth certificates.  I love the stamps and seals or markings on these documents.  Often the writing is very precise as well. This I find very interesting.

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