How To Plan A Perfect Goodbye


The best time to plan a funeral is years before you’ll ever need one. 


While most Canadians recognize the need to prepare a will or appoint a guardian for their children, many fail to recognize the value and importance of preplanning their funeral.


“We plan our vacations, our careers and our retirement, but so many of us fail to plan for the one certainty that we all will face,” noted Bruce Humphrey, President, Humphrey Funeral Home, A. W. Miles Chapel.  “It’s human nature to procrastinate, but prearranging a funeral is the best way to ensure that decisions aren’t rushed and that nothing is overlooked.  It really is one of the greatest gifts we can give to those who are left.” 


The many details that must be addressed when planning a funeral or memorial service can be overwhelming.


“There are more than 70 separate decisions that must be made when planning a funeral,” said Humphrey.  “Will the funeral take place at a place of worship or the funeral home?  Will there be visitation before the service?  Is cremation an option, or is burial or entombment preferred?  What music should be played during the service?  Who will write the newspaper notice?” 


Prearranging your funeral gives you the time you need to make each of these important decisions.  It also ensures that your funeral will unfold according to your wishes.


Here are a few tips for preplanning your funeral


  • Talk About It.  Discuss your preferences with your family.  Open communications about funeral issues will ensure that everyone’s needs are considered.


  • Make It Personal.  Think about all the special things that make you unique—your hobbies, your talents, your life experiences.  Include these personalized elements in your funeral planning.


  • Put It In Writing.  Write down any questions or suggestions you would like to discuss during your meeting with the funeral director.


  • Don’t Plan Every Detail.  Allow your family to add their own unique touches.  For example, many funeral homes encourage families to bring in photographs or mementos to display during the visitation.  Choosing these personal items is a wonderful way for the family to reminisce and share fond memories during a difficult time.


  • Consider Prepaying.  Preplanning a funeral gives you the opportunity to prepay.  Doing so allows you to pay “today’s dollars” for something that may not be needed for years to come.  A variety of prepayment options, including insurance policies, are available, and all are fully guaranteed and protected.


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