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Benefits of Pre-Planning


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Pre-planning your own arrangements relieves your family of many financial, emotional and social burdens. Here are a few examples of how pre-planning can help you and your family:

Relieving the stress and emotional burden. There is a guarantee that your family or trusted friends will be endowed with fulfilling the obligation of going through the Funeral Arrangement process. If your wishes are unknown when you pass away, they will be faced with making these difficult decisions in a short amount of time. Will they know what your wishes are? Confusion and disagreements are common occurrences when there is no plan to follow. You can avoid this by leaving behind a plan for your survivors and ultimately create a peace of mind for yourself, knowing that you’ve had this gift prepared for your family and friends. A pre-arrangement also ensures that your survivors know what your preferences are, regardless of the detail of those wishes, right down to the epitaph on your monument or the readings and music at your service.

Relieving the financial burden. Planning ahead enables you to make financial arrangements to cover your funeral costs and lock in those prices at today’s rate. The pre-payment option also allows you to pay for your funeral service wishes over time, saving your family needless stress at the time of death. Cornerstone Funeral Home offers a no-obligation, cost-free pre-arrangement service that allows you to walk through the different options surrounding your funeral wishes and allows you to see what today’s cost of those services are. You are then given the option to pre-pay, if you so wish.
** Having the benefit of a meaningful funeral.** A funeral or celebration of life is not for the person who passed away, it is about the person who passed away. It is an important event for grieving family and friends alike. Psychologically, Having a funeral for those left behind provides us with the opportunity to say our goodbyes, it provides a sense of closure and enables the family to begin the healing process. Those left behind benefit by honoring the lives of their loved ones with a fitting ceremony and by giving them a proper send off. It is difficult to make the funeral event the best it can be when planning it in a short amount of time.

Transferring Pre-Arrangements

Should you have a pre-arrangement with another funeral home or simply have your wishes recorded elsewhere, we can review this with you and help in the transfer of your pre-arrangement.

If you have pre-paid your arrangements elsewhere, the transfer of these funds is a simple process that one of our licensed funeral directors or licensed pre-arrangement counselors can facilitate at no cost and no loss of funds. Your wishes will be looked after in a dignified and professional manner with a wide variety of pre-planning options.

We will honour all transfers of pre-arrangements including but not limited to pre-planned or pre-paid transferred pre-arrangements, Calgary Cooperative Memorial Society members and Dutch Canadian Burial Society members.

Pre-Planning Checklist

Your funeral pre-arrangement is an important part of your overall estate planning. Preparing your funeral pre-arrangement allows you to determine your final wishes in advance. The peace of mind you gain by choosing the services and products you want after you pass is invaluable. Furthermore, putting your affairs in order now will save a great deal of stress and despair for your loved ones at the time of your passing.

Here are some lists of information you should consider assembling:

Emergency Contacts List

At the time of your passing, the immediate next-of-kin would greatly benefit from having a list of relatives and friends, along with their contact information, in order to notify them of your passing. Unfortunately, not all forms of communication are used by everyone (i.e. newspaper, social media, email, etc.) and direct contact is always the best way to ensure they are made aware.

Vital Statistics

This information is utilized by the funeral home to register your death with the applicable governing agencies. This information includes but it not limited to your:

  • Full legal name
  • Date of birth
  • Birth place
  • Current address
  • Main occupation during the majority of your working career
  • Regimental number and/or military history (if applicable)
  • Social Insurance Number
  • Provincial Health Care Number
  • Driver’s License Number (if applicable)
  • Fathers full name at time of birth and birth place
  • Mother’s full name at time of birth and birth place
  • Next-of-kin information, including: name, relationship status and contact information.
Funeral Service

A great deal of the information that is required to assist with pre-planning your wishes is in regards to the specific details surrounding the service that memorializes your life, the details that you should contemplate are:

  • Deciding between burial or cremation
  • Choosing the type of service you want and the preferred location
  • Selecting music and hymns
  • Considering whether or not to have a visitation or viewing and also see if there are any customs, traditions, or religious rites that are important to you and your family that you wish to follow.
  • Choosing the clothing you would like to be dressed in
  • Selecting floral arrangement(s)
  • Selecting or setting aside important photographs and/or memorabilia you would like to have displayed at your service
  • Selecting a casket or cremation container
  • Walking through the sought after theme/style for your stationery package. (memorial card, memorial book, etc.)
  • Speaking to family and friends to come up with any additional ways you would like to personalize the services, add special instructions or pay tribute to your accomplishments, hobbies, personality and life story

An obituary notice can be a powerful way of letting your friends and relatives know that your passing has occurred. Beyond this, it can also be a tool to convey your life story and some of your accomplishments to those who may be unable to attend the service. You are the one person who knows your story the best and by completing your own obituary notice, this relives the stress from your survivors for searching for information to complete this on your behalf. Some of the parts of an obituary that should be sought after are:

  • A list of your surviving family and close friends
  • A list of your predeceased family and those of mention
  • Your proudest life accomplishments, places you’ve lived, hobbies, etc.
  • If so desired, a charity (or two) listed to have donations sent
Involvement of Family and Friends

There is never a guarantee that a certain person will be available to complete a task in which you allocated, but having a plan in place that makes suggestions of whom you would like involved works well to lessen the stress and confusion at the time of arrangements:

  • Choosing a clergy member or master of ceremonies to preside over the service
  • Selecting pallbearers, either active or honourary
  • Selecting any soloists/choirs or musicians whose talents you would like to employ
  • Choosing friends or family members to perform the eulogy, read scripture, prepare a speech or perform any active duty during the service

A cemetery can be a very peaceful place that offers options for dignified burial or human remains either above or below ground. This can present a great amount of solitude to those who visit after the burial and ultimately memorialize their loved one with means of permanent grave markers. When considering the use of a cemetery you should think about the following:

  • Choosing a specific cemetery
  • Selecting an in-ground burial or cremation plot, or alternatively a columbarium or mausoleum plot
  • Considering the different gravemarker and monument options

The information that is provided above is for you to take your time with and talk with those who you and closest with.

If you wish to formalize your plan with Cornerstone, feel free to contact us and book an appointment.