Pre-Planning a Funeral – Why You Should and What You Need to Know

Pre-planning your funeral is an important way to support your family in the time following your passing. By having your wishes pre-planned, all of the guesswork is removed and your family can focus on honouring your life. Pre-planning also gives a realistic estimate of the costs of your burial, cremation and funeral or celebration of life services. This transparency also allows for the funds to be set aside within your estate. You can even go as far as to pre-pay for your arrangements so there is very little left for your family to handle in the event of your passing.

Here is everything you need to know about pre-planning your funeral.

Funeral Pre-planning

It may not be pleasant to think about planning your own funeral but by laying out the details in advance, you can ensure your final wishes are carried out. By pre-planning your funeral service, you will save your loved ones from the worry of making the arrangements during an already stressful time. If you are considering pre-planning your funeral, all you need to do is contact our office and one of our caring funeral professionals will schedule a meeting with you and guide you through the process. At Country Hills Crematorium we can help plan a funeral that meets your needs, fits your budget and provides the kind of service you desire.  

Why pre-plan?

People pre-plan funerals for many reasons. Some may have definite preferences concerning the funeral service or merchandise chosen and that their families be informed or involved in the decisions. Others want to save their survivors from having to make the decisions at a difficult and confusing time, thus eliminating the possibility of emotional overspending. Some individuals who have been faced with making selections for loved ones may wish to spare others from the indecision, guessing, emotion or anxiety they experienced. Others may prearrange because no one else is capable of making responsible decisions on their behalf. Many also like the benefit of financial savings that come from prepaying expenses. In any case, funeral pre-planning can ease many concerns and is often viewed as an element of estate planning.

What is involved in making pre-arrangements?

  • Recording personal information that is required for Vital Statistics. This consists of full name, address, spouse’s name, occupation, birthdate, birthplace, parent’s names and their birthplaces and your next of kin or executor.  
  • Making service choices. Type of service, burial, cremation or transfer to another city, any religious observances, music selections, personalized service folders and video presentation, as well as determining which participants (family and/or friends) will help to create a meaningful service.  
  • Making specific selections. The selection of a casket or cremation container, an urn, a burial or urn vault and a monument or memorial marker.  


Do you have to pay for anything?

No, although families choose to for many reasons. Pre-financing reduces financial concerns, preventing an unnecessary burden at a time of loss because it ensures funds are available when needed. Pre-financing can help offset inflation allowing you to pay tomorrow’s costs as today’s prices.



Taking pre-planning one step further, you can also choose to pre-pay for your funeral now so that your loved ones do not have to manage the planning or payment of your funeral at all. You will ensure that the costs will not grow over time, that the chosen funeral home already knows your wishes and with the costs already covered (excluding incidental costs which cannot be prepaid), your family only needs to oversee the execution of the services and participate in honouring your memory.

Where does the prepayment money go?  

Money paid in advance for funerals is required to be kept in special accounts approved by the government, either in a Trust Company or in an Annuity through an Insurance Company. At this point in time, most pre-paid funeral funds go into the Insurance Company option. Country Hills Crematorium is set up with Assurant Life of Canada.

There are some costs that cannot be pre-paid with the funeral home. These items are typically cash disbursements. Cash disbursements are items or services supplied by someone outside the funeral home. A good example is flowers, honorariums or Alberta government death certificates. Your funeral professional can help you to determine the best way to handle these expenses in the event of your passing.

As you can see, there are many reasons to pre-plan and pre-pay for your end of life arrangements. To get started, please contact us today and one of our funeral professionals will be happy to assist you.

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