With the new year approaching, many of us make resolutions to manage our money in a more fiscally responsible way. Some of the first items that most people think about are retirement, savings, holiday budget, and taxes. These are crucial parts of budget planning. What many people don’t include is finances for end-of-life planning. This is something that we have seen more than we wish at our Surrey cemetery. We offer financial options for any family in need and we are happy to show you how you can preplan or make an immediate purchase with financing for burials, green burials, and our other services.
It’s said that the only thing in life that is guaranteed is death and taxes. So why do we only talk about taxes? It can feel strange, at first, to think about planning for the end of your life but by doing so you can save your loved ones multiple tough choices, stress, and money, when the day comes.
In Canada, funerals can set families back thousands of dollars. On top of the grief of losing a loved one, trying to plan and pay for a funeral is an extra burden that is avoidable. There are multiple ways to get started, it’s okay to start with one small step and work on your plan over time.
Where to start
It is great that you want to assist your loved ones by setting up funds for your end of life wishes. What your family and friends will also need from you is a clear understanding of what your wishes are. The best first step is to put a will in place. It doesn’t matter what age you are, without a will your loved ones could end up having to try to make choices about your funeral, finances, and belongings and hope that they are respecting your wishes. They may not know that you wish to have a green burial instead of a traditional burial, it’s important to share this in advance.
It’s best to choose someone close to you to talk to about your wishes. This doesn’t have to be a child, a sibling or friend may also be the best choice. This is a very personal decision and it’s all about what feels right for you. By letting this person know what your plans are and leaving them with clear instructions alleviates the stress and confusion that can sometimes occur when a loved one passes.
There are some details that often get forgotten in this step. Be sure that the person you are leaving your end of life plans with has passwords for your electronic devices, bank accounts, and a safe if you have one. Let them know where important items are such as your will, keys to cars, cabins, or other property, and where any special heirlooms are kept such as jewelry and family mementos. This can be a lot for someone to remember, it is often helpful to create a list of this information and include it with your will so that all your important information is in one place and easy to find. Your loved ones will be grateful that you have been so thoughtful.
Three ways to plan
There are three common ways to financially plan for your end of life wishes. If you don’t want to leave your loved ones with the burden of paying for this you have multiple options that you can use to put away small amounts of money, over time, to cover these costs. Here are the three most common ways.
You could set up a separate savings account and automatically deposit a small amount each month. This is one of the simplest options but it is important to consider inflation and personal debt. It’s best to consult with a financial planner to determine what amount would be appropriate to set aside based on your age and end of life wishes. They will be able to help you navigate the pros and cons of taking this approach.
Many funeral homes and cemeteries offer convenient future planning options for funerals, traditional burial, green burial, or other services. . Some even offer payment plans that allow you to pay in small portions over time and ensure that you can set up your service in a way that matches your wishes and eliminate any funeral debt for your loved ones. By preplanning, you can lock in the price of services, cutting out the risk of inflation in the future. Heritage Gardens offers payment plan options and multiple burial and memorial options that fit most budgets and desires. If you would like more information about our options Contact us or visit Our Services page.
Purchasing life insurance is another way to ensure that your end of life wishes are financially secure. You can take out a small policy that is earmarked for your funeral costs or this can be covered in a more comprehensive policy. We spoke with Agustina Coccaro a Financial Security Advisor and here’s what she had to say, “When it comes to covering your final expenses, life insurance can be the most powerful and affordable tool. The cost of life insurance in Canada has never been lower due to longer life expectancies. For the same price as a coffee per day, you can get hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of coverage for your shorter-term needs such as paying off a mortgage or protecting your children should anything happen to you while they are minors. For more long-term estate planning, permanent insurance offers great options to protect your legacy. The first step is to always talk to a professional who can help assess your needs.” For more information, you can contact Augustina here.
It’s never too late to start making a plan for your end of life wishes. We hope that this article has provided you with some helpful ideas. If you are interested in learning more we are always here to answer your questions. Reach out at any time to our Surrey cemetery and the family at Heritage Gardens will be here to help you.