Pre-arranged funerals: what you need to know

Most people don’t like to think about their death, much less plan for it. But doing so can make things much easier if an illness strikes or your life simply nears its natural end.

Preparing for your last days means making a will to take care of your family. It means arranging a power of attorney, so that someone is looking after your interests when you’re too sick to do so.

And it also means deciding how you want to be honoured when you die.

“When you’re making those kind of health decisions, that’s the time when you should also be thinking about what should happen if you pass away, and what you’d like to have happen,” says Andrew Knapman, Location Manager at Forest Lawn Funeral Home in Burnaby.  

Handling all of the little details while you’re still able to do so means your family won’t have to manage those decisions while they’re grieving. It is a final gift to the people you’re leaving behind.

Choosing a casket and deciding what kind of memorial you’d like may seem unimportant when you’re healthy, but these choices will all play a part in how those you love remember you, says Knapman. And it’s how you can ensure your final wishes are followed.

Planning ahead also means your family won’t have to cover the cost of your funeral at a difficult time, stressing over how to withdraw money from the estate while they are grieving.

Perhaps you’ve told your children what your wishes are, but for most of us, those conversations are brief and easily forgotten once we’ve lost someone we love.

“Quite often it’s not a conversation people have with their family, or it’s a very cursory one,” Knapman says.

Before meeting with a funeral provider, consider what arrangements you’d like, and bring plenty of questions with you. It’s important to discuss what services are available at the funeral home, and to get a good idea of all of your options.

To learn more about pre-arranging your funeral at the Forest Lawn or Ocean View funeral homes in Burnaby, call 1-800-34-DIGNITY or go to the Forest Lawn website or the Ocean View website. Forest Lawn is at 3789 Royal Oak Ave. and Ocean View is at 4000 Imperial St. 

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