Pre-plan your final arrangements with 4 easy steps

Let’s face it. Between the grandkids’ hockey games, deciding on when to retire, questions about the economy and just figuring out how to make the most of each day, thinking about the end of your life probably isn’t on the top of most Canadians’ to-do list.

“Pre-planning”, as it has come to be known, gives you the power to choose an ending that perfectly tells the story of your life. And most importantly, it’s a tremendous gift to your family that can help prevent them from overspending during a difficult, emotional time, as well as removing all doubt as to what your final wishes are.

“Contrary to popular belief, funeral planning doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive,” says Chris Marsh, representative of Dignity Memorial® providers, a premier network of more than 1,600 funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers across North America. According to Chris, there are four basic steps to consider when planning your services.

Step 1: Reflect on your End-of-Life Plan
Take some time to reflect about how you want to organize your service. Give some thought to location, readings, music and any other simple or unique interests that you would like shared.

Step 2: RECORD your End-of-Life Plan
“Though thinking about your wishes for your final arrangements can help you start creating your end-of-life plan, physically recording them is the best way to ensure they will be carried out,” says Marsh.

Whether on paper or stored electronically, your written wishes will allow your loved ones to act on your behalf. How much you record is up to you, but keep in mind that the more you plan, the more you help your family. And just as you update other personal items like wills and financial documents, it’s important to keep your end-of-life plan current, as well.

Step 3: SHARE your End-of-Life Plan
“It’s surprising to find that some people think they’re putting a burden on their family by talking about their end-of-life planning,” says Marsh. “In reality, by talking about your wishes, you are actually relieving them of that very burden.”

Consider keeping them at a location that is easily accessible to your family, such as a simple filing cabinet. Even better, once complete, send your plans directly to those individuals who will handle your arrangements, including family members and funeral provider.

Step 4: SUPPORT Your End-of-Life Plan
“Locking in today’s funeral costs by prepaying is one of the smartest ways to get the most for your money,” says Marsh.

No matter if you choose burial or cremation, as the cost for funeral services continues to rise, paying for your own funeral and cemetery plans beforehand is a tremendous financial relief for your family. It not only helps by alleviating the need for them to pay out-of-pocket for your services at the time of your death, it also acts as a hedge against inflation, allowing you to get the greatest value for your money, today.

Start Planning Today
To make planning your funeral as easy as possible, the Dignity Memorial network has partnered with CARP to offer a FREE Planning Guide for CARP members with valuable information about making your own arrangements, as well as helpful worksheets to get started in the privacy of your own home.

For your free Personal Planning Guide and for more information on the benefits of preplanning and how CARP members can save $1,000 or more on their funeral and cemetery arrangements, call 1-866-668-1842 or visit the Dignity Memorial website.

*This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other affinity group offers, discounts, savings certificates or promotional programs. The $1,000 savings is based on a 10% discount on funeral related goods and services that value $10,000 or more. Actual savings may vary. The 10% Savings does not apply to third party cash advance items or already discounted Dignity Memorial Plans, rather you would take the higher of the two discounts. This offer is subject to change and may not be available at certain locations. The Dignity Memorial brand name is used to identify a network of licensed funeral, cremation and cemetery providers that comprise the Dignity Memorial Network. The Dignity Memorial Network is comprised of licensed funeral and cemetery providers such as Cresmount Funeral Home – Fennell Chapel, 322 Fennell Ave East, Hamilton, ON L9A 1T2, La Maison Darche Services Funeraires, 505 Boul Cure Poirer Quest, Lonqueuil, QC J4J2H5, Glenhaven memorial Chapel, 1835 East Hastings St. Vancouver, BC V5L 1T3, Foster’s Garden Chapel and Crematorium, 3220 – 4th St. NW, Calgary, AB T2M 3A5, Tubman Funeral home, 1005 Boyle St., Indian Head, SK S0G 2K0, Thomas Funeral Home, 669 Broadway, Winnipeg, MB R3C 0X4, and includes affiliates of Service Corporation International (CANADA) ULC. To find the Dignity Memorial provider nearest you please visit

CARP Approved Partner