Why Pre Plan a Funeral
We've had the privilege of assisting many families with their funeral pre-planning. During the time we've spent with them, we've learned more about the reasons behind their decision to take funeral pre-planning seriously.
Why Pre-Plan a Funeral?
Pre-planning my funeral was my way of showing my family just how much I love them.
In pre-paying for my funeral arrangements, I've lessened the financial burden on those people I leave behind.
I'm very independent and have always made all my own decisions.
Some say I like to be in control of everything and they're right!
This way my family knows exactly what I want. No one has to get angry or fight, and no one has to feel guilty about making the wrong decision. When I'm gone, they will know what I want.
I remember when my mother died. None of us kids knew what to do and absolutely none of us knew what she wanted. No one bothered to ask! I'm just not going to wait for my kids to ask me what I want. I'm going to tell them.
I guess it's because I want things done my way. I want to provide my funeral pre-arrangements to our local funeral home to make sure I get what I want.
These are just a few of the comments we've heard during funeral pre-arrangements. Chances are pretty good that some of these statements are true for you as well.
We spend a lot of time talking about the importance of living responsibly, which involves preparing for the realities of life. While we believe making the decisions involved in funeral pre-planning is one reflection of a responsible mindset, we also know the critical importance of completing an advance directive.
What is the Purpose of the Advance Directive?
Sometimes called advance care directives, these document ensure that your wishes will be carried out in the future.
An advance care directive is "used to document your care wishes so your substitute decision-maker can refer to it when making care decisions for you in the future, if and when you can't make those decisions for yourself." When properly signed and witnessed, an advance care directive will provide guidance for medical and health care decisions in the event the individual becomes incompetent and can no longer make such decisions.
Other Things to Know about Advance Directives
Governing laws vary so be sure to obtain an advance directive that complies with your province's laws.
You do not need an attorney to complete an advance directive.
If you reside in more than one province, you should complete an advance directive for each province where you spend a significant amount of time.
There are no time limitations on advance directives. A signed advance directive remains in force until a new one is completed.
Periodically review your advance directive to make sure it still reflects your desires. If it doesn't, don't try to amend it; simply complete a new one.
Paramedics and emergency medical technicians cannot recognize or honour a living will or medical power of attorney. They are obligated to do their best to stabilize the patient and get them to the hospital. When you are in the care of hospital personnel, your advance directive becomes valid.
What's Involved in Preparing an Advance Directive?
Dying with Dignity Canada explains that "writing an Advance Care Plan involves much more than simply filling out a form. It is essential to take time for reflection and discussion to ensure your Plan reflects your values, beliefs and wishes."
There are many resources available online to assist and guide you in writing your Advance Directive.
Where to Obtain an Advance Directive Form
It's fairly easy to get a copy of the advance care directive form for your province. Your local hospital is a reliable source, as federal law requires every hospital to not only provide information about advance directives to people in their service area, they are also required to share valuable information about the related laws in your province. Contact your local hospital to learn more. Your family physician may also have advance directive forms available for patients.
Dying with Dignity Canada also offers Advance Care Planning Kits to assist you in making your advance care directive.
Let Us Help
If you're ready to begin planning your funeral or cremation service, our meeting can be taken in the privacy of your own home by using our online funeral pre-planning tool, pre-arrange online. Or, if you'd rather have guidance from one of our funeral pre-planning specialists, call us at 403-528-2599 or 1-800-317-2647.