End of Life Planning & Other Resources
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Why should I plan my funeral now?
Planning now gives you the opportunity to:
- Involve all members of your family in a discussion of their personal preferences and feelings regarding end of life issues
- Choose a funeral ceremony the family can afford. (when death occurs the emotional distress can often cloud common sense)
- Record details of the current wishes of you and your family
- Provide clear direction to the person(s) in charge of your funeral arrangements
- Ensure that personal records are organized in order that important information is available at the time of death; and
- Allow your family, at time of death, to concentrate on the personal aspects of grief and the important end of life ceremonies
What are the steps to planning my funeral?
Step 1 – Talk it over
End of life planning is a family affair. Avoiding the topic won’t prevent death, but it will make the funeral more difficult and likely more expensive for your survivors. Sit down with your family, discuss your wishes and be open to their input.
Step 2 – Know your options
It is your right to choose the simplest, least costly funeral arrangements you want and can afford. You are free to choose the celebration you prefer. Explain your choices to your family and be sensitive to their concerns too.
Step 3 – Do your end of life research
Request a price list from several funeral providers. Ask for information about the services and look at the merchandise provided. Take time to decide what you want. Check out our resource section for timely information on affordable, environmentally friendly or green burials services.
Step 4 – Put it all together
Have a important talk with your family about what you’ve learned. Remember, although the plan you file with the memorial society is legal authorization for your funeral, your executors have the final say. When all is said and done, fill out your MSBC Arrangement Form and Vital Statistic record. Copy the arrangement form and distribute it to your family members. Return both completed original forms to the Memorial Society offices.
Step 5 - Create Your Own End of Life Binder
An End of Life Binder is a collection place for all your end of life paperwork. It can include and is not limited to the following tabs;
- Last Will and Testament
- Representation Agreement
- Advanced Care Directives
- Memorial Society Funeral Arrangement Form
- Celebration of Life Plan
- Life Insurance Policy Recap
- Expected Letter of Death in the Home
- People to Call List
- Last Reviewed Record
By creating your own End of Life Binder you ensure that you and your family are well aware of any and all end of life matters that concern your death. The binder is also a conversation piece that you can use as a guide as you walk your family through the important end of life topics family members need to be aware of well in advance of death. You can use our End of Life Planning Checkup as a road map for your binder.
What if I join MSBC and then move to another province?
Membership is essentially transferable. However, fees may be different. Your membership is transferrable between Memorial Societies. A small fee may apply.
Should I pay for my funeral now?
We encourage preplanning. Before prepaying, the Society recommends that you read the article Prepayment of Funeral Expenses to learn more about prepayment. No matter what you do, let your family or executor know about a prepayment. Also, record it in the MSBC Arrangement form. Approximately 20% of prepayments are never claimed.
Who runs the Memorial Society of British Columbia?
We have an all-volunteer board. We are always looking for new board members to keep our organization fresh and vital. Board meetings are open to the public. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for dates and times of our upcoming meetings.
How are donations spent?
Our primary costs are for educational materials, newsletter, the printing of brochures, postage, the maintenance and upgrading of our website, and modest office and staff team.
How do I join the MSBC?
Call our office at 1-604-733-7705 or join online here >
Are inquiries from non-members welcome?
Yes, we are glad to offer assistance to anyone in need and will respond to the extent that our resources allow.
CPP Death Benefit 1-800-277-9914
Other Canadian Memorial Societies
Publications and Books
Talking About Death Won’t Kill You: The Essential Guide to End-of-Life Conversations by Dr. Kathy-Miller
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande