A Money Coach in Canada

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I’ve been thinking a bit about death and dying, in part because of Remembrance Day this week and in part because the 1st anniversary of my father’s death is coming up.One of the things that caught me off guard – although thankfully, there were family funds set aside – were the expenses associated with dad’s funeral. Flowers for the casket. Burial permit. Honorariums for the lovely, lovely people who assisted with the funeral. Cost of printing the service bulletins. Putting notices in papers. The casket itself. Death Certificates. And much more. (oh – little known fact – the Gov’t gives you a bit of money back but you need to submit forms / documents).

Anyway, it made me think: How prepared am I for my funeral? How prepared are you?  

Truth be told, I haven’t yet put together a cohesive plan, but here at 5 starting points we should each consider. After all, this is our final Goodbye; the last memory we will have created for those we leave behind.  So we should think through the event itself ensuring it reflects whatever it is we want reflected about us.  And we should ensure the finances are prepared so that our loved ones don’t have that stress on top of everything else they will be dealing with (for the record, my dad had a fund and for that we were all grateful).

Your Funeral or Celebration of Life – 5 considerations that involve money

  1. Do you want a funeral? Or a celebration of your life? What will you want included?  For example, I know I will want some professional musicians; some simple but probably expensive flowers; a couple (Anglican) priests; the service printed on heavy paper; and a space that can handle quite a few people if I die in Vancouver where most of my community is.
  2. Will you want a wake?  A reception after the service?  Something simple, or elaborate?
  3. Will you want to be cremated, or embalmed, or none of the above?   What are the costs in your area?
  4. What kind of casket and tombstone will you want?
  5. And what kind of ongoing upkeep, of your grave, if any?

After thinking these through, I think it is worth creating some sort of fund.  The other option is for your survivors to pay then get some kind of reimbursement from your estate, but why not make is simple and ensure there are funds readily available right when needed?


Photo Credit:  Marksd

About the Author

Imagine if Canadians were known for being all over their money. Engaged. Proactive. Getting out of debt. Savvy. Saving. Generous. Nancy wants to help. Nancy started her own journey with money over 15 years ago, and formed her company “Your Money by Design” in 2004 to help others along the same path. It’s not the usual financial advising/investment stuff. It’s about taking control of day-to-day finances –managing monthly cashflow effectively, spending appropriately, getting out of debt, saving. If you're ready to take control over your finances, pop by her business site, YourMoneybyDesign.com


  1. Actually it’s more important to ask yourself, what will the people who survive me want? Some of your family, for example, might be more traditional or religious than you are. To them it may be necessary to have a formal funeral with a viewing and the coffin on display at the ceremony in order for them to grieve properly. For example, I’d prefer to be cremated immediately in a cardboard box than to have my dependents pay $$$ for an ornate wooden coffin and embalming. But it’s important for me to discuss this with my family and see if they are ok with that.

    Planning to have the money available is a good idea if it’s possible. And only people who are entitled to CPP are entitled to the death benefit so it may be necessary to save more if that is not available.
    Bet Crooks´s last [type] ..Friday’s Financial Reading: Furnaces Are Heating Up All Over Canada


    Nancy (aka Moneycoach) Reply:

    Great point, Bet. Thanks! You are more thoughtful than I!


    Nov 16, 2013

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