Voyage Funeral Home Welcomes Lisa Taron, Pre-Plan Specialist
“What is a nice gal like you doing working in a funeral home?” I’ll never forget that comment made to me while living in the Okanagan and working at a family-owned funeral home. And to be honest, I have had several people over the years, politely question why I choose to work in a profession that deals with death and dying.
For me, it is a great honor to work with individuals and families who face one of the most difficult time in one’s life; losing a loved one. It’s a time of anguish, confusion, and deep sadness. To be able to provide comfort and guidance through the funeral process is extremely rewarding. It certainly isn’t a profession for everybody but I believe we are here on Earth to tap into our gifts that we are so graciously given. And I am sincerely grateful for my gift of wanting to help others at a time of need. It brings me peace and contentment.
Just as I am drawn to helping others to say goodbye to a loved one, I am equally as passionate about assisting individuals to pre-plan their final wishes.
Why? It’s very simple. Because over and over again, I have witnessed grieving families overwhelmed with confusion and anxiety as to what “mom” would have wanted. Or what a spouse, sister, brother or grandparent envisioned for their final goodbyes. In addition to this uncertainty, financial concerns on how to cover funeral costs inevitably arise. At such an emotionally raw time, these worries can be debilitating. My heart goes out to families who experience this. Every time.
Pre-planning is by far the best way to avoid confusion and worry for your family. And it makes total financial sense, being able to lock in today’s funeral prices, which as any other industry, are bound to increase over time.
I am absolutely delighted to be part of the Voyage Funeral Home family. I’m here to help you understand the solid and sound advantages of pre-planning your final wishes.
If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment, please feel free to contact me at 204-668-3151. And if you ask me “What is a nice girl like you doing working in a funeral home?” I’ll proudly tell you that it’s my pleasure to help people obtain peace of mind for themselves and for their families. It’s what I am meant to do.
ASK A PRE-PLAN SPECIALIST
With the popularity of ASK A FUNERAL DIRECTOR, as featured in the Winnipeg Free Press every Saturday, I wanted to add ASK A PRE-PLAN SPECIALIST, to help you navigate what can seem like a confusing process. In fact, making your final arrangements is a lot easier than you think. Here are some common questions that I have been asked when it comes to pre-planning. ~ Lisa
Question: Pre-planning one’s funeral seems like a morbid thing to do. Why would anyone want to do this?
This question is asked of me many times in the community when people find out what I do. How I see it, is that there is nothing wrong with being prepared, in regards to noting your final wishes and financially securing funeral costs. Death is very much part of life and by pre-planning, you can voice your personal choices and alleviate your family of financial burden and worry. We never know when our time on Earth will end. We readily purchase insurance for our cars, homes, businesses, etc. in case of accidents, fire, flood, theft, and other possible occurrences. With death being a given, it’s a very smart choice to consider pre-planning. It certainly doesn’t hasten one’s life. If anything, it brings peace of mind and that itself is a positive way to live.
Question: My father lives in a care home and I assume that when he passes away, the care home will direct us in regards to where and how to make funeral arrangements. Is this true? I am his only son and I live in another city.
No. Care home providers and their staff are certainly compassionate and understanding when it comes to losing one of their residents. But as far as guiding families through the funeral process, they do not provide such information. In fact, many care homes suggest and even require that residents have a designated funeral home on the patient’s file. This avoids that sense of panic that usually results in having to call several funeral homes for information and prices. And of course this can happen in the middle of the night, which can make it even more stressful for family. By pre-planning and pre-paying, everything is taken care of and it’s just a matter of phoning the funeral home to inform them of the passing.
Question: What kind of pre-plan arrangements are available?
(1) There are prepaid plans, which can be paid in a lump sum or in installments. (2) With an Info File, we have your wishes and information on file, and no funds are required.
Question: My husband and I are on a fixed income and we don’t have a lot of money to put aside for a funeral. What would you suggest?
At Voyage, we offer a preplan package called a “joint first to pass” account. With this type of account, both you and your husband would come and make your funeral arrangements and apply for the insurance benefit. The policy would then be in both of your names. When two people apply under one benefit, the benefit is issued to the applicant who passes first. This gives your family peace of mind knowing that you have pre-arranged your final wishes and also the financial freedom to save for the second applicant. Also – we do offer installment plans that make paying for a policy more manageable.
Question: My wife and I spend 5 months of the year at our condo in Arizona. We also like to go for shorter trips in the summer to various Canadian cities to see family. We are in excellent health but have wondered what would happen if either one of us suddenly passed while in the USA or while away from Winnipeg. Is there any way we can prepare for this financially?
If a death should occur while out of the country or just out of town on a brief trip, bringing a loved one back home can be a complicated and expensive process. Voyage works with Assurant Life of Canada, who offer special coverage for this very reason. Assurant Travel Protection covers travel anywhere in the world if death occurs more than 100 kilometers from your legal primary residence in Canada. One toll-free phone call made by your family or funeral director is all that it takes to begin the process of bringing you home. This special travel coverage can be added on to your pre-plan package. If at your time of passing it is not needed, the money is refunded back to your estate.
Question: What happens if I preplan and pre-pay for my funeral with Voyage Funeral Home and I end up moving to another city in Manitoba or to another province? Will my family have to have the funeral here in Winnipeg where my policy is?
No. If you decide to move to a different city in Manitoba or to another province, your preplan can be transferred to a funeral home of your choice. Your money is safe with Assurant Life of Canada.
Question: If I were to come in and pre-pay for my funeral up front, what happens when years down the road, the cost is much higher. Do I then have to make up the difference? I only want a simple cremation.
All of the elements included in a simple cremation are locked in with our funeral home. A possible added cost could be a transfer fee if you passed away at home or after hours in a nursing home. At the time of pre-planning, you have the option of putting extra funds aside to help cover costs that go beyond the simple cremation. If no such additional expenses occur, the money is given back to your estate.
Question: I pre-planned at another funeral home in Winnipeg and I see that I paid over $4500 for what only costs $1600 at Voyage. What can I do? Am I stuck with the original funeral home?
No. We have many clients who have transferred their policies to us after discovering our pricing to be much more affordable. The excess funds are returned to the family (your estate) after passing occurs. The process for transferring a policy is very simple and can be done during an appointment at the funeral home.
Question: My friend recently had a very bad experience with a funeral “sales” person, who came to her home and just wouldn’t take no for an answer. She only wanted a simple cremation and he kept “pushing” all of these extra products and services. It was very stressful! I’d like to learn more about pre-planning but I dread the aggressive sales “pitch”.
My role at Voyage is to inform you of the choices available when it comes to preplanning. As a non-commission member of the Voyage team, at no point will you ever feel pressured into buying/committing to something you don’t want or need. Preferences for final arrangements vary and are unique as people are. From a simple cremation with no service to a full Traditional Burial, the choice is yours. Note: If you are ever in a situation where you are at a funeral home to discuss pre-planning and you feel pressured or at all uncomfortable, you are totally in your right to leave. Making your final arrangements should NEVER be stressful. It should be a no-pressure open conversation with your best interests in mind.
Question: My dad recently moved into a care home as my mom was no longer able to be his caregiver. Our family has talked about making his funeral arrangements ahead of time, so when he does pass, we can focus on being together and not on the stresses of funeral planning. Can a funeral insurance policy be purchased for someone else? My mom would like to make such arrangements.
Yes. A funeral insurance policy (paid in full or in installments) can be purchased for someone other than oneself. The policy is owned by the purchaser but the Applicant named is the individual for whom the arrangements are for. An example of this is a couple who are both wanting simple cremation but only one is in attendance at the time of pre-planning, due to poor physical health or cognitive issues. Sitting down with a pre-plan specialist helps to understand the process and answer all of your questions.
Question: I recently expressed my wishes to my daughters about wanting to be cremated when my time comes. I do not want a formal service in a church or a funeral home. I would like to pick out an urn ahead of time, instead of leaving the choice to them. Is this possible?
Absolutely. You can either purchase an urn at the time of pre-planning (take home and store) or you can add it to your pre-plan policy for the future. In the second case, your urn choice is noted in your file. If at the time of passing it is no longer available, your family will be given an urn as similar as possible to the original choice. Always the same value.
Question: My mom has started to talk about what she would like for her funeral but really doesn’t know where to start. She has started to make notes but it all seems overwhelming. How can we help her collect her thoughts and express her wishes?
At Voyage Funeral Home we offer a free Wishes and Memories booklet which is an ideal tool to help one put their thoughts and wishes onto paper. It contains two different sections. The first section includes vital statistics information, funeral service guidelines, cemetery requests and important information for the funeral director. The second section is more personal and provides material for eulogies, obituaries, a family tree and other remembrances. The result will be a clear record of your funeral wishes, a source of important documents for legal and public records, and a permanent keepsake of your fondest memories to speak to future generations. To request your free booklet or to preplan your final wishes with a licensed funeral director, please contact Voyage Funeral Home & Crematorium at 204-668-3151.