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What is the value of Pre-Arranging your wishes?

Pre-arrangements help to communicate your wishes to loved ones and/or executors. They create a plan for loved ones to follow and allow funeral preferences to be discussed with your family before the time of need.  Pre-arrangements alleviate some of the hard decisions for your family but also leave flexibility to suit the family needs and unforeseen circumstances.

Getting Started - How do I pre-arrange a funeral?

1.        Make an Appointment

The most critical step is to call and make an appointment at the funeral home. While many people discuss for years the idea of pre-planning their funeral few actually make the call and initiate the process.

2.        Involve your family and/or executors

Because funeral planning is supposed to meet the needs of the living while respecting the wishes of the deceased, it is also important to involve your family and /or executors in this process. Prearranging your funeral will allow your wishes to be known and carried out, the funeral must also meet the needs of the living, those who will remain after you are gone. This may mean inviting them to come with you to the funeral home or sharing the various options that you are considering. We understand that some family members may find this difficult but it can also be a good time to start discussing the inevitability of death, the kinds of decisions that will need to be made and the options that are available.  Please remember that executors will have complete legal authority after your death. As a result they must understand your wishes and be aware of any prearranging you have done. The funeral director will ask for the executor’s names and addresses in order to keep the information on file.

3.        Be Flexible

Remember to keep flexibility in mind when pre-arranging your funeral. Although it is critical to make your wishes known, it is equally important to leave flexibility for your family and/or executors.

4.        Recording Family Information

Once the appointment has been set, we will sit down and record some family information that will be useful for a number of reasons.

First, it will allow the funeral director to become better acquainted with you and your family. This allows us to serve your family in a more competent, caring and complete manner.  Second, some of the information is required by the Department of Vital Statistics at the time of death. This allows the death to be registered at the local municipal government offices and the family to proceed with their wishes at the time of a loved one's death.  By leaving this information ahead of time with us, it alleviates the family from searching for your personal information  Third, the bulk of this information would form the details that are included in a newspaper death notice. We will always update information at time of need to ensure any changes in the family are recognized. 

 5.        Your Wishes

It is important to communicate your wishes for visitation, funeral services, method of disposition, place of disposition, who would be the officiating clergy or spokesman of the service and the kinds of charitable donations you would prefer. This is where the options really start to multiply. There are as many types of funeral plans as there are people. How do we break down the options and where do we begin? Probably it is most helpful to start at the beginning. Below are lists of things that are critical to think about and consider.

Critical Elements for Every Family to Consider:

The Question of Seeing our Loved Ones –   How will we recognize the reality of the Loss?

Regardless of what you call it, and there are many terms for it including, family time, saying goodbye, viewing, public or private visitation, all of these terms indicate one important question. Will you allow your loved ones the opportunity to see you and say goodbye when you have died? Of all the decisions this is perhaps the most difficult to consider when pre-arranging. Few of us want to visualize this portion of the funeralization process especially when it refers to our own loss.

Why should you consider this? We feel that opportunity for loved ones to see their loved one is the first step in the grief process that must be started at the time of a death.  It confirms for us, the reality of what has taken place more than any language can explain. Our heart is forced to confront what our head already knows......" Life will be different, someone has died, and a change has taken place".  When a death occurs the most common thought from the community is “I can’t believe that this has happened”, the visitation and service is a confirmation of such a loss.

Options for Saying Goodbye

 -        How will we be supported by others and allow them to grieve with us?

 Why consider a time of visitation? It is a unique and healing time that allows, family, friends and the wider community to gather. People are welcome to pay their respects and help the family deal with the loss. They come to remember and celebrate the life that has been lived. This is healing both for the bereaved family and for the friends and community.  There is an old saying, “joy shared is joy accelerates; grief shared is grief diminished”.  Visitation reveals tangibly, the importance of the loved one who has died as well as the help available by those outside the family unit. It is a unique, healing and supportive time.

Again there are many options available for a visitation period. Most families have
a private family time first and then invite extended family and friends to public times that
might be mentioned in a newspaper. Many leave the casket open for both periods of
time. Others opt for a completely private time in essence by invitation only. Some
families have the body present for family time but not for public visitation. Others close
the casket during public times. We can help outline the best option to fulfill your wishes. We
encourage families to have visitation time to personalize the room to whatever degree
they wish. Pictures, mementos, hobbies, awards and any other artifacts are welcome.
Having discussed the issue of goodbyes and visitation periods we move to the issue of
a service.                                   

The Question of a Funeral Service or Memorial Service

How will we recognize the loss, celebrate the life, start the process of moving forward?

Funerals were not created by funeral directors to make money but evolved over the centuries to meet the needs of the family and the community. 

Following a family time or visitation most people choose to have a funeral service or memorial service. First of all, what is the difference? It is simple.  If the body is present, it is a funeral service and if not it is a memorial service.

Why have a funeral/memorial service? What is the value of it? The funeral/memorial marks a turning point. It reveals that life has changed.  It recognizes the loss and reality of death as well as providing an opportunity to grieve and mourn their own loss. The funeral allows the family to be supported by friends and family, which provides the community the ability to express and come to terms with the loss. The funeral also allows expressions of faith and hope, which strengthen and sustain us as we grieve.  It celebrates and recognizes all of the good things about the life that was lived. It is truly a unique time.

The funeral is one of the last occasions in our society where none are invited but all are welcome.  This allows a specific time for the loss to be formally recognized. Some say that until death is recognized as having occurred, we cannot start to heal from its loss and pain.

During a pre-arrangement you may want to record the place of service, whether your body will be present (Funeral) or not (Memorial), your church affiliation if any.



Cremation may occur directly after a family viewing time or after identification by family members.  Cremation occurs at Cemetery facilities that operate a crematorium.  The only legal requirement, besides signing the appropriate application and obtaining a coroner's signature, is that the body must be placed in a "rigid container". As a result we offer cremation containers made of pressboard to plank oak. All are suitable for cremation, as they are all combustible. 

The casket or cremation container is never opened at the crematorium and is reduced by intense heat in a retort to cremated remains. Cremations occur one at a time and involve a rigorous identification procedure to ensure the proper cremated remains are returned to the family.   Although many people call them ashes, cremated remains are really bone fragments that have been pulverized. They are packaged in a temporary plastic container with an identification tag and returned to the funeral home. The family still must decide on the disposition of the cremated remains. Families are allowed to view the cremation procedure if they desire.

 More Questions to Consider

Memorial Stones or Monuments

If you choose a cemetery plot for either burial or cremated remain burial, you can purchase your monument and have it installed before time of need.  To complete this service we have created Paris Monuments this is the only locally owned and operated supplier of monuments and cemetery lettering.  Bill Kipp has been very active since 1984 in aiding families from the area in their selection of monuments and markers and cemetery lettering. 

Choosing a Receptacle for the Body (Casket or Cremation Container) 

       There are many types of caskets that are available to be selected.  Caskets are made most commonly of Wood or Metal.   There are four different types of metals; steel, stainless steel, copper or bronze.   The prices are reflective of the type of metal.  The thicker the casket or the more precious the metal will reflective the price.  Metal caskets are hermetically sealed; there is a rubber gasket that goes around the inside of the casket that forms the seal.  Wooden caskets also constructed out of many types of materials, veneers, poplar, elm, ash, oak, cherry, walnut and mahogany.  Again the cost of the caskets reflects what the casket is made of.  We have also made available rental caskets.   Many have commented, “It is a shame to burn such nice wood”.  Rental caskets are used several times.  There is an interior shell that is cremated with the remains and the exterior shell is reused.  For those who do not wish a traditional casket we also have cremation containers available.  These are designed for those who do not wish visitation.  They are made of wood laminates suitable for cremation.  It is important to make a decision that you feel comfortable with.

Choosing an Outer Container (In the case of earth burial of a casket or container)


The funeral home also has a number of outer burial containers available. All are of concrete construction. Vaults offer a sealing quality, while liners and crypts do not. Why use one an outer burial container? Outer containers maintain the integrity of the grave, which over time would collapse in as gravity and soil conditions decay the casket. They also provide some form of protection for the casket and therefore the body.  The sealed units have a plastic material on the inside to no entrance of air or water.  Please note that some cemeteries have bylaws regarding the use of an outer burial container.

Choosing an Urn or Urn Vault (in the case of cremation)

Some families wish to select an urn.  In the case of a memorial service the urn can be a part of the visitation and service.  Urns are made of various types of materials.  The cost of the urn is determined by what material and how it is made.  After the services the urn can be interred or placed in a niche space at the cemetery, or kept at home.  Others have decided to scatter the cremated remains.  There is no law regarding a purchase of an urn, the cremated remains are returned to the funeral home in a temporary container that is suitable for burial.

Death Notices and Charitable Donations


 In the event that you would like a death notice placed in any newspapers you may choose the newspapers and/or radio notices you would like. You may also record where you would like people to make charitable donations in your memory. These may be favourite charities that you have supported during your lifetime.

What Happens When a Person with a Pre-Arrangement Dies?

When a person who has pre-arranged their funeral dies the family contacts the funeral home as they would in every case. The family will be invited to come to the funeral home to make final arrangements and updated of the information previously gathered.   Please note that executors do have the power to change ANY pre-arrangement wishes that you may have recorded. This is why it is so important to communicate your wishes to the executors so that they understand what your wishes are. Remember though to give them some flexibility based on unforeseen circumstances. The executors will then take care of the cost of the services selected with monies that remain in the estate at the time of death.

What Will My Wishes Cost?

The question often put to funeral directors is "What does a funeral cost?"  This is a hard one to answer because it varies so much based on what peoples wishes are and on what they feel should be included in their funeral expenses. 

Included below is a list of the possible cost components for the services anyone might select. A look at our price list will help this section to make more sense.

Charges Associated with a Funeral  -

q  Services selected – are prices are itemized so you are charged on for what you select.

q  Casket/Urn/Vault – as to your selection

q  Reception Room – for a post funeral gathering

q  Memorial Stationary – Register Book and cards to personalize the life of the individual

q  Goods and Services Tax of 13%

q  Third party Cash Disbursements – these are third party charges involved with a funeral they may include, Newspaper, cemetery fees, cremation fees, coroner’s fee for cremation, registration fees, clergy and organist and musician honorariums, flowers, and catering.

    We will, if directed, look after these charges with NO EXTRA COST to the family.  Cash Disbursements vary with every funeral. They add to the total cost of the funeral but simplify the expenses because only one bill needs to be paid instead of many. Here are samples of them.


These are all charges that the family will incur based on their situation and preferences. The funeral home does NOT have to look after them. If the funeral home is not looking after them, the bills are sent directly to the family.  Most families have the funeral home look after them.  Even though it increases the total bill it saves a lot of time and hassle.

Now that we have seen the components of funeral expense what are the prepayment options?


What About Pre-Paying?

Pre-arranging your funeral puts you under no obligation to pre-pay.  Usually people are interested in what the services they have selected would cost. The funeral director can total this up fairly easily and the decision to pre-pay is yours. Please keep in mind that costs referred to are not guaranteed until full payment has been made.  There have situations that a quote has been given ten years previous; those costs would change over time.  Not all funeral homes guarantee costs, we do


Where do the funds go ?

Wm. Kipp Funeral Home is a member of Guaranteed Funeral Deposits of Ontario (G.F.D.).  This is a fraternal organization where pre-paid funeral funds are held in trust in the name of the person pre-arranging their funeral. We also have available a pre-need annuity product that is insurance based.  They are many situations that the insurance product is the best situation.

Any funds deposited with the funeral home are individual protected by the Canadian Deposits Insurance Corporation (up to $ 60,000), by the Board of Funeral Services Compensation Fund, or through COMPCORP (for insurance).

 The interest earned in this time is used to cover the cost of inflation. If, at the date of death, the funds have accrued to more than the cost of the funeral, the surplus must be returned to the estate.  If there is a shortfall in funds to cover the funeral the funeral home must absorb the loss.  In this way the contract is guaranteed. 

There are also tax benefits to pre-paying; money held by an individual, in any investment is taxed.  When a pre-paid funeral exists, the money is held by the funeral home for you in your name, since it is held in trust in our name, there are no tax consequences.  It also does not hurt your Canada Pension Plan status.


What is the real advantage of pre-paying?


Peace of mind for you and your family, knowing that everything has been looked after according to your wishes.


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Proudly Serving the Communities of Paris, Brant, Brant County, Brantford, Oxford, Princeton, Drumbo, St. George, Falkland, Ayr, Gobles, Richwood, Glen Morris, Bethel, South Dumfries, North Dumfries, Woodstock, and Roseville
519 442 3061 Wm. Kipp Funeral Home Limited
184 Grand River Street North
Paris, ON N3L 2N1
519-632-8228 Ayr Chapel, Wm. Kipp Funeral Home
183 Northumberland Street
Ayr, ON N0B 1E0
519 442 3061 Wm. Kipp Funeral Home Limited
184 Grand River Street North
Paris, ON N3L 2N1
519 442 3061 Wm. Kipp Funeral Home Limited
184 Grand River Street North
Paris, ON N3L 2N1
519 442 3061 Wm. Kipp Funeral Home Limited
184 Grand River Street North
Paris, ON N3L 2N1