Joining a Memorial Society means all the funeral details are already taken care of

A Memorial Society provides an extremely effective way to pre-plan your funeral.

These societies promote simple, dignified rites and ensure the availability of suitable arrangements through written contracts with selected funeral homes.

Pre-planning your funeral is a way of showing consideration for family and friends. It is a legacy of your thoughtfulness that will help bring some calm to what will be a hectic and confusing time for those left behind.

They ensure you have the final say on how the formalities and ceremonies pan out. Also, you can save your estate some money.

If a funeral is not pre-planned it needs, on average, seventy two hours of planning. The work involved is equivalent to a wedding but an impromptu and greatly speeded-up version.

The disposal arrangements (buried, cremated or donated to research); type of casket; type of memorial; accommodations; transportation; catering; invitations; clothing and; the directors services will all have to be considered in a rush in the absence of pre-planning.

In addition, there may be the need for embalming; extra cars; organist; obituary notices; flowers; communications; honorarium to ministers and; the cost of arranging for transportation of remains to or from distant centers.

These and other paperwork matters including notifying Government Registrars, Pension Providers, Health Providers and associates and affiliates of the deceased will need to be attended to in the first few hours and days after bereavement.

Imagine the relief conferred on those you care about if many of these matters have been taken care of.

It may be something we don’t particularly want to think about and many people say “Oh - just cremate me and scatter the ashes somewhere nice”.

However, it’s really not so much about the departed as the bereaved. ‘Cheap and Quick’ actually discounts the value of a loved one’s life and many families need a memorial marker or some place to go and grieve or remember.

Scattering remains also requires some planning and, in some cases, approval which would need to be done in that tight time window.

The brochure of one Memorial Society describes it this way - ‘A group of people who have joined together to obtain dignity, simplicity and economy in funeral arrangements through advanced planning’.

Members are from all walks of life, from every age group and they all support the principle of simple, pre-planned funerals.

They are non-profit, non-sectarian societies administered by a board of volunteer directors. Members receive detailed information on a range of services available.

They gain a unique understanding of the funeral homes which have agreed to provide special benefits to society members.

Members of a Memorial Society may also lock in the cost of those services at today’s prices if they wish.

On joining you fill out a couple of forms - one is a statement for the guidance of your survivors upon death which indicates all the necessary details for the funeral directors to begin looking after the arrangements.

The other form is a statement of vital statistics which is a legal requirement of the Registrar of Deaths.

Joining a memorial society ensures that a great deal of prior planning will already have been completed with no more than a few minutes work and a one time fee of $40.

One simple phone call by your heirs will start a team of experts attending to a host of practical and bureaucratic procedures.

The bereaved can then concentrate on the few important matters only they can attend to at such times - talking with and supporting family and friends as part of the memorializing and grieving process.

Easing the great burden of dealing with many funeral details would be a legacy most people would be happy to be remembered for. And all it would cost you is a one time fee of $40. Quite a legacy!

You can probably find a Memorial Society in your area.