Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Planning for the Inevitable

We met with a Cemetery Director last night.  We picked out our plot of land, our urn, our memorial plate.  We have 30 days to confirm whether we are going forward with it or not and 90 days before starting our payments.  Much like anything else, this is a product people buy and finance.  But we don't want to pay an almost extra $1,000 to finance it so we'll see whether we can pay it all at once or not.  If not then we'll put it on the back burner probably until we get next year's tax money.

I feel like such a grown up - a house, a minivan, life insurance, and now pre-planning my final resting place.  It's the responsible thing to do.  And if we can come up with the money without having to pay for financing then it's actually a good investment since the costs for burials will just go up as the need increases.

Something I learned - even if you sign your organ donor card and donate your whole body to science your remains will still be returned to your family and they will have to arrange for your burial (and pay for it).  So unfortunately, while I believe you should definitely put your body parts to good use after death, that doesn't let you off the hook in terms of planning for the eventual burial of your remains.  Good to know.

Curious?  Well, the plot for two people (before taxes) costs $3,300  The other goodies we'll need to add on at some point break down like this:
Niche Memorial 10x10 Highland Non-Vase (this is the plaque) 1 @ $940
Cremation Administration Fee 2 @ $10 = $20
Niche Interment Fee 2 @ $310 = $620
Cremation Fee - Adult - Pre-Need 2 @ $445 = $890

and the best, the one we laughed at because it was so corny, but in the end it's the most cost effective - Entwined Heart - Ivory - Split (this is the urn) 1 @ $1,050  I asked if we couldn't just supply our own container (maybe an empty PB jar with duct tape around the lid to seal it?) but the answer was no...  

And in googling for a photo I found that you can apparently buy these on ebay... it pays to shop around!

So there you have it - something we all need to think of, and much easier to do "Pre-Need" and when not in an emotional state due to a recent loss.  Don't leave this burden for your children, that's just not nice.


  1. If you get cremated and put in that jar, how come you need to get a plot, plate and internment fee? Or is that just another option?

    Have you considered plastination? That's where your body has all the fluids replaced with a type of liquid plastic that preserves your body forever - like the Body Worlds exhibit that was at the ROM. If you do it right in Kyrgyzstan, you wouldn't even need to pay for it! And as the "doctor" says, if you want you can just sit the person at the kitchen table or lean them against a bookshelf to save money!

    This video is a little graphic and highly informative :P

  2. Well, I had more questions too - a lot of them - so I did some more research and posted yet another entry on this (

    How about you do the research on plastination and get back to me... I saw the Body Worlds exhibit when it was at the Science Centre - very interesting stuff! But I don't they'd be returning the body to you after all that work on their part.

  3. If you die in Kyrgyzstan and nobody claims the body for 30 days these guys usually collect them and plastinate them for medical/science/education purposes. But if the owner of the body comes to them then they can have the body back one the plastination process is complete. I'm not sure how much Air Canada would charge to transport a plastinated body. I suppose it couldn't be much more than an additional seat on the plane! The body never decomposes!

  4. When a body is cremated, the ashes are placed in a sealed bag in a sealed, sturdy box so, unless it is a personal wish, an urn is not really necessary if being placed in a niche. Just adding my 2 cents a little

  5. Thanks Corinne. After further research I was even more convinced they were trying to sell me a lot of things I wouldn't need.