Memorial Society of British Columbia: Help with end of life planning

For more than 60 years, the Memorial Society of British Columbia has been helping members and their loved ones plan for the end of life.

"It's not a conversation people want to have," says Nicole Renwick, Executive Director of the Memorial Society, "but pre-planning can help families avoid a lot of pressure and decision making at an emotional time."

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Started in 1956 by a group of people in a church hall, the Memorial Society of B.C. now has in excess of 242,000 members around the province, making it the largest memorial society in North America.

"Because we have so many members," Nicole explains, "I am able to negotiate lower costs with funeral service providers for our members. We only work with established funeral homes with a good reputation. Currently, we work with almost 30 funeral homes around B.C."

The Memorial Society is a non-profit organization registered under the Societies Act of B.C. and is the only member-based, volunteer-driven memorial society in B.C.

"Everybody should be a member of the Society," Nicole says. "Everybody alive will pass away at some point and for a $40 one-time membership fee, we can take the burden off your loved ones by referring them to a designated funeral service provider for the disposition of your remains and related issues."

Upon joining the Society, members are asked to complete an arrangement form stating their wishes for their remains and detailing any pre-paid arrangements they may have.

"People need to have this conversation with their children," Nicole says, "It's not a pleasant topic for most people and you don't need to dwell on it, but it's a conversation that must be had."

For more information on the Memorial Society of B.C. visit the website at http://www.memsoc.org, call 1.888.816.5902, email mail@memsoc.org, or drop in the office at 205-640 West Broadway. The Memorial Society of B.C. can also be found on Facebook.

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