** [Please note that we may change our policies and procedures from time to time, and therefore some of these answers may change. For the most current information, please email us at email@example.com ] **
At the annual general meeting (normally held 2nd Saturday each January - next meeting is on Jan 14, 2023 at 2pm, location to be decided, where the members of the society review, discuss, debate and vote on the levy and benefit (for funeral or cremation) amounts. These revised levy rates and benefit payments are not set by the board, treasurer or any others. Various options can be discussed by the society's members during the AGM, and the members can decide to go with lower or higher increases, based on how they believe the # of funerals (or cremations) may increase in the future (see page 21 in AGM package), how much reserves the society should have on the balance sheet (see page 18 in AGM package), etc. It is difficult to convey all the debate / discussion of the members at the annual general meeting, and if you wish to come to one of the next meetings, please contact us near end of Dec / early January for the annual general meeting details.
To apply for the benefit (funeral or cremation) payment, it can be processed per guidelines below:
1) pay the funeral (or cremation) company directly - a copy of the invoice (funeral or cremation) and death certificate can be mailed or scanned and emailed to us.
2) pay to the Estate of the deceased member - this would require an estate bank account which is not always available. Only paperwork required is per 1) above
3) pay the spouse of the deceased member – only paperwork required is per 1) above
4) pay the executor / power of attorney / next of kin - in addition to paperwork in 1) above, we also require completion of the Indemnity form (see link in Downloads area above) and copy of the will. If you are not able to complete all the blanks in the form, please leave them blank and we will contact you if further details are needed.
Once the society receives the information noted above, we normally process payment within 2 weeks.
No hard copy documentation needs to be mailed to us. If information above is scanned and emailed to us, that is all that is needed.
Since our members only vote on the levy rates on the 2nd Saturday in January, we are not sure what the levy rates will be until then. So, you can send in a deposit, and then when you return from your vacation, you can pay the balance. For example, if you paid $296 in 2021 for 2 members @ $148 each, if you want to send in a deposit for 2022, you could send $296 again. When you see your invoice (normally sent late Jan / early Feb of each year) when you return from vacation, you'll see the $296 deducted from the invoice, and then you can pay the balance. The due date is normally March 15th of each year. If you'd like to see your deposit clear your bank account as soon as possible, just date your cheque with a current date, instead of sending a post-dated cheque for say March 15, 2022. If you make a deposit based on the above, and then remit the balance on your return from vacation, there will be no late fees applied to your account.
To reduce costs and conserve trees (less paper), the annual mailing normally includes basic information. At the annual general meeting (normally held 2nd Saturday each January), the members of the society are provided with a significant amount of information, including List of Deceased Members, Membership Information, Financial Statements, etc, so this information is available to those in attendance. This same AGM handout information is available here.
Normally the 2nd Saturday in January, at a location in the Niagara Region. See information above for specific details for next AGM. Local church bulletins highlight the date, time and location, or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 905-228-1850 near the end of Dec / Jan to find out the details.
In the event of death, a benefit payment (in 2022 it is $6,800, if member is covered at 100%) is payable from the society. The benefit amount is discussed and confirmed by members vote at the annual general meeting. Some funerals (or cremations) may cost more (or less) than the benefit payout. For more details / clarification, please contact us at email@example.com
The % coverage indicates what % of the benefit payment would be paid, in the event of death. This % is based on which age a member joins the society. For more details, see the Constitution on the Information tab of this web site, Article 5.2
Since all levies are paid on an annual basis, to allow for a benefit payment in the event of death in that year, those levies contain no cash value. Since the society operates within an annual budget / levy revenue, there is no cash value available to members who leave the society.
Members can choose from any funeral or cremation company, and they can arrange for the cemetery plot, casket, etc, as they wish. The society has no restrictions on these choices, which can be made by the members and/or their families (next of kin).
As long as our members pay their annual levies, they can keep their coverage and be in good standing, even if they reside outside of Ontario and/or Canada. In other words, we have members not only in Canada, but also in the USA and other countries. For your added information, each members specific address does not need to be listed on the invoice, if for example their parents pay for their children and one or more of their family members reside outside Canada.