Funeral Industry Making Headlines
As a funeral director I am disappointed and saddened that we once again hear about unethical practices in the funeral home industry. Three funeral homes and three funeral directors have recently made news headlines across North America, charged with many counts of fraud or being investigated for fraudulent business practice involving thousands of your dollars.
My heart goes out goes out to those families who have been affected and suffered a financial loss, along with the unneeded grief stress, anger, confusion and frustration. If I may ease your mind, the majority of funeral directors are caring, honest and respectful individuals with good intentions in mind. Unfortunately, however, within every industry, malpractice occurs.
My name is Michael vogiatzakis, you may have read my weekly column “Ask the Funeral Director,” published in the Winnipeg Free Press every Saturday. This article answers questions about the funeral industry.
Often times, death is a difficult subject to approach, although the reality is, one day we must all walk down this path. Talking about death with your family is a very important conversation to have. Once a family understands and acknowledges your final wishes, it will provide peace of mind and a sense of relief. The most important document to have in place is a will, which includes power of attorney and medical directive, allowing your executor to handle the estate. Next would be selecting a reputable funeral provider to handle your funeral arrangements.
EXPERIENCE THE VOYAGE DIFFERENCE:
Our vision incorporates tradition, compassion, cultural sensitivity and cost options to meet the needs of every family. We truly do believe in treating your loved one as we would our own. When using the professional and personalized services of Voyage Funeral Home you will find no hidden costs and no surprizes. This is very unlike some funeral homes that will use a bait and hook sales tactic, meaning you’re told what you want to hear on the phone, and the rest when you arrive to make arrangements. Your vulnerability is greatly taken advantage of.
Voyage uses no gimmicks. For example, if a family choses simple cremation, the total cost including tax is $1680.00. This includes taking your loved one into our care, the cremation fee, all the legal documentation and the cremated remains are returned to your family.
Some others, misguide you. They may tell you things like it’s mandatory to identify your loved one prior to cremation or that you must buy a casket for cremation. These fees are additional costs that usually catch you off guard. At Voyage, we own and operate a state-of-the-art, brand new cremation facility, where your loved one is in our care the entire time, treated with the utmost respect and dignity. Our cremation facility allows for families to be present and witness the cremation at no charge to your family if this is your wish.
Some others misguide you into believing they own and operate a cremation facility, but in reality they don’t, meaning your loved one is not in their care, and is subcontracted to a third party for the cremation process. This means there is no personalization or guarantee of the proper care of your loved one.
When preplanning your funeral, Voyage secures your money with an insurance company, Assurant Life of Canada. 100% of your money is safe and secure and locked in at today’s cost, no matter when the death occurs, even if years later. Insurance funds are safe and always guaranteed. You are the owner of this policy until death occurs. Only at that time, does the funeral home become the beneficiary of your policy, and receives the funds. An active policy with Assurant Life of Canada can be easily switched at any time to the funeral home of your choice.
Some others use trust funds. Legally, the funeral home is only required to deposit 88% and can keep 12% towards administration fees. If the company is reputable this may be no issue, however there is no guarantee and this 12% would not ever be recovered if, for example that funeral home shuts down. When preplanning, if you are asked to make the cheque payable to funeral home or individual directly, be weary.
Voyage employs NO SALES PEOPLE. We operate without using any type of pressure tactics. Your family will make arrangements with a licenced funeral director with no obligations.
We do not try to upgrade, intimidate or sell you items that are not required or wanted. Instead, you will find direction, compassion, respect and most importantly a personalized feeling of being taken care of and treated like family.
Voyage, established in 1998, is a family owned and operated funeral home. We lead the industry by setting examples and using the best practices possible. We will continue to make a difference and set higher standards with dedication and eternal commitment to the families we serve.
As a funeral director, I cannot take death away. I cannot take the pain away. I do have empathy and will do my utmost to carry your family through some of the most difficult experiences caused by the death. I promise to be honest, loving, caring, understanding and most of all have the greatest compassion, respect and dignity for your family, regardless of the circumstances. We all have a purpose in life. I found my purpose – to comfort those that need to be comforted.
- Hespeler Location
220 Hespeler Ave,
Phone: (204) 668-3151
- Pembina Location
1577 Pembina Hwy,
Phone: (204) 284-7500
- Selkirk Location
713 Greenwood Ave,
Phone: (204) 668-3151
- Newest Location
472 Kirkfield St
Phone: (204) 888-7001