Frequently Asked Questions

On this page you will find a guide to some of the most frequently asked questions about cremation and burial services. As well, you may find our Estate Administration Checklist of assistance.

We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We can advise you of the steps you need to take and share the various options available to you

What Should I Do When A Death Occurs?

When someone dies in hospital, hospice or a nursing home: As soon as possible contact us or ask the nursing staff to do this on your behalf. Later, notify family members and close friends.

When someone chooses to die at home: When someone has a terminal illness and chooses to die at home, obtain an “Expected Death In The Home” (EDITH) form from the terminally ill person’s doctor. Completing the form and giving it to the funeral home to keep on file, will allow their staff to enter the home after death and bring your loved one to the funeral home. There is no need to call the police or have the Coroner become involved in this situation. Please note that the EDITH form expires after 3 months and must be renewed/updated as needed.

When someone dies at home unexpectedly: It is customary for the police to be notified. The Coroner may become involved, as well. As soon as possible contact us. Later, notify family members, close friends, employer, school, college and/or other institution.

What Is An Autopsy? Can We Prevent It?

An autopsy is a medical examination of a body after death. An autopsy can be ordered by the Coroner to investigate the cause of death, without the consent of the next of kin. Where the death is expected and the cause of death known, an autopsy is usually not required.

Who Should Make The Funeral Arrangements?

The person with the legal authority to make funeral arrangements is the Executor of the Will. If there is no Will, there is a specific order of priority as to who may make funeral arrangements as per the “Cremation, Interment and Funeral Services Act of BC.”

What Purpose Does A Funeral Serve?

A funeral is an opportunity to pay tribute to someone you love. For those who are left behind, a funeral provides a place for family and friends to gather to support one another. It is an opportunity to celebrate the life and accomplishments of a loved one. It is the starting point from which the grief-healing process may begin.

What Do Funeral Directors Do?

Funeral directors are professionals trained and experienced in helping families cope with the challenges of the death of a loved one. They make funeral arrangements in keeping with the families wishes. They also make arrangements for transporting the body, completing necessary legal paperwork and they carry out your choices regarding the funeral service and disposition of the body.

How Much Does A Funeral Cost?

The cost of a funeral is really determined by you and your family. Some expenses are basic to every funeral. Many expenses, however, are determined by the selections that you make. The amount you spend on a funeral should always be balanced by what you or the estate can afford. Before making a decision on the funeral director and the type of service you want, ask for an itemized quotation. This will enable you to compare costs without emotion and help you choose services that you feel are essential.

Is There A Difference Between A Funeral Service And A Memorial Service?

A funeral service usually takes place with the body of the deceased present. And, a memorial service is a gathering to honor the deceased without the body present. A memorial service may be held close to the time of death or another time such as a birthday, anniversary, family reunion or other occasion that the family feels is appropriate.

Can I Still Have A Funeral Service If I Choose Cremation?

Absolutely. Cremation is not intended to replace a traditional funeral service. It is simply an alternative to a burial or entombment of the body of the deceased. You can still have a traditional funeral service in a church, chapel, home or other location that you and the family feels is appropriate.

Is It Necessary To Have A Casket For Cremation?

No, it is not necessary to have a casket, but it is necessary to have a container of some kind. It is provincial law.

Why Should I Spend A Lot Of Money On A Casket When It's Going To Be Cremated?

There are many cremation containers or caskets available that are inexpensive and functional. You may select what is most appropriate for you and your budget. Some people choose to rent a casket with an inner container. And, in that case, only the inner container is cremated.

How Soon Can Someone Be Cremated?

Cremation cannot occur until 48 hours after the death. A permit must be obtained based on vital statistics information.

How Do I Know These Are The Cremated Remains Of The Deceased And Not Of Someone Else?

There are strict regulations and a code of professional ethics around dealing with death and cremated remains. Only one person is ever cremated at a time. There is no room for error.

Why embalming?

Embalming is a process used to disinfect, preserve and restore the human body to an acceptable physical appearance to allow for viewing, especially if a service is taking place some days after a death. By provincial regulation, embalming is only performed if arranged for on the funeral services contract. This is somethng we can talk about if you are uncertain.

Where Do I Get A Copy Of The Official Death Certificate?

We will provide the death certificate(s) on behalf of the Division of Vital Statistics.

Are There Any Laws About Scattering Ashes After Cremation?

No. But, it would be a good idea to consider carefully where you want to scatter the ashes. For example, cremated remains should not be scattered on private property without permission. Scattering also means there is no permanent memorial site. Some people bury the ashes; Other people save the ashes in a beautiful urn, or have the ashes mixed with clay and made into ornamental pottery. Everyone is different. Just be certain that whatever decision you make is not one you will wish undone later.

What Is The Difference Between Pre-planning And Pre-arranging?

Pre-planning is the process of selecting your choices of funeral arrangements in advance and having them on file at a funeral home, in your will and/or with your family.

Pre-arranging involves pre-payment of some or all of the funeral arrangements that you choose.

Is Pre-Planning My Funeral A Good Idea?

Yes. Preplanning your funeral relieves your loved ones from the burden of having to make difficult decisions at an emotional and stressful time. It also lets you share your feelings and wishes about various aspects of your funeral service and what you would like to happen with your remains. It’s an easy way to record your personal wishes and minimize the numerous details that need to be attended to at the time of duress.