FAQ

To reveal each answer, click on the question you need clarification on.

What type of service should I have? 

This is completely up to the deceased and their family. Funeral directors are well versed in helping families arrange the type of service they would like. The service can be held at any place of worship or at the funeral home. The service may be different depending on your religions denomination or depending on what your family would like to do. Private services are by invitation only, where selected family members and close friends attend. Memorial services are usually ones where the deceased is not present and the ceremony will depend on the family, and their wishes.

Can I personalize my funeral service? 

Definitely. Funerals are to celebrate the life of your loved one. It is completely up to you, and your family how you wish to honour them. Our funeral directors are ready to discuss all options and help you make sure your funeral is tailored to your family’s wishes. You can personalize it with their favourite music, pictures, a video presentation or bring personal items, even donations instead of flowers, or having family or close friends say a special word during the service.

Why have a public viewing? 

Many grief specialists advocate viewing because it helps in the grief process, in realizing the reality of death. It is also encouraged for children if it is explained, and voluntary. Moreover, many cultures use viewing as a part of their cultural and ethnic traditions.

Why have an obituary notice? 

Notices can be placed on the internet or in local newspapers. They help let friends and the community know about the death and what type of service will be help.

What do funeral directors do? 

Funeral directors are there to help you in your time of need. They are caregivers, administrators, listeners, advisors and supporters. They make arrangements for transport of your loved one, do all the paperwork necessary, and set into motion your family’s wishes regarding the funeral and final disposition of the body.

They have lots of experience assisting the bereaved in coping with death and can answer any questions you have about grief. Funeral directors can easily recognize when people are having a hard time coping, and can recommend professional help during your difficult time. They can also help link survivors to support groups in the community or at the funeral home.

What should I do if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend? 

Our Funeral Directors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Will someone come right away? 

If you request immediate assistance, yes. However, if your family wishes to spend a little bit more time to say goodbye to your loved one, that is okay and they will come when the time is right

If a loved one dies out of province, can the local Funeral Home still help?

Yes, they will be able to help you with out-of-province arrangements whether that be to transfer the remains to another province or from another province.

What should I do if a death occurs while away from home? 

If you contact your hometown Funeral Director of choice, they will be able to help you if a death happens anywhere around the globe. They will take responsibility and begin planning the arrangements for the return of your loved one to their community. They might also work with a local funeral director in the place of death to act as their agent and help wherever the deceased is.

What is the purpose of embalming? 

Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body, slows down the decomposition process, and enhances the appearance of the body’s disfigurement from traumatic deaths or illness.

It helps make it possible to extend the time between death and the final disposition, which in turn allows the family members time to plan and participate in the preparation of the service they choose.

It is important to note that embalming may be required if your loved one is being transported by air or to another country where local laws or traditions need be respected.

Is embalming mandatory by law? 

It is not mandatory by law, but in many circumstances, it might be appropriate or necessary due to time, health or possible legal requirements. The law requires embalming if the body is shipped into or out of British Columbia or by public carrier. It also makes it possible for surviving family and friends to view their loved one if they want to. The emotional benefits of this are huge, and highly encouraged as it helps in the grieving process.

Is cremation a substitute for a funeral? 

No, however it is an alternative to burial or entombment for the body’s final disposition. It often follows with a more traditional service. Your Funeral Home of choice can help you with information on options, and with your decision for a funeral with cremation or a memorial service.

Can I have a visitation period and a funeral service if cremation is chosen? 

Yes, this is completely up to you. Cremation does not have to exclude having a visitation time and a funeral. Cremation is simply an option for final disposition of your loved one’s body.

Why are funerals so expensive? 

Funerals are the last celebration of life for your loved ones. The type and cost will depend on the tastes and budgets that your family wishes to have for this celebration of life.
A funeral home is a labour-intensive business, with 24-hour service and extensive facilities to host you and your loved ones (viewing rooms, chapels, hearses, etc.) and these expenses must be factored into the total cost.
To add to that, the cost of a funeral not only includes merchandise such as caskets, but the services of experienced funeral directors in making arrangements, doing the necessary paperwork, dealing with florists, newspapers, doctors, ministers and more. They take care of all necessary details for you. Contrary to popular belief, most funeral homes are family-owned with a very modest profit margin.

What recourse does a consumer have for poor service or overcharging? 

While most funeral homes provide amazing services, somethings things can go wrong in the process. The consumer should first speak with the funeral director about it, and if it cannot be resolved this way, then they can contact the Funeral Service Consumer Assistance Program. Consumer Protection of BC (CPA) provides information, can mediate disputes, provide arbitration, and maintains a consumer guarantee fund for reimbursements of services rendered. (To contact CPA, call 1.888.564.9963)

Who pays for funerals for the indigent? 

Other than family, there are veteran, union, and other organizational benefits to pay for funerals, and in some circumstances, a lump sum death payment from C.P.P. In most provinces, there are forms of public aid allowances from either the province or city, or combination. Most funeral directors know about these and can help in obtaining them.

Are there government agencies that help defray final expenses? 

Usually, your funeral directors will be able to help gather the necessary information to apply for financial assistance from C.P.P., Veteran’s Affairs, and any others.