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Information on Funerals

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Pre-planning your funeral
Funeral Homes
Clergy or Faith Leader
Support during Grieving
Financial Resources
Additional Resources

Pre-Planning Your Funeral

Discuss and record funeral plans with close family and friends

Planning ahead will:

  • Spare your family from making arrangements while stressed (grief, time pressures)
  • Provide time to consider options / look for good value

Financial considerations

  • Choose from unfunded (list of wishes) and funded (prepaid)
  • You could select a plan that may freeze costs at today’s prices (guaranteed price)
  • Payment options include:
            a) Paying in full sum
            b) Instalment payments
            c) Setting aside a bank account, mutual fund, insurance policy, etc.
  • Get in writing where funds will be invested and return on investment before investing in a funeral plan
  • Consider cancellation policies in case you move from the area

Family considerations

  • Discuss and record plans with close family/friends
  • Keep documents (pre-arrangements, wills, organ donations etc.) in a location known to family/friends

Funeral Homes

  • Move the deceased person from one location to another
  • Can arrange return of the deceased person if death occurs away from home
  • Discuss:
            a) Service options / costs (visitation days, service/ celebration, locations etc.)
            b) Caskets or urns/ Look at several price sheets before making a decision
            c) Methods/costs of final disposal (burial and cremation)
  • Help with:
            a) planning the service with the clergy or other individuals
            b) burial permit, cemetery or crematory / storage or disposal of ashes
            c) financial actions - Canada Pension Plan External Link and other benefits
            d) obtaining the certified death certificate. Get several copies for pension benefits, insurance companies, banks etc.
            e) placing newspaper notices
            f) resources such as bereavement groups/counselling


  • Only licensed cemeteries can sell cemetery plots
  • Care, maintenance, cost and refund policies vary depending on the type:
            1) municipal (more affordable, fewer options)
            2) religious (usually for followers)
            3) for profit (more choices)


  • Must be notified when a death:
            1) occurs in a home
            2) occurs in a hospital after a transfer from a nursing home/other institutions
            3) is not due to natural causes
  • May be required to investigate to determine the cause/ circumstances of the death
  • Family can request that the cause and circumstances be investigated
  • Family may request an autopsy
  • Authorize cremation or transfer of body outside the province

Clergy or Faith Leader

  • Can oversee the service, advice and grief counselling
  • It is customary to give honorarium to clergy for service


  • Airlines will look for lowest prices for family members to attend a funeral.
  • A deceased person does not have to be accompanied.
  • Airlines require proof of pick-up by a licensed funeral home.

Support during Grieving

Financial Resources

  • Life insurance companies pay policy benefits at the time of death.
  • Canada Pension Plan (CPP) gives a lump sum payment to the person’s legal representative or to the person who paid for the funeral service. You must apply for this benefit and are eligible only if the deceased person has contributed to the plan for the minimum qualifying period.
  • Other benefits may be available:
        a. Last Post Fund External Link for veterans
        b. Workplace and Safety Insurance Board External Link (Search survivor /burial expenses)
            For workers who die from a work-related injury or disease
        c. Halton Region’s Social and Community Services – Dial 311 to find out what is covered for those with low income.

Additional Resources