Arranging a funeral can be an overwhelming task, and often one that we are unprepared for. It can be difficult to know where to begin and where to find the best information. This funeral and cremation guide for Saskatchewan aims to make this process a bit easier by answering many of the questions you may have.
There are around 38 Funeral Homes in the province of Saskatchewan and all funeral homes are listed in our Funeral Home Directory, allowing you to find a funeral service provider in your area that best meets your needs.
What is my first call when a death occurs?
Your first call should be to find a funeral service provider to make the funeral arrangements. They will be able to advise you on any forms that need filling out and assist you in registering the death with the government. After which you will be able to order a death certificate/s so that you can settle any estates or receive entitlements for benefits, such as pension and insurance.
You will need to order a death certificate with eHealth Saskatchewan. This can be done either online, by mail, or in person. A Frame Certificate, which includes the individual’s full name, date of birth, place of death, sex, registration number and registration date, costs $35.00. A Certified Copy, which contains all of the information on the original death registration, costs $55.00. Death certificates will be processed within four to six weeks, not including mailing time.
Who is responsible for paying for funeral arrangements?
The next of kin is generally responsible for making and paying for funeral arrangements, unless the deceased had a pre-paid funeral plan in place. Financial responsibility for funeral arrangements can become quite a financial burden for many families if they have not prepared. This is why many seniors are making funeral plans to eliminate this burden and help reduce the stress that can arise when making arrangements on a budget.
Pre-planning can be simple and affordable, and give family peace of mind for when the time comes. Be aware that whomever signs the funeral contract with the funeral home is considered legally responsible for payment of the funeral bill.
Can I Pre-plan a Funeral or Cremation in Saskatchewan?
As mentioned above, pre-planning and pre-paying for funeral arrangements is becoming a more popular option as more seniors aim to unburden their loved ones at their time of passing. This can generally be done in installments or in a lump sum payment, and funeral homes who offer a preplanning service must have licensed, pre-need qualified staff. The funds are usually held in trust which cannot be accessed until a copy of the statement of death is issued.
It is always a good idea to discuss any pre-financing arrangements with family so that they know that the money is in a trust. This is to ensure they do not make arrangements without being aware that the money is there for the funeral expenses.
What does a funeral cost in Saskatchewan?
According to a recent funeral price survey, the average cost for an adult funeral in Saskatchewan funeral is $7,775. This is based on the most commonly selected items for a traditional funeral including a casket and vault. However, it does not include cemetery costs. A grave space, a grave marker, and opening/closing the grave can easily cost another $1,500 to $2,500 in Saskatchewan. Therefore, a typical traditional funeral and burial cost is likely to be at least $9,000.
Depending upon the quality of the casket, burial vault and other merchandise selected, a traditional funeral and burial cost could be less than $5,000 or exceed $10,000. A funeral home MUST provide you with a ‘General Price List’ that specifically itemizes their charges.
What does a cremation service cost in Saskatchewan?
Cremation costs are often more difficult to quote as it depends on the type of cremation you opt for, from cremation with a memorial service to a direct cremation with no service, the price can vary greatly. It is possible to arrange a ‘basic’ or ‘direct’ cremation for less than $2,400 in Saskatchewan, but it could be significantly more depending on the funeral provider. This makes it a much more affordable option than a traditional funeral service and burial, however a cremation with a memorial service can still be upwards of $5,500.
If you do decide to have a cremation for your loved one then a casket or container will be required for the service. It is often possible to rent casket from the funeral home for the funeral service. This can help keep funeral costs down and make it even more affordable if you have a specific financial budget in mind. Your funeral service provider will be able to advise you whether they have this option available.
What is my most affordable funeral option in Saskatchewan?
As explained above, a ‘direct’ cremation is your most affordable and simple funeral option. A direct cremation simply means that the deceased remains are collected from the place of death, cremated and the remains returned to the family in a basic urn. The family can then choose to do as they wish with the cremated remains, including holding their own memorial service at a place and time suitable for all family members to attend, and/or an ash-scattering.
Canadian Funeral Online works with DFS Memorials of Canada to connect people at their time of need with a local, licensed funeral home that offers a low-cost funeral. We select licensed, local funeral directors who understand the need to balance cost and dignity.
How can I save on funeral expenses?
If you do opt for a direct cremation, you could also hold your own memorial service to help keep the cost down. You can even do this at home, allowing you to have your own ‘send-off’ with your family and friends, without the need to pay out for a funeral service. This can even feel more personal and allow you to say farewell to your loved one in the comfort of your own home, or chosen place, with less of the stress that can sometimes be associated with a more traditional funeral service.
What are my options for Scattering Ashes in Saskatchewan?
In Saskatchewan, you can legally scatter ashes on crown land, such as a lake or a favourite park. But the scattering of ashes on land is subject to the laws regarding property, so check for any local or municipal bylaws. It is best to avoid scattering ashes near watercourses that are used for drinking water, and it is important to be considerate of any people in the area.
You may also want to consult a funeral director, as there are other options, such as buying a niche in a cemetery columbarium, or commemorating your loved one in a different way. For instance, you can have yours or your loved ones cremated remains scattered at sea, or from the air by plane.
What to do if a Death Occurs outside of Saskatchewan, and the deceased needs transporting back to the Province?
If your loved one dies outside of the province and needs transporting back to the Prince Edward Island, you will require the services of a funeral home experienced in funeral shipping. A local funeral home will usually coordinate with a funeral home at the place where the deceased’s body is and arrange the transfer of the remains. Shipping a body is more costly than shipping cremated remains, and there is paperwork that needs to be completed also. As a general guide the fee for handling the transfer of remains internationally can be around $10,000 plus the actual shipping fee from the airline.
How to Arrange a Whole Body Donation in Saskatchewan?
A whole body donation is when you donate your body for educational or research purposes. Typically, your loved ones will receive the cremated remains after a certain period of time, allowing them to hold a memorial service or scatter the ashes as desired. To arrange a whole body donation in Saskatchewan, you need to register with an body bequeathal program. The University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine has a Body Bequeathal Program which is administered by the Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology.
To sign up, you can either visit https://medicine.usask.ca/department/schools-divisions/biomed/body-bequeathal-program/ and fill out or download the forms, or you can contact them to request forms be sent to you at:
Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology
GA20-107 Wiggins Rd Saskatoon, SK S7N 5E5
For more information on whole body donation, visit our post on Donating a body to science for medical research in Canada
Is there any help available for funeral expenses in Saskatchewan?
The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) provides a death benefit which is a one-time, lump sum payment to the estate of a deceased CPP contributor. The amount of the lump sum payment will depend upon how much and for how long the deceased contributed to the CPP. The maximum payment amount is $2,500. The application form can be found at: https://catalogue.servicecanada.gc.ca/content/EForms/en/Detail.html?Form=ISP1200
In Canada, no one is ever denied the dignity of a funeral. If a family is not eligible for CPP benefits and is unable to cover the cost of a funeral, provincial or municipal governments can help fund basic funeral services – including a casket and cemetery, or cremation fees. In most cases, this type of government assistance is offered if you are already receiving financial assistance. Your funeral home should be able to help walk you through the requirements. To find out more visit: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/residents/family-and-social-support/financial-help
What are my Green Funeral options in Saskatchewan?
Green or natural burial is the process of human disposition with the least amount of consequences to the environment. No embalming fluids or other chemicals are used, and the deceased is placed in a simple shroud or biodegradable casket. Nor are concrete vaults, or traditional markers or headstones used. There are three types of green burial cemeteries in Canada: Full or conservation, hybrid and green-friendly.
Currently, The Green Burial Society of Canada lists no full or conservation cemeteries in Saskatchewan, however it may still be possible to opt for a greener solution, so don’t be afraid to ask your cemetery or funeral service provider what options are available. For instance, some funeral homes may offer green burial options such as biodegradable urns and caskets, as well as environmentally friendly embalming techniques. You can also contact the municipal or provincial cemetery management offices for Saskatchewan to ask about green burial alternatives.
What happens if the deceased is at the coroner or medical examiner’s office?
If a person’s death is unexpected and the cause of death is not immediately known or when the death is the result of violence due to an accident, suicide, or homicide, it will be investigated by the Chief Coroner. After an investigation has been carried out and a cause of death has been established, the body will be released to the next of kin. After which the family can proceed to make the funeral arrangements
The Chief Coroner for Saskatchewan is Clive Weighill. If you have further questions about identifying the body and making arrangements for the transfer of the deceased, you can contact him at:
Clive Weighill, Chief Coroner
Saskatchewan Coroners Service
1050 – 2010 12th Avenue,
Regina, SK, Canada, S4P 0M3
Who Can I Contact if I Have a complaint or Grievance With a Funeral Home in Saskatchewan?
If you have a grievance with a funeral home you should first attempt to resolve it with them directly. If you have already attempted to resolve it with the funeral home concerned then you can file a complaint with the FCSCS at https://www.fcscs.ca/for-consumers/submit-comment-or-complaint/.
Hopefully, this guide proved informative and answered any questions you have about arranging a funeral in Saskatchewan. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any further questions.