Arranging a funeral can often be an overwhelming task, especially if you have been recently bereaved. This is especially true if it is your first time arranging a funeral. It can be difficult to know where to start or where to find the best information. This funeral and cremation guide for Prince Edward Island aims to make this process a little bit easier by answering many of the questions you may have.
There are around 20 Funeral Homes in the province of Prince Edward Island 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 task when a death occurs?
Your first task 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. Before you can register a death with Vital Statistics and be issued a burial permit, a medical practitioner, nurse, or coroner must complete a Medical Certificate of Death. After this is processed and complete, you can then apply to Vital Statistics for an official Certificate of Death. This document will allow you to settle the affairs of the deceased.
A Death Certificate without cause of death costs $35.00, whereas a Death Certificate with the cause of death costs $50.00. Standard service will usually take 10-12 business days to process, but a rush service can be processed in two business days for an additional cost.
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 the family peace of mind 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 Prince Edward Island?
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 that 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 on Prince Edward Island?
Given that there are only 20 funeral homes on Prince Edward Island, funeral costs aren’t likely to differ as greatly as in a province with many more funeral homes than this.
According to a recent funeral price survey, the average cost for an adult funeral in Prince Edward Island 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 Prince Edward Island. 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. If you opt for no services to commemorate the deceased, a direct cremation could be arranged for under $1,000. A funeral home MUST provide you with a ‘General Price List’ that specifically itemizes their charges.
What does a cremation service cost on Prince Edward Island?
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. As mentioned above, it is possible to arrange a ‘basic’ or ‘direct’ cremation for less than $1,000, 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 a 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 Prince Edward Island?
As explained above, ‘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 in their time of need with a local, independent, family-owned 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 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 PEI?
There are no actual laws governing the scattering of ashes on crown land in PEI, such as a body of water, or in the wild. 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, as this service is now being offered by Dingwell Funeral Home in Souris.
What to do if a Death Occurs outside of PEI, and the deceased needs transporting back to the Province?
If your loved one dies outside of the province and needs transporting back to 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 on PEI?
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 PEI, you need to register with an anatomical gift program. If you are considering donating your remains, start your decision-making process by talking with your family to make sure they’ll support your decision. You and your designated next of kin will then need to complete both the Donation Form and the Cremation Form to indicate your intention to donate. Once completed, return to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to:
Dalhousie University – Department
of Medical Neuroscience
Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building, Rm. 13-B1
5850 College Street, PO Box 15000
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
Is there any help available for funeral expenses in PEI?
It is possible to apply for assistance with funeral expenses if a person has insufficient means to cover the cost of a burial/cremation. Funeral expenses for qualifying individuals on Social Assistance shall be paid at $2,500 for adults and children over the age of 12 and $1,320 for children under 12. To find out if you qualify and how to apply visit https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/publication/social-assistance-policy-burial-expenses
What are my Green Funeral options in PEI?
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 PEI, 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. You can also contact the municipal or provincial cemetery management offices for PEI to ask about green burial alternatives:
Consumer Services, Dep. of Environment, Labour & Justice:
Alternatively, you can contact your local cemetery:
The Peoples Cemetery Charlottetown
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
If you have further questions about identifying the body and making arrangements for the transfer of the deceased, you can contact the Chief Coroner at:
Public Safety Division
PO Box 911
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7L9
Who Can I Contact if I Have a complaint or Grievance With a Funeral Home in PEI?
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 an official complaint with The Prince Edward Island Funeral Services and Professions Board. They can be reached at:
Executive Council Office
5th Floor, Shaw Building
95 Rochford Street
P.O. Box 2000,
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
Hopefully, this guide proved informative and answered any questions you have about arranging a funeral on Prince Edward Island. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any further questions.