Knowing where to begin when arranging a funeral can seem daunting, especially if it is your first time needing to or if you are recently bereaved. It can be overwhelming trying to find the best information for your province. With this in mind, we have created this funeral and cremation guide for Quebec to help make this process easier by answering some of your crucial questions.

Our Funeral Home Directory lists all funeral homes in the Province, allowing you to find a funeral service provider in your area that best meets your needs.

Direct Cremation Service – Montreal $1,795 Phone (514) 819-2777

Direct Cremation Service – Quebec City $1,795 Phone (581) 800-0558

Direct Cremation Service – Gatineau $1,795 Phone (819) 200-2030

What is my first call when a death occurs?

Generally, your first call will be to find a suitable funeral service provider to make the funeral arrangements. They can assist you in registering the death with the government and filling out any additional forms as necessary. The funeral service provider will submit the Declaration of Death form to the Directeur de l’état civil. After this, you can apply for a Death Certificate with the Directeur de l’état civil.

An application for a Death Certificate made online will cost $31.75 per copy, a mail application will cost $45.50, and an in-person application will cost $50.50. This includes a normal processing time of 10 business days; you can apply for an accelerated processing time of 3 business days at 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 families peace of mind when the time comes. However, be aware that whoever signs the funeral contract with the funeral home is considered legally responsible for paying the funeral bill.

Can I Pre-plan a Funeral or Cremation in Quebec?

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 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. 

Discussing any pre-financing arrangements with the family is always a good idea so that they know the money is in a trust. This will ensure they do not make arrangements without knowing that the money is there for the funeral expenses. 

What does a funeral cost in Quebec?

Funeral planning in Canada

According to the most recent data from the Corporation des Thanatologues du Québec (CTQ), the average cost for a complete memorial service and burial in Quebec is around $5,500. This price includes administrative fees for managing government records, bereavement support, open casket, memorial service, cremation, and burial in a columbarium or a cemetery.

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. So be sure to bear this in mind when comparing funeral costs.

Overall, 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. On the other hand, a basic cremation can be arranged for as little as $1,795. 

What does a cremation service cost in Quebec?

Cremation costs are often more difficult to quote as they depend 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. Arranging a ‘basic’ or ‘direct’ cremation for less than $1800 is possible, 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 cost upwards of $5,500.

If you decide to have a cremation for your loved one, a casket or container will be required for the service. It is often possible to rent a casket from the funeral home. 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 can advise you whether they have this option available. 

What is my most affordable funeral option in Quebec?

As explained above, a ‘direct’ cremation is the most affordable and simple funeral option. A direct cremation 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 funeral location that offers a low-cost funeral. We select licensed, local funeral directors who understand the need to balance cost and dignity. 

Use our Find a Local Provider Search to find locations & cremation prices near you.

How can I save on funeral expenses?

Affordable cremation plan in Quebec

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 paying 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 home or chosen place with less stress, which can sometimes be associated with a more traditional funeral service.

What are my options for Scattering Ashes in Quebec?

Under Law 66, which was modified on February 17, 2016, funeral service providers must remit a deceased’s ashes to a single person in one or more rigid containers. When these ashes are then buried or dispersed, the specific location must be recorded in the funeral service provider’s registry of funeral activities.  Article 71 stipulates that “no one may disperse human ashes in a location where they could constitute a nuisance, or in a manner that disrespects the deceased’s dignity”, but this still leaves a great deal of freedom to the family on what to do with their loved ones remains.

Lastly, Article 72 states that “anyone who buries or disperses human ashes must provide the funeral service provider responsible for the body the location where the ashes were buried or dispersed for registration in that provider’s burial register”.

By changing the 40-year-old law, Quebec is now firmly in line with modernizing funeral practices. The new law still provides a broad range of possibilities and allows a deceased’s ashes to be spread according to their wishes while ensuring that it does not present a danger to public health. Therefore, as long as you act in line with the aforementioned Law 66, you can still scatter your loved ones’ ashes, keep them in a niche in a cemetery columbarium, or commemorate them in a different way.

Repatriation to/from Canada

What to do if a Death Occurs outside of Quebec, and the deceased needs transporting back to the Province?

If your loved one dies outside of the province and needs transporting back to Quebec, 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. 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 Quebec?

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.

You must register with an anatomical gift program to arrange a whole-body donation in Quebec. 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 will then need to contact one of the three Quebec medical Schools that have anatomical gift programs, as seen in the table below.

For more information, visit our post on Donating a body to science for medical research.

McGill University – Department of
Anatomy & Cell Biology 
3640 University Street
Strathcona Anatomy Building
Montreal, QC, H3A 0C7

Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières –
Département Anatomie
3351, boul. des Forges C.P. 500
Trois-Rivières, QC G9A 5H7
819-376-5011 poste 3990

Collège de Rosemont
Marie-Ève Turcotte
Technicienne en thanatologie
Montréal, QC H1X 2S9
514-376-1620, poste 7328

Is there any help available for funeral expenses in Quebec?

Retraite Québec grants a death benefit under the Québec Pension Plan. It is a lump-sum payment of up to $2,500 and is taxable. It is paid if the deceased contributed sufficiently to the Québec Pension Plan for at least five years. In the first 60 days following the death, it is paid on a priority basis to the person who paid the funeral expenses. After 60 days have elapsed following the date of death, it can be paid to the heirs if they have accepted the succession.

What are my Green Funeral options in Quebec?

Green Funeral Services in Quebec Canada

Green or natural burial is the process of human disposition with the least environmental impact. No embalming fluids or other chemicals are used, and the deceased is placed in a simple shroud or biodegradable casket. Concrete vaults, traditional markers, or headstones are also not used. Canada has three types of green burial cemeteries: full or conservation, hybrid, and green-friendly.

The Green Burial Society of Canada lists no full or conservation cemeteries in Quebec. However, Les Sentiers Natural Cemetery in Laurentians offers the interment of cinerary urns in a peaceful environment using a low-impact process.

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 this, 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:

Office of the Chief Coroner 
Le Delta 2 Building, Suite 390
2875 Laurier Boulevard
Sainte-Foy, Quebec  G1V 5B1

Phone: 418-643-1845
Toll-free: 1-866-312-7051
Fax: 418-643-6174

For further details, read our post on What happens when the deceased is at the Medical Examiner’s.

Who Can I Contact if I Have a Complaint or Grievance With a Funeral Home in Quebec?

If you have a grievance with a funeral home, you should first attempt to resolve it directly with them. If you have already attempted to resolve it with the funeral home concerned, you can make a complaint with the Office de la protection du consommateur, the consumer protection bureau. This government agency informs and protects consumers in Quebec.

To file a complaint, you first need to call the bureau and speak to an agent. The agent will tell you the procedure to follow. They may ask you to send documents relating to your complaint, such as a bill, contract, or product warranty document. 

If you are calling from one of these areas, use the local number to reach the Office free of charge:

Montréal514 253-6556
Québec418 643-1484
Trois-Rivières819 371-6400
Saguenay418 695-8427
Gatineau819 772-3016
Sherbrooke819 820-3694
Saint-Jérôme450 569-7585
Another area in Québec or in Canada1 888 OPC-ALLO (1 888 672-2556)

Hopefully, this guide proved informative and answered any questions you had about arranging a funeral in Quebec. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.