Vancouver

Direct cremation service $845  Call (778) 608-2808

If you have never had to arrange a funeral before it can be an extremely daunting task, especially if you are recently bereaved. With that in mind, the aim of this funeral and cremation guide is to help answer some of the questions you might have about arranging a funeral or cremation in Vancouver, and hopefully help to alleviate some of your concerns or answer your queries.

There are around 12 funeral homes in Vancouver and all funeral homes are listed in our Funeral Homes directory, allowing you to find a funeral service provider in your area that meets your needs.

First Call: What to do when a death occurs

Your first task is to find a funeral service provider that meets your needs. After this, you will need to register the death with the government. The Registration of Death form will normally be completed when funeral arrangements are being made at the funeral home. The funeral home will register the death and send the required documents to Vital Statistics. After this has been done, the Funeral Director will usually apply for and issue the Death Certificates for you. There is a $27.00 charge for each death certificate ordered in British Columbia. It ordinarily takes 3 business days for processing by Vital Statistics once documents have been received, and additional time for delivery. However, for an additional fee you can apply for a ‘rush order’ if needed.

Who has the responsibility of paying for funeral arrangements?

If the deceased did not pre-arrange and pre-pay for a funeral plan, then the immediate next of kin is responsible for making and paying for funeral arrangements. This can be quite a burden, and is why more seniors today are considering setting up simple cremation arrangements.

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.

How much does a funeral cost in Vancouver, BC?

A funeral can be a significant expense, depending on what kind of service you opt for. According to research by InMemory, you can expect to spend anything between $5,000 to $15,000 for a funeral in Canada, with an average cost of $12,525 in British Columbia. The funeral director will charge a ‘professional service fee’ that usually covers their basic services to transport the deceased, obtain the medical certificate of death, register the death and complete all necessary government forms. This service fee is included in the above cost estimation.

Depending on whether you opt for a burial or cremation, you may have additional costs for such things as embalming, a casket and/or an urn and cemetery burial plot. Other indirect costs can be things like the services of an officiant, clergy and organist, obituary notices and flowers. A funeral home MUST provide you with a ‘General Price List’ that specifically itemizes their charges. A funeral home cannot refuse to accept funeral merchandise (such as a casket) that you have purchased from another source.

How much does a cremation service cost in Vancouver, BC?

According to InMemory, a cremation with a service in British Columbia can average about $4,859 without a cemetery plot or $7,509 with a cemetery plot. A direct cremation, on the other hand, can average around $2,399 without a cemetery plot. However, it is possible to arrange a direct cremation for $845 with the DFS Memorials provider in Vancouver.

If you 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 Vancouver?

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 Funerals Online works with DFS Memorials of Canada to connect people at their time of need with a local, funeral home that offers a low-cost funeral. We select licensed, local funeral directors who understand the need to balance cost and dignity.

Direct cremation service $845  Call (778) 608-2808

How can I save on funeral expenses?

If you opt for a direct cremation, you could also opt to hold your own memorial service at a time which is convenient for you and your family. This can even be done at home and is another way to save on funeral costs by allowing you to have your own ‘send-off’, without the need to pay out for a funeral service. Oftentimes, this can feel more personal and give you and your family the opportunity to say farewell to your loved one in peace, with less stress or hassle.

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

More people are opting to pre-plan and pre-pay for funeral arrangements to unburden their loved ones at their time of passing. Pre-financing a funeral can be done in installments or in a lump sum payment. Funeral homes who offer a preplanning service must have licensed, pre-need qualified staff, and the funds are usually held in trust which cannot be accessed until a copy of the statement of death is issued. It is worth noting, however, that it is a good idea to discuss any pre-financing arrangements with family so that they are aware that the money is in a trust before they make arrangements inadvertently.

Call the DFS Memorials provider in Vancouver now on (778) 608-2808 to discuss pre-planning options, or read our post on How to create a simple cremation plan in Canada.

Where can I Scatter My Loved Ones Ashes in Vancouver BC?

Government policy now states that human remains that have been properly cremated may be scattered on unoccupied provincial government-owned Crown land or water, including provincial parks, without official government approval.  However, care must be taken to ensure that cremated remains are not scattered near drinking water or recreational water activities, such as swimming areas.

It is, however, worth consulting a funeral director about your options, as you may wish to consider buying a niche in a cemetery columbarium, or commemorating your loved one in a different way.

What to Do if a Death Occurs outside of British Columbia, or the deceased needs transporting to another Province or Country?

If your loved one dies outside of British Columbia and needs transporting back to the province, you will need 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.

We work with a funeral home in Vancouver who are experienced in funeral shipping. As a general guide the cost for a domestic funeral ship-out is around $2,600, whereas an international funeral ship-out is generally around $15,000.  This includes everything to collect the deceased, complete all the required paperwork and consulate documentation, a ziplock shipping container, and transfer to the airport and onto the outbound flight. The airfare fee is additional and this can vary, but the funeral home will assist you with this at the time.

If you have any further questions, or need assistance, call (855) 617-0232 to speak with our funeral shipping team. They will be happy to assist you. Alternatively, visit our Funeral Shipping page.

Can I Arrange a Whole Body Donation in British Columbia?

Yes, the University of British Columbia has a Body Donation Program (for those wishing to make an anatomical gift.  Donating your body to science can be a wonderful way to leave a lasting legacy to future generations.

A consent form needs to be lodged with the University, this can be done prior to death or at the time of death.  They will then collect the deceased from the place of death, arrange the anatomical donation, cremation of the remains and a basic urn.  Next of kin will be contacted to collect the remains once the body donation process has been completed.  This can be anything from a few weeks up to three years.  All costs are covered by the University, but additional costs for transportation to the University may be incurred for those outside of the Greater Vancouver area.

There is no upper-age limit for body donations and some medical conditions may prevent the acceptance of a body for the program.

For more information contact the UBC Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences – call (604) 822-2578 or email: anatomy@interchg.ubc.ca 

What help is available for funeral expenses in British Columbia?

The Ministry of Housing and Social Development offer a funeral supplement to contribute towards the cost of a person who dies in BC if the family has no immediate funds to meet these costs.  This supplement is available under the Employment and Assistance Regulation.  The Crime Assistance Program may award up to $5,000 towards the funeral expenses of a victim of crime.  Canadian Forces member and veterans are entitled to benefits related to funeral expenses.  For serving members this can be anything up to $12,700.

Read our post on Funeral Assistance for more information on where to find help.

Are there any green funeral alternatives available in Vancouver, BC?

Green or ‘Natural’ Burials are slowly growing as an alternative to traditional burial or cremation. Not only is it better for the environment, as it does not require chemical embalming fluids or steel/ concrete and other non-degradable materials, but it can also be more affordable for all the above reasons. The body is usually wrapped in a fully biodegradable shroud, container, or casket, and buried directly in the ground.

The Green Burial Society of Canada currently lists 5 green cemeteries in the province of British Columbia, you can also find them listed in our Green Burial Directory.

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 Office of 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 Office of the Chief Coroner for British Columbia on (604) 660-7745 and they can be found at:

Office of the Chief Coroner
Metrotower II Suite 800 – 4720 Kingsway
Burnaby, B.C. V5H 4N2
ChiefCoronerCorrespondence@gov.bc.ca

Who Can I Contact if I Have a complaint or Grievance With a Funeral Home in British Columbia?

Hopefully it won’t happen, but if for any reason you should have a complaint about services from a funeral director, you should try and resolve it directly with the funeral firm in the first instance.  If you still have a grievance you could take it up with the Funeral Service Association of British Columbia – the association upholds the ethics and standards of funeral professionals in BC.
Suite 211, 2187 Oak Bay Ave, Victoria, BC. V8R 1G1

Consumer Protection BC is also a not-for-profit organization that protects consumers in BC.  They can be mailed at: PO Box 9244 Victoria BC V8W 9J2