Chapter 3: If you are planning a funeral or memorial service

Funeral home services: Additional services and fees

There were so many options available – I was overwhelmed and confused by it all.

Additional services and items may be available through the funeral home for either purchase or rental. Click on the switch button to see some of these.

Items for rent or purchaseAdditional services

There may be costs for items that are optional or that vary depending on family choices. Examples include:

  • A casket, urn, or an outer burial container to postpone decay of the casket
  • Embalming and preparing the body for viewing
  • Use of the funeral home for visitation, viewing, or a funeral service
  • Use of equipment and staff for a graveside service
  • Use of a hearse

The funeral home may also offer to deal with other businesses or agencies in preparing for the funeral service. Examples include:

  • Florists
  • Newspapers for the obituary
  • Musicians (such as an organist) for the funeral service
  • Someone to lead the funeral service (if the funeral home is not handling the service)
  • Cemetery (to choose a plot if necessary)

Beware of costs

If you would like the funeral home to take care of these details for you, make sure you know the costs. Some funeral homes charge for the actual costs of these services, while others charge costs plus a handling fee.

Even the simplest funerals can be quite expensive, with costs easily rising to thousands of dollars. If you cannot afford a funeral, you may want to ask about whether your province or territory will provide financial assistance; some jurisdictions have provisions stating that every person has a right to a funeral at death.