Death, that one subject matter everyone tries to evade, but alas! it is inevitable. Have you ever thought of what becomes of your family after your demise? Will they be able to handle the reality of losing a loved one and the financial cost of a funeral?
The cost of a funeral in Canada can be a bit expensive depending on the family tradition and many other factors.
Cost of a Funeral in Canada
Funerals are largely influenced by cultural and religious traditions, family choices, and most importantly the cost. Most funerals in Canada are held one – four days after the demise of the deceased. Others that are delayed are either due to logistics, or to allow friends and families who are far away to arrive.
Funerals in Canada vary largely; depending on your province and which funeral service provider you choose to use. Currently, in Canada, two corporate funeral companies are operating – Dignity Memorial and Arbor Memorial. Bear in mind that corporate funeral homes can be more expensive than family-owned funeral homes.
Though death can strike unexpectedly, it is advisable to carefully check the prices of different funeral homes to compare prices before making your decision. There are so many things to consider while planning a funeral, things like the casket, the cemetery plot, grave marker, casket liner, etc.
The cost of a funeral in Canada can be as low as CA$1,500 or as high as CA$20,000 depending on the family’s culture, values, and preferences. Some of the costs you will be covering include:
- Death registration and certificate
Just like how all births are legally registered, every death must also be legally documented before a death certificate can be issued to a family member. The cost of registering and getting a death certificate in Canada varies per province and the number of certificates being registered.
To register a death in Canada cost about CA$55, while to get a death certificate cost between CA$15 – CA$22. You must provide a death certificate to apply for benefits, make an insurance claim, etc.
- Moving the body
Moving of the dead is handled by the transfer service, their fees vary based on the number of times and how far the body needs to be transferred. On average, it cost around CA$100 and above to transfer a body.
Caskets and urns come in different designs and shapes, so are the prices. The designs range from simple to elaborate depending on the family’s choice. It cost about CA$3,000 and above to get a casket/urn. In a case where you are allowed to bring your urn or shroud, it comes at a no-cost.
Some cemeteries permit families to bury their dead in a simple shroud. While some crematorium allows people to use their containers to retrieve the ashes. Note that it is not compulsory you buy a casket or urn from the funeral home if the price is on the high side, you can check for a better deal outside the funeral home.
- Preparing the Body
Preparing the body is very essential when it comes to a funeral, the most family wants their deceased to be clothed in their best. Body preparation involves bathing, grooming, wrapping/dressing the deceased. If you like you can have the body embalmed, mostly this is recommended but you might want to check with your province to see if it is legal.
This includes funeral, visitation, memorial, staffing, etc. The cost for funeral ceremonies is quite expensive because extra hands (staff) are required especially if a casket is used for the deceased. Then comes the celebration that comes with reception – drinks and food. It cost an average of CA$2,000 and above to hold a ceremony for a deceased in Canada.
- Burial plots
A burial plot needs to be acquired for the deceased; this is where the deceased will be laid to rest. Family plots and side-by-side plots are usually quite expensive because they are more desirable. Burial plots cost an average of CA$1,000 and average depending if it is a single plot or family plot.
- Cremation/Burial Service
This is currently one of the cheapest options when it comes to burying the dead. It cost an average of CA$1,000 and above to have a body cremated. Most Canadians are opting for this option due to its low cost.
Cost of a Funeral per Provinces in Canada
There are several options to pick from when thinking of how to give your deceased loved one a befitting funeral. Some options you can pick from include:
- Traditional funeral
- Graveside Burial
The table below will be discussing the average cost of different funeral services in some provinces in Canada. All prices are in the Canadian dollar.
This includes burial, embalming, visitation, and funeral service.
This includes burial/service at the cemetery.
There are four types of cremation – direct cremation, cremation with memorial service, cremation with traditional service, and cremation with body donation.
Cremation followed by a memorial service
How to pay for a funeral in Canada without Insurance
Your best bet when it comes to financing a funeral is either you fund your funeral, your insurance company or your family cover the cost. Dealing with the loss of a loved one coupled with the financial pressure that comes with planning a funeral can make the experience more painful and difficult for family members if there is no pre-planned arrangement for the funeral.
If you are funding your funeral, it is advisable to arrange your after-death expenses and funeral. If you have a life insurance plan, the death benefit paid by your insurance company will cover your funeral and after-death costs.
All that is required of you if you are funding your funeral is to pay your premiums and your family will not have to worry about handling the funeral cost. But in a case where you have channelled your life insurance benefit towards something else like mortgage, children’s education, etc. your family will have to sort out the funeral cost.
What happens if you can’t afford a funeral in Canada
What if you cannot afford to die? How do you not be a burden to your family after death? There are a few options available to Canadians who cannot pay for a traditional funeral.
You can apply for financial aid from your provincial government. Some provinces like Ontario, Toronto, Quebec offer funeral expense benefits. Some other ways you can fund a funeral in Canada include:
- Personal loan
- Credit card payment
- Fundraising campaign
- Non-profit organization
- Social security administration
You can also choose a simple cremation without a funeral service. A low-cost cremation can range from $1400 to $5000 CAD in Toronto and can go as low as $600 CAD in Quebec. This might not include costs of materials like the Urn in which the ashes will be stored.
As we all know, death mostly comes suddenly, unexpectedly and throws people off balance. To save yourself or your family from spending too much on a funeral, direct cremation is your best option.
Elements such as floral tributes, conveying of the mourners, memorial service can all be arranged without a funeral director. Be careful to spend less if the service of a funeral director is not employed.