Making Funeral Arrangements

A funeral gives family and friends a chance to express their love, respect and grief. It helps people make the emotional adjustment to their loss.

Making funeral arrangements for a loved one is difficult, but it has to be done. It can be an overwhelming experience for family since many decisions related to the funeral have to be made fairly quickly and under stress.

There are many types of funerals and burials. There are also some things that are required by law. Be sure to ask the Funeral Director what is required.

When making funeral arrangements, there are basic things that need to be arranged:

  • Transportation;
  • Container or a casket;
  • Paperwork;
  • Burial or cremation.

What information is needed when arranging a funeral?
The following information is needed when arranging a funeral:

  • Social Insurance Number of the deceased;
  • Date and place of birth of the deceased;
  • Names of parents of the deceased;
  • If the deceased was married, the date and place of marriage;
  • Names of the spouse and any children.

What do funeral homes do?
Funeral homes offer numerous choices. The cost of the funeral depends on the services and merchandise chosen. Every Funeral Home/Cremation Service will have a price list, with a break-down of cost for various professional services and merchandise such as caskets, vaults and urns. Prices for merchandise usually depends on the size, materials used, and craftsmanship.

Professional services provided by a Funeral Home/Cremation Service generally include:

  • Making arrangements with a cemetery or crematorium;
  • Obtaining the necessary documents;
  • Transportation;
  • Embalming;
  • Visitation services;
  • Choice of a memorial, funeral or committal service;
  • Flower arrangements;
  • Newspaper notices.

If you wish to have a funeral service, you might also think about whom you would like to conduct the service. The Funeral Director can help you with this decision.

No matter which Funeral Home/Cremation Service you choose, the important thing to remember is that buying a funeral is a business transaction like any other. Funeral costs vary depending on the options selected. That is why it is important to make these decisions at a time when emotions are not overwhelming.

How are burial plots and internment services purchased?
Burial plots and internment services are purchased directly from the cemetery. The cemetery also provides a price list for the various burial plots, inscriptions and markers for cremation and internment services.

What is a 'Proof of Death' certificate?
A 'Proof of Death' certificate is an important document. It can be used to obtain benefits, bank or credit union releases, some insurance claims and other legal requirements. The Funeral Director will issue copies of the 'Proof of Death' certificate.

Can funeral arrangements be made ahead of time?
Needless to say, the number of choices that are available can lead to unwanted expenses in a time of emotional stress. It is good planning to make these choices ahead of time.

Making funeral arrangements in advance can give the dying person peace of mind that their wishes will be honoured. It also means fewer things for the family to do after the death.

There are many ways to prearrange a funeral. You can simply discuss your wishes with your family. You can shop around and make arrangements with the Funeral Home/Cremation Service of your choice with or without prepayments.


  • What Every Family Should Know, booklet by the Ontario Funeral Service Association.

More Information
For information regarding in-home palliative care services, please call:

  • Southwest Community Care Access Centre’s Head Office at
    TTY 1-800-811-5147.
  • Supportive Care, Verspeeten Family Cancer Centre at 519-685-8622.