Funeral arrangements

There is no “right” way or time to make funeral arrangements. Arrangements can be made in advance or after a death has occurred.

For some people, choosing to make arrangements in advance can offer reassurance that they’ve made their wishes known and their wishes will be honored. For others, making arrangements in advance can seem too final and can be difficult to do.

These decisions are personal and unique to each person and their circumstances.  Funeral Homes can help to guide you and your family through this process.


  • A funeral is a religious or secular service with the body present.
  • A memorial is a religious or secular service without the body present.
  • Immediate disposition is cremation or burial without a service.

If you choose to make or be involved with your own funeral arrangements, if possible have another person with you for support and to act as your advocate.

When scheduling a time to meet with the funeral director, it can help to ask if there is specific information you will need to provide such as:

  • Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Birth certificate
  • MCP number

The cost of a funeral may be a concern to you.  Be sure to discuss cost and payment with the funeral provider before the final decisions and arrangements.  Clarify with the funeral provider any additional costs that might be incurred after the death (i.e. weekend transfers), which are not covered in the pre-arrangement agreement.

Whatever you decide, ensure you’re aware of the total price for all the services requested. 

Financial assistance and death benefits

Death or survivor benefits are paid by a number of government agencies, as well as through insurance policies, unions, and employers.

  • Canada Pension Plan (Service Canada), 1-800-277-9914. The amount of the benefit depends on the contributions to the Canada Pension Plan.
  • Department of Immigration, Population Growth and Skills, 1-877-729-2480 or
    • If there are not adequate resources for funeral expenses through the person’s estate or family, there may be assistance for residents of Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Veteran’s Affairs: Last Post Fund, 1-800-268-0248.
    • If a veteran dies without funds, the Last Post Fund will provide a military funeral and grave marker in a nearby cemetery.
  • Office of the Public Trustee, 709-729-0850.
    • If a deceased person’s next of kin are unwilling or unable to administer the estate, the Public Trustee’s Office may do so.

Where can I obtain a copy of a death certificate?

The funeral home produces the death certificate and registers the death.

If you need multiple copies, be sure to ask for them.  Death certificates can also be requested through the office for Vital Statistics.  1-855-729-3380.

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Last updated: 2022-12-01