Death: it’s a sensitive topic that many of us shy away from until we’re forced to make difficult end-of-life arrangements. In this blog post, prepare yourself for the future and discover some of the rights you have when it comes to cemetery and funeral services – for instance, did you know you can supply your own casket, as long as it meets certain requirements?

Determining who has rights of disposition

In BC, a hierarchy exists for the control of rights of disposition when someone passes away. For example, the law states that first rights go to the personal representative named in the will, next is the spouse and then to an adult child of the deceased (oldest first). For the full list, visit our blog post After-death care: who gets to decide? to learn more.

Who has the right to move of your loved one after death?

Before transferring a body, by law, a funeral home must have verbal or written authorization from the person who has the rights of disposition (see the paragraph above). You can also find out about private transfers on our blog pot – How to privately transfer your loved one following a death. We also have more information on private transfer including the application form on our website.

Spreading of ashes

By law, if you’ve stated in a will that you’d like your ashes spread in a certain location, that wish must be honoured (as long as your request is not unreasonable). Cremated remains can be scattered on private or public property, although permission should be granted by the landowner or the government body who oversees those lands.

Pricing disclosures

Funeral services providers operating in BC are required, by law, to display a current price list of all the offered services and products. This list must be accessible by the public and a copy must be provided to any consumer who asks for it.

Supplying your own casket or urn

Under BC’s cemetery and funeral services law, you have the right to supply your own casket for interment or cremation as long as it meets certain requirements (such as the ability to be closed, hold weight and be sufficiently sealed). Similarly, you also have the right to supply your own container to hold the cremated remains of your loved one.

There is more to learn about BC’s cemetery and funeral services industry, and your rights as a consumer. For more information, see our additional reading list below.


Have you had “the talk”? Steps to take & 5 tips about funeral services
Your preneed cemetery or funeral services contract rights
Steps to take following a death
How to privately transfer your loved one following a death