When making about your end of life decisions, you may choose to enter into a preneed funeral or cemetery services contract with a funeral provider or cemetery operator, allowing you to pre-arrange and pre-pay for the future. Here are some things to know about these preneed contracts.

Entering into these contracts secures most costs at the current rate, even if the services take place many years later. You can also choose to leave prearrangement information with a funeral home, but not prepay for the services.

Do your research

Before you finalize the contract, ensure you know what services you are pre-paying for, what costs might be incurred at the time of need (such as food and flowers), and what costs may fluctuate (such as taxes).

Ready to sign a contract?

When entering into a preneed contract, you should receive a copy of the contract within 15 days of signing it. If you don’t receive a copy within this amount of time, you have the right to cancel. If you receive the contract after this length of time, you have up to 30 days from the date it was received to cancel.

Your cancellation rights

A preneed cemetery or funeral services contract may be cancelled at any time by the purchaser or by the personal representative of the deceased; however, you may lose up to 20% of the total cost of the contract. Be aware that items that are personalized or unique may not be refundable.

Make sure you read and understand a contract before signing it. If possible, have a relative, family friend or lawyer look it over with you.

For more information about BC’s funeral, cremation and interment laws, visit the funeral services section of our website.

ADDITIONAL READING:

Have you had “the talk”? Steps to take & 5 tips about funeral services
Cemetery and funeral services: do you know your rights?
Steps to take following a death