If you’re thinking about end-of-life arrangements for yourself or a loved one, planning ahead and choosing a cemetery could give you and your family some peace of mind. While we know it can be a difficult topic, here are three tips to help you choose a cemetery that’s right for you.
Your rights in BC
We oversee certain aspects of BC’s funeral, cremation and interment laws including ensuring that businesses keep appropriate records, meet contract requirements and more. This means that as a consumer, you are entitled to certain rights with these transactions. Learn more about your rights when it comes to funeral services and cemeteries and crematoriums in BC.
Prepaying for cemetery services
When making end-of-life decisions, you may decide to simply make your wishes known to your family verbally or in a will or written document. Alternatively, you may decide to take the extra step to prepay and prearrange for funeral, cemetery or crematorium services in the future – this is known as a preneed contract. These types of contracts are regulated under BC’s consumer protection laws. If you decide to prepay for these services, there are certain things to be aware of. Find out more about pre-need contracts and prepaying for end-of-life arrangements.
3 tips to help you choose a cemetery
- Consider the location. There are many factors that influence where you would like to be laid to rest, and location is one of them. For example, you may decide on a location because you already have relatives there, it’s a place of personal significance, or for cultural and/or religious reasons.
- Determine what’s most important to you. Take your time to visit the cemetery and see if it suits your needs. How is the quality of service? How well-maintained is it? Some cemetery areas are left to appear more natural and aim to reduce their environmental footprint, known as “green burial areas”. Think about what is important to you or other living members of your family if you wish to be interred at the same cemetery.
- Ask about the cemetery’s bylaws. Each cemetery has its own bylaws that could affect your decision. The bylaws will impact things like the operation and management if it allows multiple interments in one lot and even the size, kind and composition of memorials permitted on site. Under BC law, you are allowed to provide your own urn or grave marker, but the cemetery may have restrictions about these items under the bylaws. This is why it’s very important to ask about and understand the bylaws before you choose a cemetery.
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About Consumer Protection BC
We are not-for-profit regulator responsible for overseeing certain industries and specific consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will try to offer a referral to a relevant organization, if one exists. Other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.