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Cemetery & Funeral Services

Posted on
13 August 2014
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Your preneed cemetery or funeral services contract rights

Written by  Melaina

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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.  

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).

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. 

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 Consumer Protection BC’s online web portal at



Melaina works in communications and marketing for Consumer Protection BC. She is our regular blogger and is always looking for topics of interest to BC consumers.  Feel free to ask a question related to any of our posts by posting a comment!



Robert Paille

15 August 2014
Can you be buried without embalming? If so, where?


15 August 2014
No, embalming is not required for burial. However there may be factors to consider such as if there will be a viewing with; or public health laws may require embalming if the body is going to be transported by air or rail.

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