Frequently Asked Questions
What purpose does a funeral service serve? A funeral ceremony will help the living recognize the death and its finality. It will also assist survivors as they begin the grief process. Those attending such a function will normally experience a sense of hope and healing.
Do we want a visitation or viewing?
The importance of a viewing or visitation for some family members, cultures and ethnic traditions addresses the reality of a physical death and moves the participants along the road through grief by seeing the deceased free of pain and at peace.
Is Embalming necessary? What does it do? How is it done?
The impetus for the present form of embalming was the American Civil War. Many young men were killed and their families wanted them returned home for burial. From that need came the embalming of today. The refrigeration of today, which they did not have, allows us to keep the deceased for a limited period of time. Embalming, when done properly, by an individual that knows his profession, will prevent decomposition and deterioration. It will preserve and enhance the individual’s appearance. Embalming may or may not be necessary for your unique situation. It is not required by legislation in the Province of British Columbia. It may be required for health reasons for some of the service options you ask your funeral provider to provide you and your family. It will likely be a requirement if you are having the deceased transported.
Is burial space limited?
At present levels of use in Victoria;
- Royal Oak Burial Park has over 100 years of space
- Hatley Memorial Gardens also predicts they have over 100 years of use
Should I plan my service in advance?
- Your wishes are known in advance
- You will have control over services and cost
- Most importantly – you will ease the burden on those you leave behind
What can I do about the high cost of funeral services? Approximately 75% of the deaths in the Province of British Columbia are serviced through three (3) corporations. That should suggest that in this province the funeral industry is big business. With that in mind, and understanding that knowledge is power, by planning and shopping in advance you will hold the power at a time when you are best able to make impassionate decisions.
What are the costs of services?
Please see our Fee schedule
What can I do about irregularities or poor service?
Take your concerns to the funeral provider. A smart and good businessman does not want unhappy families. If you cannot get satisfaction at that level put your concerns in writing and send them to:
Cemetery and Funeral Services Branch
Box 9297, Stn. Prov. Gov.
Victoria B.C. V8W 9J8
Can I claim Funeral Charges on my income tax return?
Will the Government help financially?
- CPP has a death benefit and a spousal benefit.1-800-667-3355
- Old Age Security 1-800-277-9914
- Veterans Affairs 250-363-3836
- Workers Compensation 1-800-663-2782
- Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC)1-800-663-3051
- Last Post Fund 1-604-685-8833
Can we provide our own services?
There is nothing within legislation in the Province of British Columbia that would preclude an individual holding the legal authority to orchestrate the disposition of human remains, from doing so. However the industry has developed over the last century and a half because most people find it much easier mentally, emotionally and physically to have a professional assist by looking after the myriad of details involved.
Are there regulations concerning the scattering of human cremains?
- Prov. Gov. Cemetery Branch – No regulation against in Legislation
- Victoria City Hall – No regulation against, use discretion
- Saanich Municipality – No regulation against, use discretion
- Oak Bay Municipality – No regulation against, use discretion
- Esquimalt Municipality – No regulation against, use discretion
- Colwood Municipality – No regulation against, use discretion
- C.R.D. – No regulation against, use discretion
- Provincial Waste Management – No regulation against, use discretion
- Department of Oceans and Fisheries – No regulation against, use discretion
The questions we have addressed above will not answer all questions for everybody, if you find that you are left with concerns that have not been addressed here please feel free to contact us via email or telephone at anytime.