According to the most recent data from the Corporation des thanatologues du Québec (CTQ), the average cost in Quebec of a complete memorial service and body disposal is $5,500. This amount may seem high, but it’s important to note that it includes a complete funeral service, with the transportation and handling of the deceased’s body with respect to laws. This price also includes administrative fees for managing government records, bereavement support, open casket, memorial service, cremation and burial in a columbarium or a cemetery.
1. Research funeral costs
Annie Saint-Pierre, General Director of the Corporation des
thanatologues du Québec (CTQ), says that price should be the furthest
thing from your mind after a death. “Opting for a service that
respects your values and a funeral business that works with dignity
and professionalism—both with the deceased and those who remain—is the
first instinct and, for many families in Quebec, a priority,” adds
You should also know that costs can vary from one region to the next.
Therefore, burial costs in a cemetery or a columbarium will not be the
same in Rimouski as in Montreal. The majority of cemeteries are
managed by parishes and not by funeral businesses.
The option to preserve ashes in a columbarium, in a funeral home, is
becoming more and more popular with families because of its easy
access in both summer and winter. Again, costs vary depending on where
the urn is kept.
Saint-Pierre also emphasizes that funeral service businesses must
respect obligations and laws that govern their field. This means there
are basic costs that have no wiggle room. These costs include
transportation and management of the remains, the services of a family
advisor for administration, registration with the Direction de l’état
civil and request for the death
benefit in Quebec or Canada,
funeral direction costs and many others. Again, costs will not be the
same from one region to the next.
To avoid additional charges, you can carry out estate settlement tasks yourself without the help
of a notary. You can also choose a casket or urn yourself and decide
on the type of ceremony and burial. But for those who are tempted to
save money, Annie Saint-Pierre reminds us that the loss of a loved one
is an extremely emotional time. “It may be difficult to be rational
and make choices according to your needs in this emotional context,”
2. Make pre-arrangements
From a planning perspective, and to ensure your family’s financial
future, Saint-Pierre estimates that pre-arranged contracts are the best way to get
some peace of mind, planning the management of these difficult moments
in a completely different context than grief.
With this step, not only can you predict the costs, but you can also
create a memorial service that suits you. Your decisions will surely
be more rational if you plan ahead for your funeral arrangements,
since you will be less overwhelmed with emotions than your loved ones
will be at the time of your death. Additionally, these contracts are
governed by laws and your money is protected in a trust. “The purpose
of a pre-arranged funeral is to set a price today for later,” says
3. Use the $2,500 death benefit
You may want to reduce costs upon your death, but you should know
this will have an influence on the grieving process. Avoiding planning
your funeral because of concerns about money sometimes means you’re
avoiding grief, and this could catch up with you someday.
Trends have evolved, and the types of services offered are becoming
more and more varied, such as tributes to life, private memorials or
intimate moments around the deceased. No matter what your choice,
thanatologists recommend taking the time to mark the end of a loved
one’s life to better accept their passing.
Retraite Québec grants $2,500 toward the death of each worker who has
contributed to their retirement plan for at least five years. This
amount will help you pay for funeral expenses. However, the $2,500
benefit amount has not been indexed or reviewed for 20 years and is
taxable to the estate.
In short, preparing your funeral arrangements while you are still alive is the best way to predict costs and consequences.