After a Death: Plan a Funeral or Memorial

A funeral or memorial can take many forms, but is usually an event that

  • Acknowledges that a person has died
  • Allows people to say goodbye
  • Provides a support system for friends, family and the community
  • Enables reflection on life and death

It is often planned in the days following a person’s death. There are costs but these can vary depending on what is planned. Financial support options can assist with these costs.

Funerals During COVID-19

Read the BCCDC COVID-19 Funeral Guidance to learn how to safely hold a funeral or memorial service during COVID-19.  For more information about gatherings, review Phase 3 - Guidelines for Social Interaction

Find a Funeral Home 

Funeral homes are private companies that provide service and support following a person’s death. Funeral homes can vary in the services offered and the cost of those services.

Search for funeral homes by city and name.

Types of Memorials 

Memorials for a person who died can take many forms:

  • Funeral service
  • Memorial service
  • Cremation service
  • Celebration of life
  • Wake
  • Symbolic (bench, plaque, monument)
  • Dedicated event

A funeral home can provide you with options, including standard services they offer and what the costs are. You may be interested in a cultural, historical or religious practice. Sometimes a person’s will leaves instructions for their funeral or memorial.

Burial on a Reserve 

Paying for a Funeral or Memorial 

Funerals and memorials can greatly vary in cost. Ask a funeral home for an itemized quote of the cost of the services. The cost is covered by the executor or administrator, estate of the person who died, family, friends or financial support options.

Privately Transferring the Person Who Died to a Funeral Hom 

Private Burial 

A body can’t legally be buried anywhere but a designated cemetery in B.C. This is usually arranged by a funeral home. However, you can apply to establish a property as a place of interment.

Writing an Obituary  

An obituary is the written announcement of someone’s death. It’s usually published in newspapers or on memorial pages on the Internet.

An obituary can

  • Let the community know that someone has died and make funeral arrangements clear
  • Share the story of a person’s life once they have died
  • Act as additional proof of death when cancelling services or accounts
  • Become a historical record

If you use a funeral home, you can work with them to write an obituary. You can also write it yourself and contact the newspapers directly or set up your own memorial page on the Internet.


After a Death Checklist (PDF, 3.8MB)

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Common Definitions & Terms


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