Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the advantages of preplanning my funeral?

A: Planning your funeral arrangements in advance has a number of benefits and can spare your family from the additional stress of making decisions on your behalf at the time of need.  It is also important that you share your plans and wishes with your family. Simply setting out your wishes in a will may not be of benefit as wills are often not read until after the funeral services are performed.

Q: Who is responsible for making my final arrangements?

A: The Funeral and Cremation Services Act sets out the order of persons who are authorized to make your arrangements and the person responsible is referred to as the Authorized Decision Maker. In order, they are:

  • the executor named in the will of the deceased;
  • the spouse of the deceased or a person with whom the deceased cohabited as a spouse in a relationship of some permanence;
  • an adult child of the deceased;
  • a parent or legal custodian of the deceased;
  • an adult brother or sister of the deceased;
  • a grandparent of the deceased;
  • an adult grandchild of the deceased;
  • an adult uncle or aunt of the deceased;
  • an adult nephew or niece of the deceased;
  • an adult next of kin of the deceased determined on the basis provided by sections 13 and 14 of The Intestate Succession Act, 1996;
  • another adult person having some relationship with the deceased not based on a family relationship.

In cases where there is more than one person in a particular class of persons, the eldest person is deemed to be the authorized decision maker. It is important to note that an adult person who is not related to the deceased cannot authorize cremation.

Q: Is embalming a requirement?

A: Generally, embalming is not required if the deceased is to be buried in Saskatchewan however it may be advisable in a number of circumstances. It may be required in circumstances where the deceased is being transported to another jurisdiction.

Q: How do I determine the costs of funeral services?

A: Funeral homes are required to maintain price lists and to make them available to you upon request if you present yourself at a funeral home. In addition, when funeral arrangements are being made, the funeral home must offer a copy of its price list.

Q: Can I perform any funeral services myself?

A: If you are a family member of the deceased or any other person who is not in the business of providing funeral services, and you do not receive a fee or other remuneration, you may provide funeral services, however this does not include:

  • embalming, which can only be performed by a licensed embalmer
  • cremation, which can only be conducted in a licensed crematorium

In addition, you would be required to obtain documents required by legislation prior to burial or cremation. In Saskatchewan burial of human remains can only take place in a registered cemetery.

Q: How do I donate my body to medical science?

You may wish to contact the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Saskatchewan for further details. They can be contacted at (306) 966-4075.

Q: I have a prepaid contract that includes earth burial and I now wish to have my body cremated. What is required to do this?

A: The funeral home will cancel the original contract and you are entitled to the difference in costs. A new contract will be issued based on the goods and services you select, however you should be aware that the costs listed in the new contract will be at current prices.

Q: I have a prepaid contract with a funeral home but wish to have my contract transferred to another funeral home. What is required?

A: The new funeral home you select can complete an Order for Transfer and submit it on your behalf. The other funeral home is required to arrange for the transfer of funds between financial institutions within 15 business days. You should be aware that the former funeral home is entitled to retain the lesser of 10% or $250 if the contract is less than one year old or the lesser of 10% or $500 if the contract is over one year old.

Q: Can I supply my own urn for cremated remains?

A: You are not required to purchase an urn and may supply your own. It should be able to hold the contents of a two litre milk carton.

Q: How do I know if the cremated remains I receive are those of our family member?

A: Crematoria owners are required to maintain stringent continuous identification procedures from the initial identification by the Authorized Decision Maker until the time the cremated remains are released. A numbered metal disk follows the body through the cremation process and is returned with the cremated remains. All crematoria documents are also subject to regular inspection to ensure compliance.