Funerals 101

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Cemetery Vandalism

Traditional Burial


Home Owners Insurance and Grave Markers

Burial Benefits for Veterans

Canadian Funerals

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Cremation Scams

Funeral Scams

Funeral Home History

Canadian Funerals

Rules and Traditions Similar to U.S.

At first glance, it may seem that Canadian Funerals offer less consumer protection than funerals in the United States. Consumers in the United States, after all, have come to expect their federal government to play a heavy role in assuring that funeral homes and cemeteries are operated fairly, and no such role exists for the Canadian national government.

Funeral rules enforced by local Canadian Governments help protect the consumersBut first impressions can be deceiving.

In fact, consumers of Canadian funerals have a variety of protections that are very similar to those offered by the United States’ Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Rule, enacted by Congress to help consumers stand up to monopoly-like business practices that have been historically very common in the memorial industry. Canadian Funerals may not be regulated by the national government, but most local and provincial governments take consumer protection very seriously. This means, in fact, the typical experience consumers face in Canadian cemeteries and funeral homes is very similar to what United States consumers can expect. Most reputable cemeteries and funeral homes in Canada adhere to industry standards for business practices that are almost exactly like the United States laws.

Below are a few highlights of common funeral rules enforced by local Canadian governments or Canadian funeral industry groups. In every case, these rules are the same as those enforced by the United States Federal Trade Commission.

  1. Funeral homes and cemeteries may not require that bodies be embalmed unless there is a specific local law that requires it. And, in no case, may funeral homes or cemeteries conduct an embalming without a customer’s authorization.
  2. Canadian funeral homes and cemeteries must present customers with an itemized price list of services and products available. They may not attempt to keep customers from buying products elsewhere. (In other words, a customer may purchase a headstone or casket from any dealer and have it delivered for use at any funeral home or cemetery.)
  3. Cemeteries may, in most cases, require that customers buy a concrete grave vault or other grave reinforcement.
  4. Cemeteries and funeral homes may not misrepresent the preservation ability of caskets.

Most local and provincial governments take consumer protection very seriouslyThese rules, and others, give Canadian consumers the legal power to stand up to monopolistic tactics that had been the hallmark of the North American Funeral Industry for much of the 20th Century (and probably before). While it is debatable whether a federal or local government best enforces these rules, the fact remains: consumer-friendly funeral business practices are now the law of the land in both the United States and Canada.

Canadian consumers looking for information about the specific rules in their area should contact regulators in either their local or provincial government. Most companies in the USA ship items such as urns and headstones to Canada for a shipping fee. Additionally, hey can also get help from the numerous industry associations that serve the entire nation. These associations are typically eager to enforce rules that encourage competition in the funeral industry. The industry understands that, if it doesn’t police itself, the national government will likely take charge as Congress did in the U.S.

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