Immediate contact: 306-254-2022

Commonly Asked Questions

The following are topics that are covered in this question section. Also feel free to contact us with any question that is not covered below.

When A Death Occurs
General Questions and Answers
Canada Pension Plan Benefits
Ordering Flowers
Funeral Etiquette
Grief Resources
Still Have Questions?



Why You Should Plan Ahead

Pre-planning is a matter of taking the time to think about – and record – your end-of-life desires. It’s a thoughtful gesture to those you love, and a way to let go of anxieties about the future. Once done, you can relax, knowing your plans are in the hands of reliable friends or family.

It’s All About Taking Control

Given time to consider it, you’ll quickly realize that pre-planning is all about ensuring that your wishes are known, so they can be acted upon with the time comes. Making the commitment to planning ahead:

  • Is easy. There’s no health questionnaire or physical exam required. Absolutely everyone can make a pre-plan, and there is no waiting for return documents. The plan is completed, and put on file in our office.
  • Lets your family clearly know your wishes.
  • Relieves your family members of making very personal decisions on your behalf at the time of need.
  • Can protect your family from the ravages of inflation. Your expenses can be covered when you need them to be, through a pre-payment plan.


Pre-Planning Checklist

For many, it feels like there’s an overwhelming amount of things to think about. Laying the foundation for a well thought out plan for you or a loved one takes a bit of time, but, it’s worth every moment spent. Here’s what to do to get started:

  • Prepare a contact list of individuals who should be notified in a medical emergency or death.
  • Write an obituary or simply jot down information you would like included in an obituary.
  • Decide where obituary and memorial information should appear.

Choose the type of service you would like including the burial you prefer and make those arrangements. You will need to decide:

  • Cemetery lot location
  • Casket type; cremation urn type
  • Type of service: religious or non-denominational
  • The contact details for Dalmeny Funeral Home to designate care for you
  • Pallbearers, music, flowers, scripture or other readings
  • Charity to receive donations in lieu of flowers, if donations are preferred
  • Select whom you would like to speak at the service
  • Decide what organizations or church will benefit from memorial donations in your name


Arrange and Delegate

The people who know and care about you will be there when you need them. You only need to provide them with instructions and important financial details.

Give your Executor a copy of your Will. Safety deposit boxes are often opened up during the estate settlement process, long after the funeral. Any funeral planning documents therein can be of no help to your executor.

  • Make sure your representative has a list of important account information or telephone numbers for retirement plans, insurance policies, investments, bank accounts, safe-deposit boxes, properties, preferred law and accountant firms and mortuaries.
  • Designate a power of attorney to ensure that proper information can be accessed in the event of your illness or death. Make sure a durable power of attorney for health care and a living will are in place so that your wishes are carried out if you are unable to do so.
  • Make arrangements for telephone and utilities services, and newspaper and magazine deliveries, to be cancelled.

You can also contact us for additional information. We’re pleased to answer any questions you may have, without obligation.

Does Pre-planning Require Pre-payment?

The simple answer is: No. You can set plan to paper by simply recording your wishes, and leave it for your family to pay for your desired services at the time of your passing.

Or, you can protect you and your family from inflation, by pre-funding your plan. This ensures your expenses will be covered when you need them to be.

When you choose to pre-fund your final arrangements, your money is put in an approved trust account until required. After your pre-plan is paid, our price is guaranteed. You will never have to pay more for the items you have already paid for.

Why Pre-Plan with Dalmeny Funeral Home?

By pre-planning with us, you’re assured that your final wishes are known. This relieves your family of the burden of making difficult decisions, under emotional duress. Through pre-funding your plan, expenses will be covered when you need them to be. That’s guaranteed.

Our plans offer a variety of payment options to fit most everyone. Choose the payment option that’s right for you.

Request a personal appointment with a Dalmeny Funeral Home Pre-Planning Advisor. Please contact us by phone (306) 254-2022 or send a note from the contact page.

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When A Death Occurs

When death occurs, the order in which things need to be done often depends on where the death occurred. But, one thing should always be remembered: your heightened emotional state upon the death of a loved one. That’s why we suggest that you ask a friend for help – someone who is more able to think clearly, and give you the support you may need.

What should I do when a death occurs?

When someone dies in hospital, residence or a nursing home: As soon as possible contact us, Dalmeny Funeral Home. Later, notify family members and close friends.
When someone dies at home or unexpectedly: It is mandatory for the police to be notified. The police will involve the Coroner if necessary. As soon as possible contact us, Dalmeny Funeral Home. Later, notify family members, close friends, employer, school, college and/or other institution.

Who should make the funeral arrangements?

The person with the legal authority to make funeral arrangements is the Executor of the Will. Sometimes, by mutual agreement, the authority to make the arrangements is passed on to someone in the family or a friend of the family. You should be aware whoever signs the funeral service agreement is financially responsible for the funeral.

Is there a difference between a funeral service and a memorial service?

A funeral service usually takes place with the body of the deceased present. A memorial service is a gathering to honour the deceased without the body present. A memorial service may be held close to the time of death or at another time such as a birthday, anniversary, family reunion or other occasion that the family feels is appropriate.

Can I still have a funeral service if I choose cremation?

Yes. Cremation is not intended to replace a traditional funeral service. It is simply an alternative to a burial of the body of the deceased. You can still have a traditional funeral service in a church, chapel, home or other location that you and the family feels is appropriate.

What to Expect When You Arrive at the Funeral Home

One of the professionals will guide you through the entire arrangement process, explaining how you can create a memorable personal celebration of your loved one’s life. This is not a one-way conversation; we want to hear your ideas and desires, and use them as the foundation for the arrangement process.
This process may include:

  • Preparing and filing the official death certificate
  • Scheduling the location, date and time of services or events
  • Selecting a casket, urn or other items
  • Preparing an obituary notice
  • Scheduling vehicles
  • Selecting pallbearers

You may also sign necessary authorizations or make arrangements to have them signed by the appropriate family members.
We’d like you to bring any photos, a favourite song, or memorabilia so that you and your funeral arranger can better discuss how you would like your loved one to be remembered. Having these things, and knowing their favourite song or favourite gathering place – even their favourite activity – will help us create a truly fitting memorial service.
Our funeral arrangers will assist you in planning a loving tribute that captures the spirit of the person whose life you wish to honour. The funeral arranger will discuss personalization with you during your arrangement conference.

The following checklist will help you remember what information about the deceased and items will be needed when meeting with a funeral arranger.

  • Full legal name
  • Home address
  • Date of death
  • Place of death
  • Social Insurance Number
  • Health Card Number
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Father’s name
  • Father’s Birthplace
  • Mother’s name & maiden name
  • Mother’s Birthplace
  • Recent Photograph of deceased
  • Occupation
  • Place of burial (if applicable)
  • Clothing (including all undergarments)
  • Jewellery/watches/glasses
  • Clergy name and phone number
  • Survivors (name and relationship)
  • Insurance policies (if applicable)

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General Questions and Answers

What should I do when a death occurs in my family?

Contact the Dalmeny Funeral Home as soon as a death has occurred. A time will be set up with the funeral director to come in and make arrangements. The funeral home will help coordinate arrangements with the cemetery, church and clergy.

What should I do if a death occurs while I am away traveling?

Contact Dalmeny Funeral Home immediately, and let us coordinate with a funeral home in the area where the death has occurred. We will take charge from then on and make all the arrangements for transporting the deceased to a local funeral home for embalming and preparation for return to home. You only need contact us with some basic information and call us when you return home to set a time for an arrangement conference.

If a loved one dies out of my province, can the local Funeral Home still help?

Yes, they can assist you with out-of-province arrangements, either to transfer the remains to another province or from another province.

What if a death occurs while traveling outside Canada?

If a family member dies while traveling outside the Canada, the Canadian Embassy will come to your assistance. You should call Dalmeny Funeral Home immediately when a death occurs abroad. We are well versed in the procedures for returning the deceased to Canada.

What should I do if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?

A Funeral Director at Dalmeny Funeral Home is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please phone (306) 254-2022 to reach a qualified professional.

Will someone come right away?

If you request immediate assistance, yes. If the family wishes to spend a short time with the deceased to say good bye, it’s acceptable. We will arrive when your time is right.

What purpose does a funeral serve?

It is the customary way to recognize death and its finality. Funerals are recognized rituals for the living to show respect for the dead and to help survivors begin the grief process.

What do Funeral Directors do?

Funeral directors are professionals trained and experienced in helping families cope with the challenges of the death of a loved one. They make funeral arrangements in keeping with the family’s wishes. They also make arrangements for transporting the body, completing necessary legal paperwork and they carry out your choices regarding the funeral service and the disposition of the body.

How much does a funeral cost?

The cost of a funeral is really determined by you and your family. Some expenses are basic to every funeral. Many expenses, however, are determined by the selections that you make. When compared to other major life cycle events, like births and weddings, funerals are not expensive. A wedding costs at least three times as much; but because it is a happy event, wedding costs are rarely criticized. A funeral home is a 24-hour, labour-intensive business, with extensive facilities (viewing rooms, chapels, hearses, cemetery equipment, etc.), these expenses must be factored into the cost of a funeral. Moreover, the cost of a funeral includes not only merchandise, like caskets, but the services of a funeral director in making arrangements; filing appropriate forms; dealing with doctors, ministers, florists, newspapers and others; and seeing to all the necessary details. Contrary to popular belief, funeral homes are largely family-owned with a modest profit margin.

Who pays for funerals for the indigent?

Other than the family, there are veteran, social assistance, and other organizational benefits to pay for funerals, including, in certain instances, a lump sum death payment from Social Security. Most funeral directors are aware of the various benefits and know how to obtain them for the indigent. However, funeral directors often absorb costs above and beyond what is provided by agencies to insure the deceased a respectable burial.

Why have public viewings?

Viewing is part of many cultural and ethnic traditions. Many grief specialists believe that viewing aids the grief process by helping the bereaved recognize the reality of death. Viewing is encouraged for children, as long as the process is explained and the activity voluntary.

What is the purpose of embalming?

Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body, slows down the decomposition process, and enhances the appearance of a body disfigured by traumatic death or illness. It makes it possible to lengthen the time between death and the final disposition, thus allowing family members time to arrange and participate in the type of service most comforting to them. Embalming the body enables mourners to view the deceased if they wish. The emotional benefits of viewing the deceased are enormous, particularly to those having difficulty dealing with the death.

Does a deceased have to be embalmed, according to law?

No. Most provinces, however, require embalming when death was caused by a reportable contagious disease or when remains are to be transported from one province to another by common carrier or if final disposition is not to be made within a prescribed number of hours.

Is it possible to have a traditional funeral if someone dies of AIDS?

Yes, a person who dies of an AIDS-related illness is entitled to the same service options afforded to anyone else. If public viewing is consistent with local or personal customs, that option is encouraged. Touching the deceased’s face or hands is perfectly safe. Because the grief experienced by survivors may include a variety of feelings, survivors may need even more support than survivors of non-AIDS-related deaths.

Is cremation a substitute for a funeral?

No, cremation is an alternative to earth burial for the body’s final disposition. Cremation offers a variety of choices, from a simple gathering to an elaborate, traditional ceremony.

So, I’ve decided on cremation. Can I still have a funeral or a viewing?

Yes, quite often some sort of viewing precedes the actual cremation. Your Funeral Home can assist you with the necessary information for a funeral with a cremation following or a memorial service.

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Canada Pension Plan Benefits

(The following information is provided by

What are Canada Pension Plan survivor benefits?

Canada Pension Plan survivor benefits are paid to a deceased contributor’s estate, surviving spouse or common-law partner and dependent children. There are three types of benefits.

  • The death benefit is a one-time payment to, or on behalf of, the estate of a deceased Canada Pension Plan contributor;
  • The survivor’s pension is a monthly pension paid to the surviving spouse or common-law partner of a deceased contributor;
  • The children’s benefit is a monthly benefit for dependent children of a deceased contributor.

It is important to apply for Canada Pension Plan benefits. If you do not apply, you may lose benefits you are entitled to receive.

How long must I contribute for my survivors to receive benefits?

If your Canada Pension Plan “contributory period” is longer than nine years, you must have contributed in:

  • one third of the calendar years in your contributory period, or
  • 10 calendar years, whichever is less

There is a minimum contributory requirement of at least 3 years.

Who is eligible for survivor benefits?

The Canada Pension Plan death benefit is a one-time, lump-sum payment made to the deceased contributor’s estate. If there is no estate, the person responsible for the funeral expenses, the surviving spouse or common-law partner or the next of kin may be eligible, in that order.

The Canada Pension Plan survivor’s pension is paid to the person who, at the time of death, is the legal spouse or common-law partner of the deceased contributor. If you are a separated legal spouse and there is no cohabiting common-law partner, you may qualify for this benefit.

If your deceased same-sex common-law partner contributed to the Canada Pension Plan, you could be eligible for survivor’s benefits if the contributor died on or after January 1, 1998.

The Canada Pension Plan children’s benefit is paid to a dependent natural or adopted child of the deceased contributor or a child in the care and control of the deceased contributor at the time of death. The child must be either under age 18, or between the ages of 18 and 25 and in full-time attendance at a school or university.

How much is the death benefit?

As with most Canada Pension Plan benefits, the amount of the death benefit depends on how much, and for how long, you paid into the Canada Pension Plan. Canada Pension Plan first calculates the amount that your Canada Pension Plan retirement pension is, or would have been if you had been age 65 when death occurred. The death benefit is equal to six months’ worth of this “calculated” retirement pension, up to a maximum of $2,500.

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Ordering Flowers

Ordering flowers for a deceased can be made through any florist of your choice. A florist we would highly recommend would be:

Grower Direct

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Funeral Etiquette

Making the Most of a Difficult Time

It’s important to know what religious, ethnic or personal considerations you need to take into account. And it’s also important to be respectful of the emotions of close family members.

Offer an expression of sympathy.

Sometimes we are at a loss for words when encountering something as final as death. Simply saying “I’m sorry for your loss” is usually enough. Be respectful and listen attentively when spoken to, and offer your own words of condolence.

Find out the dress code.

These days almost anything goes, but only when you know it’s the right thing. In fact, sometimes the deceased has specified the dress code; “no black” is a common request. If you can’t learn the wishes of the family, then dress conservatively, and avoid bright colors.

Give a gift.

It doesn’t matter if it is flowers, a donation to a charity or a commitment of service to the family at a later date; as always, “it’s the thought that counts.” Always make sure to provide the family with a signed card, so they know what gift was given, and by whom.

Sign the register book.

Include not only your name, but your relationship to the deceased: co-worker, gym buddy, or casual acquaintance from the golf club. This helps family place who you are in future.

Keep in touch.

It’s sometimes awkward for you to do so, but for most people the grieving doesn’t end with a funeral.

But, What Shouldn’t You Do?


Don’t feel that you have to stay.

If you make a visit during calling hours there’s no reason your stay has to be a lengthy one.

Don’t be afraid to laugh.

Remembering their loved one fondly can mean sharing a funny story or two. Just be mindful of the time and place; if others are sharing, then you may do so too. There is simply no good reason you shouldn’t talk about the deceased in a happy, positive tone.

Don’t feel you have to view the deceased if there is an open casket.

Act according to what is comfortable to you.

Don’t leave your cell phone on.

Switch it off before entering the funeral home, or better yet, leave it in the car. All too often, we see people checking their cell phones for messages during the services.

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you make a mistake.

Everyone does, and you can be sure that an apology may be all that’s needed to mend and soothe.

When it’s all over, always remember to continue to offer support and love to the bereaved. The next few months are a time when grieving friends and relatives could need you most. Let them know that your support did not end with the funeral.

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Grief Resources

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Still Have Questions?

Perhaps you’ve got special concerns about an upcoming funeral or memorial service? We’re here to provide the answers you’re looking for. Call us at Dalmeny Funeral Home (306) 254-2022. You can also contact us for additional information. We’re pleased to answer any questions you may have, without obligation.

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