Questions and Answers

Why is it important to have a Will?

The purpose of a Will is to outline your wishes. Everyone needs a Will but almost half of Canadians don’t have one. Many people avoid making a Will because it makes them feel uncomfortable to think about the prospect of death or they recoil from making decisions about beneficiaries. However, if you die without a valid Will, your estate will be administered and your property distributed under the appropriate provincial legislation. You will have no say in how you would like your assets dealt with. 

What are the benefits of having a Will?

When should I change my Will?

What happens when there is no Will?

The Estate Administration Act says how your estate will be divided if you die without a Will. A court will have to appoint someone to handle your estate. That person is called the Administrator. The Administrator is similar to the Executor who would have been named if you had made a Will. Usually the Administrator will be one of the people who will share in your estate. Sometimes people will disagree about who should be appointed and the Court has to decide whom to appoint. This can take a lot of time and money. If no one is willing to be the Administrator, then the Public Guardian the Trustee can do the job. The Court will also appoint a Guardian if you have children and their other parent is not alive. In most cases your survivors will have a much easier time if you make a Will. A Will is the best way to ensure your estate will be divided the way you want and that your children will be taken care of by the person you want.

Why should we have a funeral?

As difficult as it is to discuss death, grief, and funerals, it is ultimately more difficult to avoid the topic. The funeral gives us permission to grieve, and may be as simple or as elaborate as the family wishes. 

The funeral ceremony:

Funerals recognize a particular life, and make real the fact that life has ended. It’s impossible to progress through grief without first facing the fact of loss. 

What is a Certified Funeral Celebrant?

A Funeral Celebrant is trained and certified to provide a funeral, memorial or celebration of life service that is highly personalized to reflect the personality, lifestyle and beliefs of the deceased. Celebrants encourage participation by family and friends in helping create a meaningful ceremony. The Celebrant then writes and facilitates the ceremony for you. Lynda Gawryluk is Cherished Memories’ Certified Funeral Celebrant who offers a flexible, family centered funeral celebration to families who do not want a traditional religious funeral.   

What is an autopsy & is it always required?

An autopsy is the medical examination of the body following death. The Coroner can order an autopsy to investigate the death to determine cause of death; the manner of death; to continue the clinical study of the case; investigate problems of physical, chemical, bacteriological, pathological and anatomical conditions. The Coroner has the authority to order an autopsy without consent of the next of kin. Attending physicians or family members may also request an autopsy, however an autopsy is not necessarily required. 

What is the average cost of a funeral?

Like other professional services (legal, dental, medical) the costs depend on the services, merchandise and final disposition methods selected by the family. Cherished Memories caters to the unique, individual needs of each family. Associated costs include services provided by the funeral home and selected merchandise. Once all variables and options have been determined a detailed breakdown of costs can be provided. 

What is embalming and is it mandatory?

Embalming is a surgical technique used to disinfect, preserve and restore the human body. The foremost reason for embalming is to protect the public health. Contrary to the old belief that the “germ dies with the host”, human remains begin to decompose almost immediately, offering an ideal environment for microbial growth. Embalming is not mandatory in the province of BC, but may be recommended in some instances (i.e. public viewing, transportation by Air) 

Should we view the body?

Family members may wish to view the body in a private or public visitation. Viewing the deceased can provide reality, a healthy step toward the resolution of grief. It can be helpful in accepting the fact that death has occurred, especially for the immediate family. Each person has a different point of view and must make the choice for themselves. Leaving the option of visitation open to an individual’s own emotional needs is in many cases the most favorable response to viewing the deceased. 

Is scattering legal?

There are no provincial regulations that prohibit scattering of cremated remains by land, sea or air, though some municipal by-laws may prohibit. Scattering is a decision that needs to be carefully considered. Cremated remains should never be scattered on private property without permission. Although the act of scattering may have idyllic appeal to some, it is an irreversible decision.

What is cremation?

Cremation is where the body is prepared for final disposition. Over a 2-3 hour period the body is transformed by intense heat (1600 – 2000 degrees Fahrenheit) to a state of small skeletal fragments and not fine ash as some believe. Following the cremation process, the cremated remains are removed from the chamber and placed in a cooling tray. They are processed to their final reduced consistency and placed in a small cardboard box or urn. Cremated remains weigh between 4 – 8 pounds. 

How do I know these are the cremated remains of the deceased?

Crematoriums and funeral home personnel must adhere to strict regulations and a code of professional ethics. Only one person is cremated at a time and all cremated remains are placed in the urn. 

Does Cherished Memories have a crematorium?

Yes. Cherished Memories Crematorium is located on Kutenai Road in the Ghostrider subdivision.

I just want the deceased picked up from the place of death and cremated. Can this be done?

By law, the deceased cannot be cremated until 48 hours after the death has occurred. Vital statistics information must then be obtained in order to secure the necessary permits for the cremation to take place. If the deceased had a pacemaker, this must be removed by the funeral home staff. A person can be buried or cremated with simplicity, however, there are a certain amount of administrative duties and physical preparation of the deceased that may need to be performed prior to cremation taking place. 

Are we running out of burial space?

No. There’s more than enough ground space available to bury everyone in Canada