Are you shopping for funeral arrangements for a loved one who has recently passed away? The following tips may be of interest to you.

The register of prearranged funeral services contracts and prepurchased sepulture contracts was implemented on January 18, 2021 in order to make it easier to locate “prearranged” contracts a person may have entered into before death.

Checking the register before purchase

If you are shopping for funeral services for a loved one who has just passed away, the vendor is required to consult the register before entering into a contract with you.

This consultation is carried out to check whether other contracts have already been entered into for the person to whom funeral products and services are intended. This will make sure the deceased person’s final wishes are respected and you will avoid having to spend money on agreements that already exist.

Note that only certain individuals, including the prospective purchaser, are authorized to know the information contained in the register. In order to do so, you must provide the following information to the vendor: your name, your link with the deceased and other details to help determine the existence of a contract (name of the deceased, date of birth, address, etc.).

Proof of consultation

The vendor is required to give you proof of consultation of the register. This proof can be provided in 3 different forms, based on the search results:

The vendor can only give you the proof of consultation in French. However, to help you fully understand its contents, an English version is available here.

Contracts found in the register

The consultation in the register, through the vendor, will make it possible to find the following contracts, if they exist:

  • Prearranged funeral services contracts, which among other things include the embalmment, the viewing (wake), decorations, transportation, the coffin or urn, the funerary monument, the ceremony, the funeral service (funeral), the cremation and the interment.
  • Prepurchased sepulture contracts, which include the purchase, leasing, reservation and/or maintenance of a compartment or any other space in a cemetery (concession, lot, etc.), a columbarium (niche), a mausoleum or other space used for such purposes.

Gradual implementation

The vendor has 45 days to enter the contracts mentioned above in the register. This applies to contracts entered into on January 18, 2021 or later.

Contracts entered into before that date that have not yet been honoured (or only partly honoured) should now be entered in the register. If in doubt, you could first speak to the vendor and, if necessary, continue your search by contacting other funeral service establishments before entering into an agreement.

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By law, only a vendor who holds a funeral services business licence issued by the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux may negotiate or enter into a funeral services contract.

To check whether a vendor holds a licence, you can consult the Répertoire des entreprises de services funéraires (directory of funeral services business licences - in French only) on the website of the Ministère.

Before entering into a funeral services contract after the death of a loved one, find out what the contracts must contain.

The page titled Contents of the contract provides this information and informs you about the vendor’s obligations after signature. You can then be sure that the contracts are compliant and that the vendor abides by the applicable rules.

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Last update : July 19, 2023

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The information contained on this page is presented in simple terms to make it easier to understand. It does not replace the texts of the laws and regulations.