The first step in the process is to contact one of our contracted funeral homes. It is important to ensure the funeral home is aware the deceased is a CCMS member in order to receive the discounted prices and proper plan. The funeral home will assist you in registering the death, obtaining a burial permit and facilitating the funeral arrangements for you.
The funeral home will arrange to obtain the Medical Certificate of Death from the Physician or Medical Examiner.
Once these two documents have been submitted to Vital Statistics, you may order a Death Certificate, a certified copy of the Registration of Death or the Medical Certificate of Death through a Registry Agent if you are eligible.
Registration of Death
The Registration of Death is a document that becomes a permanent legal record of the death event. It is important that the information is completed fully and accurately. It is the responsibility of the spouse, next-of-kin or person who has full knowledge of the facts surrounding the person who has passed away to complete a Registration of Death Form. For CCMS members, our funeral provider will complete this form and provide you with 2 copies at no additional cost above the price of the plan.
Certificate of Death
The Death Certificate is a legal document produced from information on the Registration of Death. (Alberta Services) Vital Statistics uses the information on the Registration of Death Form to create an official Certificate of Death. The executor/personal representative or other eligible person should order a Certificate of Death. Many organizations will require this document before decisions can be made on behalf of the deceased. Until you obtain the Certificate of Death, the funeral director will issue a Statement of Death that you can use.
A burial permit is required to bury, cremate or otherwise dispose of the body of a deceased person. Permits are printed by some funeral homes on behalf of the family when funeral service arrangements are being made. Burial permits may also be obtained from a hospital registrar.
Medical Certificate of Death
The Medical Certificate of Death is completed by a Physician or Medical Examiner. It is a document that determines the manner and cause of death. It forms part of the death record.
Who is considered adult next-of-kin?
Adult next-of-kin is defined in the Fatality Inquiries Act as mother, father, brother, sister, children, spouse or adult interdependent partner. A minor is also included if the minor is a parent, spouse or adult interdependent partner.
This does not include in-laws, grand children, step relatives, aunts, uncles, nieces or nephews, or a biological parent or child when the child has been adopted.
Things to consider when making funeral arrangements
Whenever possible, bring someone with you when making funeral arrangements to act as your advocate or support.
Funeral directors often explain ‘all the options’ to people who are making arrangements. This may feel overwhelming. If you do not want to receive what might feel like a sales pitch, be very clear about your wishes to stick to a particular CCMS plan from the beginning, and let the funeral director know if you don’t want to hear all the options.
The cost of placing an obituary is in addition to the CCMS plan and can be very expensive depending on the newspaper(s). The funeral home can help you write the obituary for a small fee so be sure to bring any pictures and details when you go to the funeral home to make arrangements.
The funeral home registers the death and produces the death certificate. How many copies you will need depends on the complexity of the estate and therefore the number of institutions you will need to provide a copy to.
Some funeral homes offer ‘after care’. This involves a funeral director meeting with the family to discuss death benefits such as Canada Pension Plan, Veterans’ benefits, etc. as well as information on how to discontinue a driver’s licence, work with the bank, deal with income taxes, etc. There is an extra cost attached to this service, but for some people it may be very useful. For others, it might be enough to have an executor’s checklist or to use the resources provided on this website.
Planning a funeral or memorial service
For most people, after a death has occurred, it is important that family and friends have opportunities to come together to grieve. Funeral and memorial services or other public gatherings are ways for this to happen. They also allow the wider community to support family members and recognize the loss. How or where people gather is not as important as the fact that they are able to come together.
When making decisions about a service or ceremony of remembrance, it is important to consider patient and family needs and wishes, religious and cultural beliefs, finances, and certain basic information and options. For example:
At a funeral, the body is present in either an open or closed casket; at a memorial service, it is not.
Either service can be religious or not; it can be held in a church, funeral facility, private home or any other place of choice.
The kind of service does not dictate whether burial or cremation is chosen, nor does the choice of burial or cremation determine the kind of service held.
While most people prefer to make arrangements through a funeral facility, it is also possible for families to carry out the necessary plans themselves.
Calgary Co-operative Memorial Society | Suite 204A, 223-12 Avenue S.W. | Calgary, AB T2R 0G9 | 403-248-2044 1-800-566-9959 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Calgary Co-operative Memorial Society Ltd.
Suite 204A, 223-12 Avenue S.W.
Calgary, Alberta T2R 0G9
Toll Free: 1-800-566-9959