To help you through the process, here are answers to the questions that we are most often asked.
After a death
- Is an appointment necessary to make funeral arrangements or can we go directly to one of your offices?
- What information do you need?
- If a loved one dies in a hospital or a residence, what do I have to do?
- What if the death occurs at home?
- Will MEMORIA take care of the arrangements with the church and the cemetery?
- Is it possible to rent a casket, even if the deceased will be cremated?
- What if the death occurs in another country?
Preparing for your meeting with a MEMORIA counsellor
- How do we find out if a will or prearrangements exist?
- What is the Québec Pension Plan (Régie des rentes du Québec (RRQ))?
- Is everybody eligible for the RRQ death benefit?
- What is a liquidator?
- What must be done if we wish to renounce a succession?
- Must an inventory of an estate be made and why?
- Is Power of Attorney useful after a death?
1. One of my parents will not be with us for very much longer:what can I do to prepare for her death?
Call MEMORIA as soon as possible. We will put you in contact with one of our counsellors, who will guide you and prepare everything. You can also sign a pre-arrangement contract in your parent’s name. In that case, all the decisions can be made and settled in advance. Call or e-mail us, or come to see us at one of our complexes.
After a death
1. Is an appointment necessary to make funeral arrangements or can we go directly to one of your offices?
After a death, it is better to call us as soon as you have decided to use our services, in order to ensure that one of our counsellors will be available to see you. We can then set up an appointment and where to meet, at your convenience.
2. What information do you need?
We will need some information about the deceased: where and when he or she was born, and the names of her or his parents. If the deceased was married, in civil union, widowed, divorced or seperated, we will also ask you for the same information about his or her spouse, in addition to where and when the marriage took place. Information about a family plot in a cemetery (plot, section, concessionaire, etc.) will also be useful.
3. If a loved one dies in a hospital or a residence, what do I have to do?
In that case, the staff there will guide you through the first steps and ask you to choose a funeral home. If the deceased had made pre-arrangements with us, the staff will contact us, so that we begin taking the necessary steps.
4. What if the death occurs at home?
Call 911 immediately. A physician from Urgence Santé will arrive to attest to the death. You should also contact MEMORIA. We will ensure transportation of the body and arrange a meeting between you and one of our counsellors.
5. Will MEMORIA take care of the arrangements with the church and the cemetery?
MEMORIA will reserve the date and time for the funeral with the church and the burial with the cemetery. MEMORIA will provide them with all the information contained in the Declaration of Death for their records, to save the family from having to repeat everything. It is important to note that the church and cemetery costs are not covered in the contract you will draw up with your funeral counsellor. You will receive separate invoices from the church and the cemetery for their services.
6. Is it possible to rent a casket, even if the deceased will be cremated?
Yes. In that case, the deceased will not be cremated in the casket used for the viewing, but in a cremation casket. The rental price varies according to the models offered. It is always possible to cremate the deceased in the casket that was used for the viewing, but in that case, it is not a rental, but a purchase.
7. What if the death occurs in another country?
Simply call 1-866-277-7778 and MEMORIA will take care of everything. With 80 years of experience working with communities from around the world, we have developed the international contacts and know-how that makes a difference in matters of repatriation.
Preparing for your meeting with a MEMORIA counsellor
1. What should we bring?
We will need information regarding place and date of birth, as well as the name of the deceased’s parents. If the deceased was married, we also need information about the spouse, and the date and place of marriage.
We will take care of the legal formalities:filling out the declaration of death, remitting the attestation of death, filing a request for the RRQ death benefit, carrying out the will search, etc.
If you have with you the health insurance, bring it with you. Also bring the social insurance number. We will ensure that everything is returned to the government.
If you decide to have a viewing, bring clothing and some personal effects. If you have a photo, lend it to us:it will be used for the embalmment, the newspaper obituary notice, bookmarks and thank you cards.
Information concerning a cemetery plot (lot and section numbers, owner, etc.) would also be useful.
Bring your ideas. They are valuable and can be the determining factor in personalizing the commemoration. Share your thoughts, ideas and wishes with us. You can help to create a memorable ceremony, both for yourself and for the loved ones you have invited. You make the suggestions, and MEMORIA’s team will carry them out.
2. Do you have any suggestions for clothing?
Everything is at your sole discretion. We always suggest that you choose clothing that the deceased would have chosen. For example, for men, you can bring a shirt, tie and dress pants. But if he never wore a suit jacket, perhaps he would not have wanted to be wearing one for the viewing? For women, it could be a blouse and a skirt. Please bring also underwear and socks. Shoes are not necessary, but they may be put on if the family so desires.
You may also bring jewellery or a religious object, which will be returned to you afterward. Tell your MEMORIA counsellor which personal effects you wish to keep He will then draw up a list of objects to be returned to the family.
3. Will the clothing be returned to us?
Clothing cannot be given back to the family because of hygienic concerns, according to government guidelines. It is, however, possible to have jewellery, religious objects or other personal effects returned to you. You must tell your MEMORIA counsellor which pieces you wish to keep when you provide the deceased's clothing and personal effects. The counsellor will then draw up a list of objects to be returned to the family.
1. What kind of commemoration and funeral do you propose?
MEMORIA celebrates memory according to people’s spiritual beliefs. It is your decision to make:a funeral in a place of worship, a prayer meeting in a salon with a clergy member, a memorial service with a secular celebrant, a viewing of the body or commemoration with an urn. In other words, we are open to the kind of farewell you want.
To help you make your choice, we offer the types of ritual that you can personalize.
2. Can we have music?
Of course. The music that the person loved, the songs she hummed along to... and naturally, you can invite family and friends to share in these emotions. At our complexes we have grand pianos and organs. We can also hire musicians for you, such as guitarists, violinists, pianists, harpists and singers.
3. Can we bring photos or videos?
Certainly. Our complexes are equipped with state-of-the-art screens and projectors, as well as frames and easels for photos. Your MEMORIA counsellor can coordinate an unforgettable commemoration with images that tell the story of the deceased. We also offer photo enlarging, framing, slideshow and video editing services.
4. He wanted to be cremated: Can we still have a visitation?
Yes. We are often asked this question, because to aid in the grieving process, people often feel the need to see the deceased one last time before cremation. A casket can also be rented for the visitation. Our counsellors will help you find the most appropriate solution.
5. Can you help us personalize the commemoration?
Yes, in several ways:we can design bookmarks and prepare the commemoration, arrange photos, souvenirs and candles throughout the visitation room, order flowers, help you write the obituary, coordinate in Memoriam donations, guide you in drawing up a menu for the reception, and more. Our counsellor can help you organize a funeral that reflects your values and those of your family.
6. What about the arrangements at the place of worship and the cemetery?
The MEMORIA team takes care of everything:reserving the date and time of the funeral at the place of worship, burial in the cemetery, and sending the pertinent information. In other words, we coordinate everything. However, please note that the fees charged by the place of worship and the cemetery (for cemeteries other than MEMORIA cemeteries) are not included in the contract that you sign with your counsellor.
1. What is a concession?
A concession gives one the right to use part of a cemetery, mausoleum or columbarium for interment. Thus, the right to use niches (which contain one or more urns) and crypts (which hold one or two coffins) is granted upon signing of a burial contract.
2. We do not have a plot in a cemetery…
MEMORIA has a number of interment sites:columbariums for urns, and the St. Martin Mausoleum (with a columbarium for urns, and crypts and private chapels for coffins). There, you are sheltered from the elements while you pay your respects, 365 days a year, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., including Christmas day. The mausoleum also has advantageous and economic options for keeping ashes for 99 years.
3. And if it is not a MEMORIA cemetery?
That doesn't matter. We are used to coordinating everything, even with other cemeteries, such as Notre-Dame-de-Neiges, Mount Royal, Repos Saint-François d’Assise and many others throughout Québec, the other provinces and territories in Canada, and even in other countries.
4. Can we scatter the ashes?
Yes, but only on your own land. You can also bury the urn and scatter some of the ashes from a reliquary. However, when you scatter the ashes, no trace of the deceased will remain. If there is a cremation without a burial site, only the place where the cremation took place will appear in the Register of civil status. In contrast, when the ashes are buried in a cemetery or kept in a columbarium, the Directeur de l’état civil requires that the gravesite or columbarium location information be registered. Future generations will thus be able to find their ancestors’ final resting place to pay their respects.
1. How much does a funeral cost?
Given the wide range of services that we offer, our prices are specially adapted to your needs. To obtain a submission, or simply for more information, contact us at 514 277-7778 or email us. We will be pleased to provide you with the information over the phone or in person.
2. What are the terms of payment?
You can pay cash, or by credit card or cheque. We can help you obtain Accord D financing, a Desjardins program that provides three months interest free. If the contract was paid in full, everything is settled.
3. May I pay by credit card?
Certainly. You may pay by telephone or in person at one of our offices. If you pay in person, you will receive a receipt immediately; if by phone, the receipt will be sent to you by mail in the following days.
4. How do we obtain the $2500 Québec pension plan death benefit?
Your MEMORIA counsellor will help you with all the administrative procedures. We will file the application for the death benefit and, as the case may be, the surviving spouse's pension, for you online. If the person had pre-planned his or her funeral, and is eligible for the pension, we will help you in the same way with the administrative procedures to obtain it.
1. How do we obtain the various proofs of death and which ones do we need?
Following a death, certain family members will require proof of death for their employer. The notary, the liquidator of the estate, the bank or another financial institution, and any other private or governmental institution also require this proof.
There are several proofs of death at your disposal. The following is an overview:
• Return of Death: this document, also referred to as the SP-3 form, is normally signed and issued by the physician who confirmed the death. This document cannot be used as a proof of death. It must always accompany the body. MEMORIA then sends it by mail with the Declaration of Death and the health insurance card to the Directeur de l’état civil. The cause of death is confidential and appears only on the physician's copy of the document. The family can receive this copy through the physician or the establishment where the death was confirmed by the physician.
• Declaration of Death: this document, which is also referred to as the DEC100 form, is filled out by the MEMORIA funeral counsellor during the first meeting with the deceased's family or close friends. The family receives a copy for its records, and the original is sent to the Directeur de l’état civil, with the Return of Death SP-3 form and the deceased’s health insurance card.
• Attestation of Death: this document, issued by MEMORIA in several copies, is given to the family either the day of the viewing or the funeral, or it is sent by mail to the designated person in the funeral services contract. It carries MEMORIA’s official seal, which attests to its authenticity, and may, in some cases, be used as proof of death until the official document issued by the Directeur de l’état civil is received. With this document, the notary may then begin the will search with the Chambre des notaires and the Québec Bar. Insurance companies and financial institutions may sometimes accept it as proof of death, but they will usually require the Certificate of Death or a Copy of an Act of Death, i.e., the official documents issued by the Directeur de l’état civil.
• The Death Certificate and Copy of an Act of Death: These documents, issued by the Directeur de l’état civil, may be obtained by either mailing in the form provided by the MEMORIA funeral counsellor, by completing it online at the Internet site of the Directeur de l’état civil, at www.etatcivil.gouv.qc.ca, or by going to one of the Directeur de l’état civil’s service counters. The Copy of an Act of Death provides more information than the Death Certificate, including the method of disposal of the body, information about the death, in addition to information about the birth and marital status of the deceased, when relevant. The cost of obtaining these documents varies depending on which document (or documents) is required and how it is to be processed (mailing, accelerated processing, etc.). Your MEMORIA counsellor can give you this information, or you can find it on the Internet site of the Directeur de l’état civil. Note that only those whose names appear on the documents, or who have an interest in obtaining them (e.g., the notary) may file the request for them.
2. What is entailed in a will search?
A will search consists of verifying whether the deceased left a will. It is carried out with the Chambre des Notaires du Québec and the Québec Bar. If a family member or someone who was close to the deceased wishes to search for the will personally, the Chambre des notaires will require a photocopy and the original of the Copy of an Act of Death issued by the Directeur de l’état civil, in addition to the completed request form and payment. The request, sent to the Chambre des Notaires du Québec, which is the sole point of access, is used for both the search through its Register of Testamentary Dispositions and the Québec Bar’s register of wills. You can also use our Estate Settlement Assistance service, available at no charge, and a MEMORIA legal adviser will assist you.
1. How do we find out if a will or prearrangements exist?
To find out whether the deceased had a will or had made prearrangements, the first step is to look for their personal papers (safety deposit box or any other place where they may have stored important documents). The deceased may also have spoken to someone about their papers before they died.
A will search should also be done with the Chambre des notaires du Québec and the Québec Bar, to verify whether there is such a document and if it is indeed the deceased’s last will. Note that wills may be notarized or handwritten (holograph will), or may be drawn up in the presence of witnesses. The last two types of wills must be verified in court. This request may also be submitted to a notary.
With respect to prearrangements, every person who signs a MEMORIA prearrangement contract receives two plasticized cards with their name, prearrangement contract number and our telephone number. We suggest that the cards be given to the people they wish to be called in the event of their death. There is, unfortunately, no general register for preplanned funerals. If you think that the deceased loved one had made prearrangements, but you have no paperwork to that effect, it is your responsibility to check with every funeral home.
2. What is the Québec Pension Plan (Régie des rentes du Québec (RRQ))?
The RRQ is the provincial government body that, among other things, pays survivors’ benefits after the death of a person who contributed sufficiently to it. The benefits or pension, in the form of a pension to a surviving spouse, an orphan’s pension or a death benefit, are paid out under certain conditions. For more details, go to the RRQ Internet site at www.rrq.gouv.qc.ca or call (514) 873-2433. Your MEMORIA counsellor can also carry out all the procedures for you.
3. Is everybody eligible for the RRQ death benefit?
The deceased person must have contributed sufficiently to the RRQ. This means, according to the current RRQ regulations, for at least one third of the period during which the person could have contributed and, in that case, for at least three years, or for ten years.
4. What is a liquidator?
The liquidator, formerly known as the testamentary executor (under the former Civil Code), is the person responsible for settling an estate. The liquidator carries out the wishes of the deceased and has many tasks.
The liquidator may be designated in the will. In the case of a legal succession (no will), the heirs play this role. They may either divide the tasks among themselves or appoint one among them to act as a liquidator.
5. What must be done if we wish to renounce a succession?
Express (voluntary) renunciation of a succession must be made before a notary. The person who renounces a succession may, however, reconsider this decision and accept it within ten years from the day the right arose, but only under very specific conditions, such as if the succession has not been accepted by another person. In addition, certain actions taken by a person who is entitled to inherit may be seen as accepting the succession, such as by appropriating the contents of the deceased’s bank account, even if, in fact, the person entitled to inherit intended to renounce the succession. Note that one may not renounce a succession after accepting it.
6. Must an inventory of an estate be made and why?
The liquidator is responsible for drawing up an inventory of the estate (assets and liabilities), which helps those entitled to inherit to decide whether to accept or renounce it. Making the inventory is a very important step, because it enables those entitled to inherit to make an informed decision and to separate the property that they would receive from an estate from their own property, i.e., property that they hold personally. For example, if a debt that was unknown at the time of death is added to the estate’s liabilities, causing a deficit, those entitled to inherit will not be held to reimburse any more than what they would receive from the estate.
7. Is Power of Attorney useful after a death?
Power of Attorney is a document in which a person authorizes another to represent her or him for certain tasks, such as banking. At the time of death, the power of attorney becomes null and void, and cannot therefore be used.