Funeral directors will have to state if services have been pre-paid
The Quebec Ministry of Justice and the Quebec Consumer Protection Office have announced that a new register for funeral prearrangement service contracts will soon be launched by the province to protect consumers when arranging for funeral services. New provincial regulations will henceforth allow a notary, lawyer, estate executor or appointed representative to find out beginning next January from funeral service directors or cemetery operators whether someone has a pre-existing funeral services contract.
“With help from the register, the relatives of someone who has died will be able to know if pre-arrangements were already made and they will more easily be able to make sure that the last wishes are respected,” said Quebec Justice Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette, who is responsible for the Consumer Protection Office. “The register will allow the relatives to avoid spending sums for services and goods that are already paid,” he added. With the register, funeral service directors and cemetery operators will have to provide consumers with a proof that a consultation of the register was made. Consulting the register will be free of charge.
Won’t be open to all
According to the new rules, only certain persons will be able to find out whether a pre-existing funeral services contract exists. While the law currently allows only the buyer of the pre-arrangement plan to know, the new regulations will allow the estate executor, a curator or someone with a power of attorney for a living person to have access. The provincial government is giving funeral service providers and cemeteries up to 30 months to sign up for the new register and to update information on pre-existing contracts for funeral pre-arrangements.