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Old 04-13-2015, 03:32 PM   #1
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Does anyone have experience with funerals or burials?

Hey RS,

My grandfather just passed away and we are looking at burials and funeral homes at the moment.

As you probably know it is pretty overwhelming and completely new to us.

Does anyone have any information, tips, or help that they could share?

Is there a specific place you dealt with, what would you recommended, and if there are tips to not get taken advantage of during this extremely difficult time for us.

btw. we are looking at a full burial.

Thank you so much. We appreciate any feedback or information.
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Old 04-13-2015, 03:49 PM   #2
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First of all, sorry for your loss.

For burials, if you don't already have something lined up, it is going to be very difficult to find one in such a short time. Burial plots have pretty much become impossible to find / purchase directly from the funeral homes / cemeteries (at least those that are in the city). The trickle of volume that you see in ads are typically stuff being re-sold by those who have previously bought the burial rights, and are now re-selling it for one reason or another. If your family insist on burial, be prepared to pay anywhere upwards of $10k per plot (for a single casket). Adjacent plots will be even more expensive than that, and I remember reading that certain plots could ask for upwards of $25k (for a single casket). Googling "burial plots sale" or something along those lines would likely be your best bet in finding something via private sale.

I am not sure what exactly those "spaces" are called, but "spots" in mausoleums after cremation is significantly cheaper, although I don't know how much. These are still generally available directly from the cemetery.

Take care and know that your grandfather is off to a better place now.

Last edited by Traum; 04-13-2015 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 04-13-2015, 03:59 PM   #3
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I'm sorry to hear about your loss.

I lost my grandmother 10 years ago and back then the price for a burial plot would depend on the "view". Back then, it was over $10K for the better view at the top of the hill and $8K at the bottom of the hill but since RE prices have jumped up in the past 10 years, I can only assume the plots at the top of the hill are going for much much more $$$.
We went with Forest Lawn in Burnaby but another option is Ocean View Burial Park if you want to stay in Burnaby.

I hate to say it, but most people do not cheap out on funeral's due to face and this is a time for grieving so people are usually more willing to spend on fancy add-ons.
You can have the basic casket, and then there are upgrades. Nicer wood, silk lining, brass or gold handles.

My suggestion is to call up either places and ask them for quotes. See what is included and what you need and go from there.
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Old 04-13-2015, 04:09 PM   #4
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We used Amherst as our funeral director, and I would highly recommend them.

Contact Amherst

Sorry for your loss.
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Old 04-13-2015, 04:10 PM   #5
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sorry for your loss.

if i remember correctly from what my mom told me, she bought a "plot" that houses 2 caskets, one on top of another like a bunk bed, and that costed her about 40k. i believe she had purchased this within 2 to 3 years.
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Old 04-13-2015, 04:21 PM   #6
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Sorry for your loss.

If you have any family or friends who go to church check to see if you can purchase plots through them. Churches usually buy group plots which are available for their members and depending on the circumstances, they may be willing to sell to non-attending members. Could be a good option if you'd like your grandfather to be buried at a specific cemetery or within closer distances.
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Old 04-13-2015, 05:31 PM   #7
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We used Amherst as our funeral director, and I would highly recommend them.

Contact Amherst

Sorry for your loss.
I second this. They were professional and relatively inexpensive.
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Old 04-13-2015, 10:06 PM   #8
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Sorry for your loss.

We bought a plot in Forest Lawn in Burnaby for $17k. It was a double depth one. There are more expensive ones and less pricier ones there too.

There are a lot of things to consider for the funeral. I went through all this last year for my wife and it is a lot to decide quickly. A funeral director can help you go through the steps and can do most of the work. They even supplied the little white envelopes and candies though you have to supply the coins. It's not cheap and at the time, cost wasn't a big consideration for me. Some places will give you a discount if you're a member of certain organizations.

Leave the headstone for later on but I did find that some plots allow upright headstones and others are only for the flat ones. So keep that in mind when looking around.
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Old 04-13-2015, 10:29 PM   #9
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Sorry to hear your loss.

As for funerals...for starters, was he religious? Ethnic background?
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:09 AM   #10
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Sorry for your loss.

Like most people have said, a funeral director can and will take care of everything for you. They will instruct and guide you through the entire process.

Floral shops are somewhere you might want to be careful with. We dealt with a few and found out one of them more than tripled the price.
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:12 AM   #11
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For flowers, see if Kathleen at Proline Trading does floral arrangements for funerals. She runs a busy but extremely fair floral / decorations business that might be able to help.
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:17 AM   #12
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Old 04-14-2015, 09:23 AM   #13
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I second this. They were professional and relatively inexpensive.
And extremely knowledgeable in all cultures traditions.

Expanding on this, Amherst has contacts with many vendors. They will recommend them, but ultimately it is up to you to choose who to go with. They recommended Proline trading for flowers as well, which was a great find -- I ended up using them for my wedding! They will also recommend caskets, grave markers, limo, etc.

Everything was up front, and prices clearly marked. We used some of his recommendations, and others we used our own contacts -- no hassles at all.
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Old 04-14-2015, 09:44 AM   #14
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Sorry about your loss. I believe a plot of land for a full burial is quite expensive now but of course this would depend on the location. When my grandmother passed away, a plot of land cost about 30k for a basic one (No headstone) and more depending on the direction and location within the cemetery. Be sure to ask for discounts even though they say they do not give out any, they often can do a work around like giving you and affinity discount(if you belong to any of the associations/clubs on their list).
There are different packages I believe for the actual ceremony depending on what you would like. Different caskets also cost different as well, so be sure to shop around.
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:51 AM   #15
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Thank you to all those who replied. Our family appreciates it.

I just wanted to update the thread in case one of you stumbles upon it and it can serve as a reference point.

We ended up going with Amherst Funeral Services and Scott is great. He is straight up and really honest and doesn't pressure us at all. We were originally going to go with Kearney's, but Scott at Amherst is about $1000 cheaper and he's been great so far.

We ended up going with Mountainview Cemetery and we got a single plot, but you can fit two caskets one on top of each other. That worked out to $24k just for the burial site. Scott's services are about $3k. The tombstone is about $4k. $2k for the casket. There are also about $2k in misc. fees and expenses.
Everything added up pretty quickly. We weren't really expecting all the expenses.

This whole process is pretty chaotic and hopefully we can get everything sorted out soon.

Thanks again for all the replies.
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Old 04-21-2015, 10:06 AM   #16
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Sorry to hear about your loss also. I remember when my father passed away, its always tough on the family. I was quite young then so I don't have any personal experience, but thanks for bringing this up. It's a good reminder for all of us for things that we should talk about, and get ready for with people that are getting older ect..

Great conversation in this thread about a tough subject, thanks all for the feedback.
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Old 04-21-2015, 03:43 PM   #17
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Everything added up pretty quickly. We weren't really expecting all the expenses.
Sorry to hear about your loss!

And yes it certainly does, these events are usually sudden and unexpected, so it's good practice to prepare for these types of events as best you can in advance to avoid substantial cost.

My family and extended family bought 9 single plots at Valley View cemetery (a new and expanding cemetary at the time) in Surrey back in 2010 for about $3500 each. A year later, it rose to $9000, I can't imagine how much it would cost now. Forest Lawn was about $20K at the time, if I remember correctly. One can definitely earn pretty good ROI from these plots as investments, but I think most would find it immoral.

Last edited by willystyle; 04-21-2015 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 04-21-2015, 04:01 PM   #18
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While we are on the subject, what recommendations do you guys have regarding stubborn parents that refuses to draw up a will, refuse to do proper estate planning, and refuse to transfer their assets to their children?

The common on-going theme seems to be that some of the more traditional parents think it is bad omen to plan for this stuff, when younger generations such as ourselves simply think it is good planning and being responsible to the rest of the family. Another all too common theme is that some parents might think their (now adult) children will just squander the money that is given to them, or otherwise take the money and ignore / neglect their parents since the money has exchanged hands.

And then there is the final dumb bit about how the government would likely bite off a fat chunk of the inheritance / estate if the title transfers haven't taken place before the elderly passed away. This last one pisses me off quite a bit, since the government is essentially profiting from a deceased person when the assets should really have gone to their family / designated person...

Any suggestions / approaches we can share?
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Old 04-21-2015, 04:30 PM   #19
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While we are on the subject, what recommendations do you guys have regarding stubborn parents that refuses to draw up a will, refuse to do proper estate planning, and refuse to transfer their assets to their children?

The common on-going theme seems to be that some of the more traditional parents think it is bad omen to plan for this stuff, when younger generations such as ourselves simply think it is good planning and being responsible to the rest of the family. Another all too common theme is that some parents might think their (now adult) children will just squander the money that is given to them, or otherwise take the money and ignore / neglect their parents since the money has exchanged hands.

And then there is the final dumb bit about how the government would likely bite off a fat chunk of the inheritance / estate if the title transfers haven't taken place before the elderly passed away. This last one pisses me off quite a bit, since the government is essentially profiting from a deceased person when the assets should really have gone to their family / designated person...

Any suggestions / approaches we can share?
This is so true, government will take money from the inheritance. Even if the deceased transfers ownership before death. eg house. The recipient will have to pay PPT .

I've still been looking at a work around for this bullshit.

How bullshit is that after say your parents passed away, and your in the state of grieving still. Then comes the land titles and gets passed to next of kin. Now here comes along the government and they want a good fucking chunk out of it. SCREW YOU!
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