Prepaid Cremation Questions & Answers

Prepaid cremation provides peace of mind. Knowing your family won’t be burdened with financial strain or the stress of difficult decisions during an already emotional time can be a source of comfort for you and the ones you love.


As always, we are committed to honouring your loved one in any way possible. And we will ensure you and your guests feel safe conducting services with us. Please contact us if you have questions.

People often have questions about prepaying for a cremation or a cremation memorial, and we're here to help.

In this article, you will learn:

Can you prepay for a cremation?

Yes, you can prepay for a cremation. By selecting a funeral home or cremation provider in advance, not only can you make your wishes known, you can also prepay for the cremation services in installments. Funeral homes, cemeteries and crematorium providers don't typically offer payment plans at the time of need, but you are able to fund arrangements ahead of time with a payment plan.

Can you prepay for a cremation memorial or funeral service?

Yes. Not only can you prepay for the cremation itself, most funeral homes also allow you to pay for the memorial, funeral or celebration of life in advance. This comes with the additional benefit of funding your arrangements with a payment plan, plus it takes the burden of making arrangements off loved ones during their time of grief. At funeral homes in the Dignity Memorial family, you get the added benefit of our Relocation Protection. 

When you have a prepaid plan with a Dignity Memorial provider and move more than 100 kilometres away from where you live now, every detail of your plan moves with you. All of our prepaid plans are fully transferable and will be honoured by any one of more than 1,900 Dignity Memorial providers in North America. That’s a promise you won’t find anywhere else.


What are the options for prepaid cremation services?

From simple cremation to celebration of life or traditional funeral services, there is virtually no limit to the types of services offered for prepaid cremations. There are a variety of cremation options that can be designed to be as unique as those they honour, including:

  • A simple cremation without a service. Sometimes called direct cremation, this choice includes just the basics, such as transportation of the deceased, a cremation casket and cremation paperwork.

    We see this option chosen most often for individuals with just a few living friends or family, or in situations when keeping costs down is most important. 

  • A cremation with a memorial service or celebration of life. In addition to transportation of the loved one and the cremation itself, this package usually includes a beautiful container for the ashes and a service at the funeral home or a place of worship. These services can happen before, immediately following or long after the cremation has taken place.

    This option is an increasingly popular choice. We see it chosen most among families without a strong desire to follow specific rituals, instead favoring remembrance of the good times and celebration of the life lived. Families don't feel as rushed to schedule services immediately, giving more time to plan travel. Learn more about celebrations of life.

  • A cremation with a funeral service. In addition to transportation of the loved one and the cremation itself, this usually includes embalming, hair and makeup services, a casket, a viewing at the funeral home, and a funeral service before the cremation takes place.

    We see this option chosen most often for individuals with a preference to follow traditional religious rituals. Viewing or presence of the full body at the visitation or funeral sets this option apart.

Can you prepay for burial or placement of cremated remains?

Yes, choosing a final resting place for cremated remains (ashes) is an important part of choosing cremation. Families choosing cremation will also find that there are even more remembrance options available to them than for traditional casket burial. Cemetery property options for cremation include niches in a mausoleum or columbarium, in-ground burial plots with permanent markers, pedestals, benches, boulders, special gardens, ossuaries and more. 

When planning ahead you may want to think about family and friends who will be visiting your final resting place and consider purchasing cemetery property that is close to other family members and loved ones. Many families today establish a place of remembrance for future generations.

Cemetery property costs vary depending on the location and type selected. Paying for cemetery property ahead of time can lock in today’s price and help ease the emotional burden on your family. Dignity Memorial providers offer a wide variety of options for your final resting place. Each type of property can be customized to meet your personal preferences, family traditions, religious customs and budget.

Learn more about options for cremation burial or cemetery placement for cremation ashes.

quote icon

“We recently moved. I packed my father's ashes. I could not find the urn for 3 months. Which meant I didn't sleep well for 3 months. I don't think I will keep ashes again. Just something to think about before you consider keeping ashes. I'm always worried about the urn.

—Karen Vandenberg Childs
English Consumer Cremation Guide - Pencil

Plan a memorable cremation funeral

Planning a personalized cremation funeral or memorial is an event unlike any other. We created a guide to help you understand all of your cremation options and how to plan a truly memorable event. A Guide for Families Choosing Cremation is free, and it will help you start planning today. Then, when you are ready, a Dignity Memorial provider will be there to walk you through every step of the cremation process.

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What are the benefits of prepaid cremation?

Paying for cremation in advance has many important benefits, including:

  1. Protects against rising costs. Planning ahead is helpful to your family, but paying for a cremation in advance will also relieve some of their financial burden. Prepaying means you can lock in today’s prices, protecting your loved ones from potentially higher costs in the future. Additionally, you get the option to pay in affordable monthly installments.

  2. No rushed decisions. When you plan cremation services in advance, you have the opportunity to learn about all of your options in a relaxed environment. Without a prepaid cremation plan, your family may feel emotional and rushed when making decisions for you. Planning ahead gives you time to research your options, communicate with family members and even add personal details.

  3. Your wishes are honoured. By making arrangements in advance, you can be confident that you'll get the service you envision.

  4. Calculated estate planning. You may be surprised how many Canadians don’t have a will. Unfortunately, if you pass away without a will, provincial law and the courts may determine who will handle your estate, including who will decide on cremation or burial, as well as other end-of-life arrangements. By planning ahead and prepaying for your cremation services you get to make these important decisions.

  5. Peace of mind for family and friends. Planning cremation services at a time of immediate need can be overwhelming for a grieving family. The process of choosing a funeral home, planning a service or settling an estate can take away from time to honour a loved one. When you plan ahead, you give your loved ones the chance to say goodbye in a more meaningful and peaceful way.

Read Why Prepaid Funerals Are the Best Gift for Your Children.

How to prepay for a cremation 

Here's how to prepay for a cremation:

  • Start by contacting one or more funeral homes or cremation providers.
  • Set an appointment with a planning advisor, who will meet you at your home, at their location, or online or by phone. The advisor will explain their services, benefits and associated costs in about an hour. If you wish, you can make selections and make payment during the meeting, but it's not required. 
  • When you have decided which provider to use, you can then discuss payment options—usually a lump sum or installment payments—and whether to use insurance or a trust. In any case, the funds are protected from business disruption or bankruptcy.  Learn more about how prepaid funeral plans work.

Get your free pricing guide

Our Guide to Understanding Funeral & Cremation Costs helps you decode the sometimes confusing costs of final arrangements.

What happens if you prepay for a cremation and move?

The only constant in life is change. When you choose a prepaid cremation plan at a Dignity Memorial provider and then move, the plan remains in effect. 

If you move more than 100 kilometres from the location where your original arrangements were made, your prearranged services are transferable and will be honoured at any of more than 1,900 providers in Canada and the United States. Learn more about The Dignity Difference.

Plan an unforgettable tribute

Whether you’re planning a cremation for a loved one or pre-planning for yourself, start with a story, passion or pastime to provide inspiration. We'll help you weave those very special memories into a beautiful service with personal touches and lasting impressions.


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