Reminder List for Arranging a Funeral
Here at Foster & McGarvey Funeral Homes we know from our own losses
that arranging the many details when a loved one has died can be quite overwhelming.
That is why we have created this General Reminder List for the families who
have entrusted their loved ones arrangements with our funeral home.
Please be assured that our funeral directors will be at your side
each step along the way. Our Directors are uniquely qualified to assist, to
make recommendations, anticipate concerns, and to ensure your wishes are carried
out, while offering compassion and world-class family- care.
Being a family owned funeral home, we know that the many tasks
that require your attention - do not stop when the funeral service is over.
That is why our service to your family doesn't end with the funeral service;
and why Foster & McGarvey Funeral Homes created AfterCare, please ask one of
our Directors for more information, or click here to learn more about this complimentary
program available to you and your family.
Important Notice: Before any final funeral arrangements
are confirmed (example: obituary is published - family and friends are notified)
- the family should speak to: the officiating minister/celebrant, as well a
funeral director at one of our three Chapel Locations and the facility where
the scheduled funeral services are to take place. This is of course to prevent
announcing Scheduled Services to family and friends only to discover that the
minister/celebrant and/or facility are not available the day and/or time you
At the time of Death:
- If the death takes place in a hospital or care home, the nurses
and/or staff will usually take care of contacting the Attending Physician,
in most cases the family will make the initial phone call to Foster & McGarvey
Funeral Homes. Once we have received the initial call from the family, we
will ensure that arrangements are made for our funeral directors to receive
your loved one from the hospital or care facility. Please note: Our three
Chapel locations are available by telephone 24 hrs. a day - 365 days a year.
- If the death occurs at home and was unexpected (sudden) call
911. If the deceased person was under the care of a physician and the death
was expected, contact the physician, homecare nurse, instead of calling 911.
Once you have received instructions from either the local police authorities
and/or the Attending Physician contact Foster & McGarvey Funeral Homes.
- Contact employer and request appropriate time away from work.
Preparation for Funeral Arrangements:
In preparing for the funeral arrangement conference, a little
preparation may assist in making the necessary decisions with more ease, and
with less stress on the family.
- Set an appointment with one of our three Chapel locations for
the Funeral arrangement conference. (Appointments usually last between 1-
- Invite those family members and/or friends to the appointment,
whom you want to participate in the Funeral Arrangements.
- Review and complete the checklist information required by the
Funeral Home, prior to the funeral arrangement conference (click
here for link).
- If not already decided, begin discussing desired type, location,
date and time of any scheduled funeral services.
- If applicable, contact your place of worship, minister or religious
Funeral Arrangement Conference:
During the funeral arrangement conference one of our funeral directors
will explain the many options available and assist in arranging and coordinating
your wishes. The following is a brief outline of some of the items that may
- Registration of the death with the Alberta Government (click
here to review information required)
- Burial or Cremation
- Cemetery - final resting place for both casket burials and
- Grave liner or Vault for both casket and urn burials.
- Place of Service (place of worship, private facility, or one
of our three chapel locations)
- Date and time of service
- Visitations / Prayer Service (family viewing only and/or public
- Minister or Celebrant (Foster & McGarvey can assist with arranging
a minister that will suit the family's needs and wishes)
- Clothing (if required)
- Floral tributes (Note: Foster & McGarvey Funeral Homes has
its own in-house Flower Shop which serves all three of our chapel locations)
- Music (organist, pianist, recorded music)
- Memorial cards (provided to family and friends at the Funeral
- Guest book and thank you card stationary
- Obituary (picture and/or logos being used) please click here
to learn more about Obituaries
- Casket bearers and honorary bearers (if required)
- Reserved seating for the family during the funeral service
- Transportation to and from the service and/or cemetery for
the casket, family members, bearers, and minister. (limousines and/or bus)
- Memorial donations (example: Heart and Stroke Fund - Cancer
- Casket and/or urn selection
- Memorial luncheon (location, time, and catering)
- Options for personalizing the funeral service (DVD Video tributes,
balloon or dove releases, bag piper, picture collages, memory table)
Checklist Prior to Scheduled Funeral Service:
- Minister/Celebrant confirmed
- Contact Cemetery and make necessary arrangements
- Musician, soloist, or recorded music confirmed
- Date, time and location confirmed (Visitation, Prayer Service,
Funeral Service, Graveside, and Memorial Luncheon)
- Notify extended family, friends, church community, unions,
and fraternal organizations of any scheduled services.
- Obituary is finalized, approval given to Foster & McGarvey
to publish in the desired newspapers
- Select and notify casket and honorary bearers (provide funeral
director with correct spelling of first and last names). Bearers to arrive
30 minutes prior to the Funeral Service and make their presence known to one
of our funeral directors.
- Discuss all details pertaining to the Funeral Service with
the Minister/ Celebrant (readings, eulogies, speakers, music selections, special
details, and the actual order of service).
- Clothing delivered to Foster & McGarvey (if applicable) - (written
detailed instructions if any item(s) is to be returned to the family prior
to burial or cremation)
- Picture(s) for the obituary, memorial cards, enlarged portraits
and/or DVD video tribute delivered to Foster & McGarvey
- Floral tributes ordered
- Catering arranged for memorial luncheon
- Family members are informed of transportation arrangements
to and from the service, and cemetery (if limousines or bus are being used)
- Family members are informed of seating arrangements during
the funeral service (reserved seating etc.)
- Foster & McGarvey is informed of the number of family sitting
in the reserved section during the funeral service.
- Payment for Caterer prepared
- Honorarium for Minister prepared
- Honorarium for Musicians prepared
- Arrange to have the residence watched while the family is attending
any scheduled funeral services.
After the Funeral Service:
The following items may or may not be applicable:
- Send out Thank You Cards.
- Locate and review Will.
- Contact lawyer for advice and assistance - retain.
- Contact Life Insurance Company.
- Give notice to beneficiaries re: contents of Will.
- Locate and protect assets.
- Protect business interests.
- Collect valuables.
- Open Estate Bank Account.
- Ensure all property is insured.
- Assemble and value assets (real property, furniture, bank accounts,
securities, business interests, jewellery, etc.).
- View Safety Deposit Box to determine contents.
- Determine if there are any agreements that apply to the assets
- (eg. Buy-Sell Agreement, Shareholders Agreement, etc.).
- Determine if there is property located out of the Province
- Apply for Canadian Pension Benefits.
- Notify Blue Cross and Alberta Health Care.
- Order Death Certificates if required.
- Cancel credit cards - obtain final statements.
- Redirect mail.
- Cancel subscriptions, memberships, etc.
- Arrange for the transfer of jointly held assets.
- Assist lawyer in preparation of documents to apply for a Grant
- Contact Public Trustee if minors involved (lawyer).
- Determine application of legislation eg. Family Relief Act,
- Matrimonial Property Act (lawyer).
- Advertise for Creditors.
- File Tax Returns - obtain Clearance Certificate.
- Pay taxes, debts, funeral expenses, etc.
- Prepare an Accounting of the administration of the Estate.
- Determine if any matrimonial agreement might affect the distribution
of the assets.
- Convert assets to cash where appropriate.
- Prepare and have all beneficiaries sign a Release.
- Distribute the assets of the Estate.
- Funeral expenses do not have to go to Probate (most Banks will
pay the account(s) from the deceased's bank account).