Government of Nova
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There are a variety of costs associated with planning a funeral. The information below will prepare you for the primary fees you may be charged. Prices provided by funeral directors often include the cost of the total service. This service includes the cost of the casket, embalming, other funeral services and the fee for the funeral director's services. It is possible to pick and choose, and if you ask, funeral directors can itemize the cost of individual items and services for you.

The Casket

The casket is a major funeral cost and prices vary greatly. By law, the least expensive casket must be included in any casket display.


Embalming preserves a body for a short time, to improve the body's appearance for viewing. In Nova Scotia, embalming is not required if the body is to be buried or cremated within 72 hours after death. Embalming is not done when a person dies of a communicable disease specified in the Health Act, or one designated by the Minister of Health. In these cases, funeral directors follow special burial preparations outlined in the Act.
Embalming and cosmetic restoration of the body are usually done when the body is to be viewed in an open casket. It is not a legal necessity in most cases. Funeral homes will generally proceed with embalming unless you tell them not to.

Available Services

Prices usually include moving the body to the funeral home, funeral home use, embalming and restoration, and the use of the hearse for transportation to the cemetery or crematorium. The services will usually also include the arrangement of the religious service, burial permit, cremation permit, newspaper notices, arrangement and care of flowers, acknowledgment cards and other staff services.   As the prices for these items can be very changeable, they are often not included in pre-need contracts. Read your contract carefully to see what is included and be aware that you will often be charged for these services at the time of the funeral, even if you have already made payments.