Government of Saskatchewan
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Thursday, December 25, 2014
Saskatchewan Justice
What is a prepaid funeral contract?

It is a written contract -- paid for in advance -- with a registered seller (such as a funeral home) to provide funeral goods and services at the time of death. A contract of insurance issued by an insurer licensed pursuant to The Saskatchewan Insurance Act is not for purposes of the Act a prepaid funeral contract.

There are two types of contracts:

  1. a guaranteed contract that specifies the exact goods and services to be provided; and
  2. a deposit contract where a sum of money is given as a deposit to be used towards the eventual cost of goods and services provided at the time of death. No goods and services are specified.
     

What can a prepaid funeral contract include?

A prepaid funeral contract can include funeral goods and services. Funeral goods are merchandise sold by a funeral home for a funeral, memorial service or cremation.

Funeral services include removal, care and preparation of the deceased and coordination of rites and ceremonies. It does not include cemetery services as defined in The Cemeteries Act, 1999.

Who can sell prepaid funeral contracts?

Funeral homes (contract sellers) and their salespersons (usually Funeral Directors). All contract sellers and their salespersons must be registered with and licensed by the:

Funeral and Cremation Services Council
3847-C Albert Street, Regina SK S4S 3R4
Phone: (306) 584-1575

Registrants are exempted from The Direct Sellers Act with respect to selling prepaid funeral contracts.

A seller's registration may be cancelled or suspended if the seller fails to comply with ethical, operational and trade practices or, if it is in the public interest, as determined by the Funeral and Cremation Services Council or the Superintendent of the Funeral and Cremation Services. If a contract seller's registration is cancelled or suspended, the registrations of all their salespeople are immediately cancelled or suspended.

The Council also establishes the educational, training and other standards and qualifications for registration. However, the Superintendent has general supervisory responsibilities and Council decisions are reviewable by the Superintendent on his or her initiative or at the request of an interested person.

What does the funeral service provider do with the prepaid money?

Subject to deductions allowed by the Act, an owner shall immediately deposit 85% of prepaid funeral contract money received into separate trust accounts in Saskatchewan. The funds cannot be withdrawn until the contract has been fully performed or cancelled.

Money paid to a registered seller for a prepaid funeral contract is 100 per cent guaranteed by the Prepaid Funeral Services Assurance Fund. Sellers are also required to submit annual reports to the Registrar of the Funeral and Cremation Services Council with respect to all trust funds.

What documents are needed to prove a prepaid funeral contract was purchased?

The buyer must receive a signed copy of the contract. The buyer must also receive a receipt within 15 days of the date that the seller received the money or deposited it into a trust account, whichever is later.

Can a prepaid funeral service contract be cancelled?

A contract can be cancelled by the buyer or the seller. If the buyer cancels, the seller must refund all funds placed in trust within 15 days less any deductions allowed by the Act.

  • A buyer can cancel within 10 days of signing the contract, or at any time when the seller was not registered, failed to give a copy of the contract to the buyer or otherwise failed to comply with the legislation.
  • A buyer or the contract beneficiary can cancel any time before the death of the contract beneficiary when the goods or services are not wanted.
  • The personal representative of the contract beneficiary can cancel, after the beneficiary's death, if the goods or services are not wanted.
  • The seller can cancel, but only with the buyer's consent or on notice to the buyer. Within 15 days and at the buyer's choice, the seller must pay the buyer an equal amount to that required to pay for the funeral goods or services or refund all money that was paid for the prepaid contract and all income accrued or earned on those moneys


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