Check-List for Arranging a Funeral

Click here for a printable version of this page.

Select a link below to go directly to that section:

At the Time of Death
Preparation for Funeral Arrangement Conference
Funeral Arrangement Conference
Checklist Prior to Scheduled Funeral Service
After the Funeral Service


Jenn Dodd
Owner and Licensed Funeral Director

At Oliver’s Funeral Home, we know it can be quite overwhelming to face all the decisions and details necessary when a love one has died. To help ease the burden, we have created this reminder list for the families who have entrusted their loved ones to our care.

Being a family-owned funeral home, we know that your needs do not end once the funeral service is over. That is why our service to your family does not end there either. Please ask one of our Funeral Directors about After Care or click here to learn more about this complimentary program available to you and your family.

Please be assured that our Funeral Directors will be at your side every step of the way.

That is our promise to you.

Important Notice: Before any final funeral arrangements are confirmed (e.g., publication of the obituary; notification of family and friends), the family should speak to the officiating minister/celebrant, as well a Funeral Director here at Oliver’s and the facility where the funeral services are scheduled to take place. This is to avoid telling family and friends where and when the funeral will be happening only to discover that the minister/celebrant and/or facility is not available on the day and/or time you have specified.


At the Time of Death:

  • If the death occurs at home and was “sudden or unexpected”call 911.
  • If the death takes place in a hospital or similar care facility, the nurses and/or staff will usually take care of contacting the attending physician while the family will usually make the initial phone call to Oliver’s. Remember we are available by telephone 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  (Call 780.532.2929)
    Once we have received the initial call, we will ensure that one of our Funeral Directors receives your loved one from the hospital, care facility or your home if an expected death occurred there.
  • If the deceased was under the care of a physician and the death was expected, contact the physician and homecare nurse instead of calling 911.
  • After speaking to and receiving instructions from either the police and/or the attending physician contact, Oliver’s.  (Call 780.532.2929)
  • If you are employed, contact your employer and ask for time off to arrange and attend the funeral.


Preparation for Funeral Arrangement Conference:

A little preparation before the funeral arrangement conference can help make the necessary decisions easier and less stressful for the family.

Note:  A scheduled appointed although not necessary is preferred as this will allow us to ensure one of funeral directors are prepared and scheduled to greet and meet with your family with no delay or waiting on your part.

  • Set up an appointment with  for the funeral arrangement conference (conferences generally run between one and two hours)
  • Invite family members and/or friends whose input in the funeral arrangements you would lik to have to the appointment.
  • Review and complete the Information Required by the Funeral Home prior to the funeral arrangement conference.
  • If you or your deceased loved one has not already decided, begin discussing the type,location, date and time of funeral services that your family would like.
  • If applicable, contact your place of worship and pastor/minister or religious leader.


Funeral Arrangement Conference:

During the funeral arrangement conference, our Funeral Director will explain the many options available and assist in arranging and coordinating your wishes. Some of the items that may be discussed include:

  • Registration of the death with the Government of Alberta (click here to review the information required)
  • Burial or cremation
  • Place of service (place of worship, private facility, our office)
  • Date and time of service
  • Visitations/prayer service (family viewing only and/or public visitation)
  • Minister or Celebrant (Oliver’s can assist with arranging a minister as per the family's needs and wishes)
  • Burial clothing for the deceased (if required)
  • Floral tributes (Oliver’s can assist with selection, ordering of all your floral tribute needs)
  • Music (organist, pianist or recorded music)
  • Memorial cards (handed out to family and friends at the funeral service)
  • Guestbook and thank-you card stationery
  • Obituary, including picture and/or logos being used (click here for more information on 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 or chartered buses)
  • Memorial donations (i.e., charities and foundations)
  • Casket and/or urn
  • Memorial luncheon (location, time and catering)
  • Options for personalizing the funeral service (e.g., DVD tributes, balloon or dove releases, bagpiper, picture collages, memory table)
  • Cemetery (final resting place for both casket burials and urns)
  • Grave liner or vault for both casket and urn burials


Checklist Prior to Scheduled Funeral Service: 

(Note many of the tasks will be handled by one of our funeral directors)

  • Confirm minister/celebrant to officiate
  • Contact cemetery and make necessary arrangements
  • Confirm musician, soloist or recorded music for service
  • Confirm dates, times and locations (visitation, prayer service, funeral service, graveside and memorial luncheon)
  • Notify extended family, friends, church community, unions and fraternal organizations
  • Finalize obituary and give approval to Oliver’s to publish it in the desired newspapers
  • Select and notify casket and honorary bearers; provide Funeral Director with correct spelling of their first and last names
  • Tell 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)
  • Deliver clothing to Oliver’s (if applicable); provide detailed written instructions if you wish any item to be returned prior to burial or cremation
  • Deliver picture(s) for the obituary, memorial cards, enlarged portraits and/or DVD tribute to Oliver’s.  (Usually 2 business days prior)
  • Order floral tributes
  • Arrange catering for memorial luncheon
  • Inform family members of transportation arrangements to and from the service and cemetery (if limousines or Chartered bus are being used)
  • Inform family members of seating arrangements during the funeral service (i.e., reserved seating)
  • Inform Oliver’s of the number of family sitting in the reserved section during the funeral service
  • In most cases the following honorariums are paid by Oliver’s on behalf of your family:
  • Prepare payment for caterer
  • Prepare honorarium for minister
  • Prepare honorarium for musicians
  • Arrange for someone to watch the residence while the family is attending any scheduled funeral services


After the Funeral Service:

The following items may or may not be applicable:

  • Set Appointment to meet with Oliver’s Funeral Home AfterCare Director
  • Send out thank-you cards  (we provide Thank you cards with our Guest Book packages)
  • Locate and review will
  • Contact and/or retain lawyer for advice and assistance
  • Contact life insurance company to help cover immediate expenses
  • Give notice to beneficiaries regarding the contents of the will
  • Locate and protect assets
  • Protect business interests
  • Collect valuables
  • Open estate bank account
  • Ensure all property is insured
  • Assemble and value assets (e.g., real property, furniture, bank accounts, securities, business interests, jewellery)
  • View safety deposit box to determine contents
  • Determine if there are any agreements that apply to the assets (e.g., buy-sell agreement, shareholder's agreement)
  • Determine if there is property located out of the province
  • Apply for Canadian Pension Plan 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 of Probate
  • Contact lawyer and Public Trustee if minors are involved
  • Determine with lawyer applicability of legislation (e.g., Family Relief Act,
  • Matrimonial Property Act)
  • 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 with lawyer if any matrimonial agreement might affect the distribution of assets
  • Convert assets to cash where appropriate
  • Prepare and have all beneficiaries sign a release
  • Distribute the assets of the estate

Note: Funeral expenses do not have to go to probate (most banks will pay the account(s) from the deceased's bank account).


  • Tour Grande Prairie's best funeral home

    Funeral Home Virtual Tour

    Take a virtual tour of our funeral home with Google Tours.

    Learn More
  • Funeral Home Staff

    Meet Our People

    Meet and learn more about our people here at Oliver’s

    Learn More
  • Catering a funeral

    Our Tea Rooms

    Let LoAnn in the Oliver’s Tea Room handle all your catering details

    Learn More
  • Flowers for funeral

    Send Flowers

    Let us at Oliver’s handle all your floral tribute needs

    Learn More
  • Couple planning their funerals

    Funeral Planning

    Please request a complimentary no obligation Advance Funeral Planning Kit

    Learn More


  • Urn with beautiful pattern

    Did you know?

    Oliver's owns and operates their own crematorium in Greater Grande Prairie

    Learn More
  • Funeral home supporting local events

    In The Community

    Oliver’s Funeral Home is active in the community

    Learn More
  • Unique Funeral

    One Of A Kind Funeral

    Beautifully reflect the life and personality of your loved one

    Learn More
  • Grief Journey

    Grief Journey Centre

    Click here to learn more about the Grief Journey

    Learn More
  • Surprise and Delight Fridays

    Surprise and Delight Fridays

    Nominate someone who makes a difference in our community

    Learn More
  • Retired Flag Commemoration

    Retired Flag Commemoration

    Retire your flag with dignity and respect

    Learn More
See All Testimonials