McInnis & Holloway
Funeral Homes

McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes
“The opportunity to serve” is the highest compliment
McInnis & Holloway could receive.
Call (403) 243-8200 or 1-800-661-1599

FAQ

Cemeteries
Are most cemeteries in Calgary almost full?

Not necessarily, it is true that cemeteries are limited in size by their footprint in the community, however cemeteries do have land available and they do expand when the need arises.

Each cemetery has its own unique policies as far as what kind of burial plots are available for purchase and how many spots are available within that plot.

A licensed Funeral Director can discuss options available to the family at any time.

Can I bury on my property, rather than buy cemetery property?
You can bury an urn containing cremated remains on your own property but this would not be recommended, should you want to sell the property in time it could hinder the sale.

It is illegal to bury a casket on your property. For burial it is required that you purchase a cemetery plot in a registered cemetery.

I was told that the Province requires the casket be buried in a concrete box. Is this true and what is the advantage of a concrete box?
Each cemetery has its own policy regarding requirements for an outer container (plywood, concrete or fiberglass). The Funeral Director will advise you of any such requirements at the time of arrangements.

The advantages of a concrete liner or a burial vault are the protection they afford to the casket once it has been buried. The concrete liner will provide basic protection from the weight of the earth and from any cemetery equipment such as backhoes. A burial vault is sealed above ground and protects the casket from coming into contact with any earthly elements such as water, as well as the weight of the earth and any cemetery equipment such as backhoes.

There are several different options to choose from and your Funeral Director will go through these options with you

Do you ever dig up the body later, in a few years and use the grave for someone else?
When you purchase a grave plot from the cemetery, it is permanent. A casket is only disinterred at the requested of the family or Executor for a specific reason.
Cremation
How much does it cost for a cremation?

There are many options available when cremation takes places. Costs will vary depending on the type of service that is chosen. Cremation can occur following a funeral service, or following a visitation, prayer service or informal gathering. Cremation can also occur prior to a Memorial Service.

What is involved with cremation – can it be done right away?
Cremation is a form of final disposition for your loved one. There are many options for the final disposition of the urn that will hold the cremated remains.

With cremation there are legal requirements and documents that need to be completed. Once all of this documentation is in order the cremation will take place, usually within 2 – 5 days. The funeral home will look after these necessary requirements. Public or private services can be held before or after cremation.

Can I see my loved one before they are cremated?
Yes, at the time of the funeral arrangements, the family will be advised that a private or public viewing may be set for those wishing to pay respects before the cremation takes place.
Is it really necessary for myself, or others, to view the body of my loved one?
McInnis and Holloway has a policy that requires identification by a family member or friend prior to cremation. This ensures peace of mind for the family that it is indeed their loved one and the cremation container they have chosen.

Cultural Services
I am thinking of attending a prayer service (or a Buddhist service) at your chapel and I don’t know what to do, or if I should even come.
Anyone may attend a public funeral service. We would always invite and encourage friends to attend to show their support to the family. Our funeral staff will be there to assist you.

We would encourage you to if you are unsure of what to do to approach our funeral staff for assistance.

If I go to a Jewish funeral should I wear a yarmulke?
Jewish funeral customs vary from sect to sect, among Orthodox Jews.
Orthodox Jewish Funerals

  • At an Orthodox Jewish funeral, all of the mourners must keep their heads covered. The men are expected to wear the small cap, or “yarmulke,” while the women are required to wear headscarves. If you don’t bring a yarmulke or headscarf with you, the synagogue will usually be able to provide one for you to use.

Conservative Jewish Funerals

  • At a Conservative Jewish funeral service, the men are obligated to wear yarmulkes, but the women do not have to cover their heads, so no head scarf is required. In addition to the yarmulke, men should also be dressed in semi-formal attire — a dark suit with a dark tie. Women should dress modestly and conservatively as well.

Reform Jewish Funerals

  • At a Reform Jewish funeral service, the head covering is a matter of choice for both men and women. You may see some men wearing yarmulkes, while others do not, and the same is true for women and headscarves.
If I go to the mosque for a Muslim funeral do I have to take my shoes off, or cover my head?
If you are attending a service at a Mosque or other Worship Centers it would be respectful to follow the customs of the faith. In a Mosque out of respect you should remove your shoes and if a head cover is normally worn they will have extras available to use.
Embalming
What is embalming?
Embalming is a procedure in which the body is sanitized, restored to a lifelike appearance and preserved via chemicals being introduced into the body.
Do you have to be embalmed?
In Alberta, embalming is only required by law if we are transporting the deceased by common carrier, i.e. commercial airplane/transport truck/railway.

For sanitation reasons, if you are planning to have a viewing of your loved one, we recommend embalming.

How long does the process of embalming take?
Embalming will vary depending on the condition of the body. The process can take from 1 to 4 hours depending on the individual person and the specific details involved in their death.
How long does the embalming last on the body?
Embalming can last for many years. It depends on the environment and whether the casket will be in a sealed vault.

Estate Information
When do I need to file paperwork with the government?
For every death that occurs in the Province of Alberta, the death needs to be registered before the final disposition of the deceased takes place, we complete this for you.

The government documentation should be filed as soon as possible. The government needs to be advised of the death to ensure overpayments are not made into accounts; otherwise the family will be responsible to pay the money back plus interest.

Our Family Care representative can assist you with these forms.

How long do we have to apply for CPP?

The family or executor has up to one year from the date of death to apply for the Death Benefit (Maximum of $2500.00) from CPP. Application should be done as soon as possible after the contributor’s passing.

Does the Will have to be probated?
If there is land in the estate which is solely owned by the deceased, the Alberta Land Titles Office requires the Executor to obtain probate. If there is no land, then you may still require probate if the estate contains more than about $30,000.00 with a financial institution.

Most financial institutions have a policy that they will not release any funds unless the Will is probated, or the estate is relatively small.

Financial Assistance
What sort of financial assistance is available to families to assist with funeral expenses?
There is a funeral benefit through CPP (Canada Pension Plan) for anyone who has contributed to CPP during their working life, up to a maximum of $2500 can be provided.

There is also assistance through the Last Post Fund of Canada for eligible Veterans.

Some families may be eligible for benefits through work or other organizations. We can also customize a service to best suit your financial situation.

Are there any other Government benefits besides the CPP?
There is the CPP Death Benefit which pays one-time benefit up to a maximum of $2500, and this is based on the individual who has contributed to this plan during their working years.

There is also a Survivor’s Pension through CPP (Canada Pension Plan) for the spouse or common law partner of the deceased.

There is also a Children’s Benefit for those under the age of 18 and/or those over 18 attending college or university.

Our Family Care member would be honoured to assist the family in the completion of the forms required for the CPP programs.

What is covered by insurance policies or Worker’s Compensation?
Many families rely on the deceased’s regular life insurance policy to help cover the cost of a funeral. After a death has occurred, find the original policy, as it will be needed to settle the claim and receive final payment from the insurance company. The company may request a copy of the Funeral Director’s Statement of Death. It’s best to apply right away, as it can take a few weeks or months for the funds to arrive.

Financial assistance for funerals is also available from the Worker’s Compensation Board, when a work-related death occurs. Although certain criteria must be met, the Board will pay up to $1,300 for costs resulting from the work-related death, and up to $8,150 for burial, cremation, funeral or memorial services for the worker. An additional $500 to $1,000 may also available for transportation of the deceased.

The Worker’s Compensation Board also pays monthly survivor’s benefits to a maximum of $2,285 per month, and $179 per month for a dependent child. Alberta residents should call the Worker’s Compensation Board in Edmonton at (403) 427-1216 (collect) for more information.

The Crimes Compensation Board also awards benefits for victims of violent crimes which occur in Alberta. To receive the benefit, an application must be filed, and a decision is made by the Board after a review hearing. Forms are available from the Crimes Compensation Board in Edmonton by calling the toll-free government operator at 310-0000 and asking to be connected to 427-7217.

If you have a question you would like answered by one of our funeral directors (at no obligation), Click here to send us an e-mail.

Is there government assistance for funeral expenses and widow’s pension?
In the province of Alberta, no one is ever denied the dignity of a funeral. If a family is unable to pay, the government department of Alberta Family and Social Services can provide assistance for basic funeral services, a casket, and cemetery or cremation fees.

This assistance is available to those not eligible for Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits, and in most cases is offered to persons already receiving assistance from Alberta Family and Social Services. Assistance may also be offered to persons who are under the Assured Income for Severely Handicapped (AISH) program.

If you have a question you would like answered by one of our funeral directors (at no obligation), Click here to send us an e-mail.

Funeral Services
How much does the average funeral cost?
As a full service funeral home, we offer a wide variety of services and facilities with costs for a family ranging from approx. $4000.00 – $12,000.00, with an average of about $6000.00 – $8000.00.
Why do funerals cost so much? Can you explain what is involved in this cost?
It is estimated that there are 48.5 man hours required for a funeral service. This would include:

  • Securing a release and transfer from the place of death, embalming and sanitation of the deceased, cosmetology, hairdressing, dressing and casketing.
  • Funeral Director meets with the family to coordinate the funeral service and coordination of all details with respect to the cemetery or crematorium, clergy, casket, flowers and musicians.
  • Record keeping and clerical assistance, including completion and filing of all government forms, securing necessary permits and preparation and placement of obituaries.
  • Secretarial services for memorial book, service folders, statements of death and general inquiries regarding funeral service.
  • Arranging flowers for visitation and preparing viewing room and staff for visitation to meet and direct people.
  • Preparation and cleaning of motor vehicles for the funeral service.
  • Arranging flowers, casket and general set up for the funeral service.
  • Staffing for the funeral service and general cleanup of the facilities and equipment before and after the service.
  • Invoicing and general bookkeeping duties, as well as a visit by Family Care staff to assist with benefit applications, government forms, cancelling pensions, etc.
  • A factor that contributes to the cost of the funeral is the type of casket that is chosen, as well as flowers, obituaries, musicians and other service enhancements that are not included in our regular schedule of fees.
Can we have a green burial or cremation?

While there has not yet been a cemetery in Calgary that has been designated “true” green, there has been discussion about the possibility of one being started. McInnis and Holloway are able to provide a casket that does meet green requirements and can be used for either burial or cremation.

Why would we want to consider burial for our loved ones?
With burial the location of the cemetery gives the family a permanent place for them to memorialize the loss of their loved one and place to visit their family member.

Legal & Probate Information
Do all Wills have to be taken to a lawyer?
No, some families may choose to look after the estate themselves including providing the will and dispersing the funds without the assistance of a lawyer.
Do I Need Probate?
If you are administering an estate in Alberta, one of the decisions you will be faced with is whether to probate the Will. You will soon be asked by financial institutions and other organizations whether you will be obtaining probate.
What is Probate?
Probate is the process by which the Executor of an estate applies to the Surrogate Court of Alberta to get the Will “verified” or “approved.” A Judge of the Surrogate Court of Alberta will review the Will and the estate inventory and if satisfied, will issue Letters of Probate. This will be a document issued by the Surrogate Court, which can be relied upon by everybody dealing with the estate.
How Much Does Probate Cost?
The Alberta Courts charge a fee to process a probate application. In Alberta, the maximum fee the Surrogate Court charges for a probate application is about $600.00. On top of that, if the Executor hires a lawyer to do the application to Court for probate, then there will be legal fees as well.
Other Considerations
What are appropriate ways of expressing sympathy?
When a friend has suffered a loss, it’s sometimes difficult to know how to help. Funeral professionals tell us there is no substitute for a sincere, heart-felt expression of sympathy.

Attend the funeral if you can – your presence will be a great comfort to those who are grieving. It’s not necessary to say much – even “I’m sorry” will mean a lot. Don’t try to come up with something profound about life and death, and don’t say “I know how you feel” because everybody experiences grief in their own way.

If you cannot attend the service or visitation, send a sympathy card with a little note and talk about special things you remember about the deceased. Your perspective or story will likely provide family with fresh memories they may not have known.

Other expressions include:

  • sending flowers to the service, or a plant to the home
  • have McInnis & Holloway arrange to plant a tree in Fish Creek Memorial Forest
  • offer to phone friends and colleagues to notify them of the death
  • provide babysitting for the family while arrangements are being made
  • pick up relatives at the airport
  • provide baking for the reception after the service, or provide a casserole for the family
  • offer to answer the door or phone for the family, and keep a record of those who called on the day of the service, offer to stay behind to ensure the house is not empty, as a precaution against theft of memorial contribution.

If you have a question you would like answered by one of our funeral directors (at no obligation), Click here to send us an e-mail.

How can I understand my grief, and get help?
Sometimes, grief can be so overwhelming that even normal responses can leave a person feeling as though they are going crazy.

The best way to cope is to recognize grief as a normal reaction to death. Draw on the support of friends and family, and share your honest feelings. You should be able to mention your loved one’s name without fear of ruining someone else’s day.

Grief is a very necessary process on the path to healing, so be patient with yourself. Counselling should be considered when a person seems to have changed or is acting differently – like becoming unusually withdrawn, fearful or suspicious, acting overwhelmed, expressing a wish to die, or drinking to the point that it’s interfering with their daily responsibilities.

Your funeral director will have information about support groups in your area, or you can contact a clergy member, mental health professional or a crisis telephone line for guidance. You may be surprised to find your experiences are completely normal.

If you have a question you would like answered by one of our funeral directors (at no obligation), Click here to send us an e-mail.

What are the appropriate ways of expressing sympathy?
When a friend has suffered a loss, it’s sometimes difficult to know how to help. Funeral professionals tell us there is no substitute for a sincere, heart-felt expression of sympathy.

Attend the visitation and funeral if you can – your presence will be a great comfort to those who are grieving. It’s not necessary to say much – even “I’m sorry” will mean a lot. Don’t try to come up with something profound about life and death, and don’t say “I know how you feel” because everybody experiences grief in their own way.

If you cannot attend the service or visitation, send a sympathy card with a little note and talk about special things you remember about the deceased. Your perspective or story will likely provide family with fresh memories they may not have known.

Other expressions include:

  • Sending flowers to the service, or a plant to the home
  • Have McInnis & Holloway arrange to plant a tree in Fish Creek Memorial Forest
  • Offer to phone friends and colleagues to notify them of the death
  • Provide babysitting for the family while arrangements are being made
  • Pick up relatives at the airport
  • Provide baking for the reception after the service, or provide a casserole for the family
  • Offer to answer the door or phone for the family, and keep a record of those who called
  • On the day of the service, offer to stay behind to ensure the house is not empty, as a precaution against theft
  • A memorial contribution

If you have a question you would like answered by one of our funeral directors (at no obligation), Click here to send us an e-mail.

How can I prearrange my funeral?
One of the benefits of prearranging a funeral is that you don’t have to make planning decisions in a hurry. You will have the luxury of being able to talk to a number of funeral homes before deciding on the one you are most comfortable with.

Draw up a “short list” of two or three funeral homes in your area. Most funeral homes will give you information over the phone or by mail, but it may be helpful to make an appointment to discuss the funeral process in person.

Prepare for this meeting in advance:

  • Ask yourself about preferences you have regarding the service: traditional or non-religious
  • Would you want to be buried or cremated?
  • Do you have a particular cemetery in mind?
  • What type of music would best reflect your life and passions?
  • Are there readings or poems that would add meaning to your ceremony?
  • Are there other gestures you would include? (i.e. having a tree planted in your memory; having a faithful pet in attendance; releasing balloons; integrating important cultural traditions)
  • Provide information about people who need to be notified in the event of your death
  • Make a list of important papers, such as wills or insurance policies, and their location
  • Remember to mention religious affiliation, cultural customs, or other meaningful items that could be included in the service
  • Think about personal information relating to your life you might want to include in a newspaper notice

If you find yourself hesitating about making these plans, it’s natural -discussing and planning for death can be surprisingly difficult. Whether you write your own instructions, or get the help of a funeral home, it’s important to let someone know where the information is, so it can easily be found by survivors at the time of death. If you would like further information you may also visit our Advanced Planning section within this website.

If you have a question you would like answered by one of our funeral directors (at no obligation), Click here to send us an e-mail.

Passing has just occurred
What should I do when my love one passes away?
You would contact the funeral home to set up an appointment with the Funeral Director to organize funeral service with burial, cremation or entombment.
Can I come in to see the funeral home before I decide on meeting with a funeral director?
Yes, there is no obligation, you can come in and a Funeral Director will give you a tour of the facility and answer all of your questions.
What do we do now, that Mom passed away?
You will need to call the funeral home to inform of the passing. Our staff will take some basic information from you and begin the process of transferring your loved one into our care. We will contact the place where the passing occurred and coordinate all the details.

An appointment time with be set up for your family to come to the funeral home to meet with the Funeral Director and organize all of the details for your Mom’s funeral service.

Where is my loved one going and when can I see them?
Your loved one will be transferred to the preparation area of the location you have chosen.

You will be able to see your loved one as soon as we have scheduled a time and place for you to spend some time with them.

Pre-Arranging
What can I do in advance?
You can provide us with your wishes and funeral choices which we are happy to keep on file. If families prefer we also offer an option to prepay and have these services guaranteed. We have prearrangement specialists on staff that can arrange an appointment at your convenience.
Is it an advantage to pre-plan a funeral; for either myself or a loved one?
Can I plan my funeral now and should I pay for it now or later? Should I choose my casket now?
What does advance planning mean?
Prior to the Passing
I have a family member who is expected to pass soon. When they die what should we do?

You have done the right thing already by calling us for help and direction. At the time your loved one passes away, call us so we may transfer them into our care as soon as possible. We have staff members that work 24 hours, so when you call you will be speaking directly to a member of our staff. At that time we would also ask if you are ready to set up an appointment to complete the arrangements. We are here to help you with every question, concern, and detail. For further assistance, we can send you an information email with links to our website that has informative videos and information (www.mhfh.com).

Do I or (Why do I) have to come in to the funeral home; or can everything be done by email?
We do require the Executor/Executrix, or closest next of kin meet with a Funeral Director. There are many decisions to be made; as well as selection of merchandise and documents that are required to be signed, before we can precede with any funeral or cremation arrangements.
I am planning to be away on holidays and my elderly parent is in a nursing home. What do I do if they pass away while I am gone?
There are a few options that are available to help assist you should the passing occur while you are away.

You can advise the Care Centre that you would like McInnis & Holloway to transfer your parent into our care. Preparation such as embalming can take place which would allow for any delays while you are away. Another family member can make preliminary arrangements until you return or some arrangements can be made via email or fax until you return.

Another option would be to meet with a Director and start making prearrangements to help with some of the decision in advance.

My loved one is at home dying; I don’t know what to do?
When your loved one passes away, the first decision is to select a funeral home. At McInnis & Holloway we are available to answer your calls 24 hours a day. We can take care of all the details immediately and transfer your loved one in a respectful, timely manner. This is providing that your loved one had been either under a Doctor’s care or Palliative Homecare.

The family will set up a time to meet with a licensed Funeral Director at any of our 8 locations which is most convenient for you. At this initial meeting the Funeral Director will offer you many choices and help you with your decisions.

Types Of Services Available
What if I want a non-traditional funeral?
In today’s diverse society, many people choose a non-traditional service, and there are many alternatives available:

  • A ceremony in a funeral home can include thoughts on life and death, a tribute to the life of the deceased, and special musical selections or poetry readings
  • The person officiating can be a funeral director, or someone close to the deceased or the family
  • Many choose to hold the ceremony in a senior’s lodge, nursing home or other long-term care facility
  • The service can be kept to immediate family, without extending a general invitation
  • Families may choose to have only a graveside memorial ceremony
  • If the ceremony is a small, or by invitation only, a public notice in the newspaper can often help inform friends and colleagues of the person’s passing
  • One alternative is no ceremony at all, called an immediate or direct disposition

When making decisions about a funeral service, remember the service can have great importance for friends and colleagues who wish to show their support or pay last respects.

Not having a funeral can make others believe you don’t wish to see them, and can result in hurt feelings. Experts believe it’s best to hold a public service and let others decide whether to come or not.

If you have a question you would like answered by one of our funeral directors (at no obligation), Click here to send us an e-mail.

What about cultural customs, and traditions for the funeral service?
As the ethnic fabric of our society grows, the customs and traditions surrounding funerals change. Expression of grief is different for every group, but everyone shares a need to mark the passing of a life with affection, dignity and respect.

If you are uncertain about different cultural or religious backgrounds, and this has kept you from attending a funeral or expressing sympathy, a little knowledge can help. Here are a few examples of customs and traditions which can be part of a funeral service (examples may vary according to personal tastes and beliefs):

  • Native or Plains Indians play drums and sing honor songs or personal songs belonging to the deceased. Sweetgrass is sometimes burned as a ritual or prayer.
  • Buddhists ring a bell to the start the funeral. After the funeral service – which takes place in a temple or funeral home – a memorial service is held every 7th day for 49 days, and family and friends are encouraged to attend.
  • Those attending a Chinese funeral may receive a white envelope with candy and money inside. The candy is to sweeten the bitter taste of death, and the money is for luck, since death is considered a bad omen.

If you have a question you would like answered by one of our funeral directors (at no obligation), Click here to send us an e-mail.

What are my options at Calgary’s Mausoleum?
Many options are available for the final disposition of the ashes:

Burial
Some cemeteries have urn gardens for burial of an urn, above-ground columbariums, or will allow burial in the family plot, while others have scattering grounds as part of the cemetery.

Memorial Vessels
Cremation allows the family to retain the cremated remains, either in one urn or a number of smaller ones to distribute among family. Some people place a small portion of cremated remains in a memorial vessel, such as a necklace or bracelet.

Scattering
Scattering cremated remains in a meaningful location can be considered. Sometimes the family marks the site with a small memorial plaque so it can later be revisited. Since scattering is irreversible, it’s best to think about it in advance, as grieving persons sometimes make choices they later wish they hadn’t.

In Alberta (Canada), scattering cannot occur over water, but is permitted on most crown and public lands, and national parks, but permission must always be obtained ahead of time.

If you have a question you would like answered by one of our funeral directors (at no obligation), Click here to send us an e-mail.

What options are there for the cremation urn?
Many options are available for the final disposition of the ashes:

Burial
Some cemeteries have urn gardens for burial of an urn, above-ground columbariums, or will allow burial in the family plot, while others have scattering grounds as part of the cemetery.

Memorial Vessels
Cremation allows the family to retain the cremated remains, either in one urn or a number of smaller ones to distribute among family. Some people place a small portion of cremated remains in a memorial vessel, such as a necklace or bracelet.

Scattering
Scattering cremated remains in a meaningful location can be considered. Sometimes the family marks the site with a small memorial plaque so it can later be revisited. Since scattering is irreversible, it’s best to think about it in advance, as grieving persons sometimes make choices they later wish they hadn’t.

In Alberta (Canada), scattering cannot occur over water, but is permitted on most crown and public lands, and national parks, but permission must always be obtained ahead of time.

If you have a question you would like answered by one of our funeral directors (at no obligation), Click here to send us an e-mail.