An anguished and frustrated family is planning to sue the Valley View Funeral Home in Surrey, B.C., for a burial mix-up involving their grandmother, who was buried in a less expensive casket than the $4,000 oak casket that she had pre-paid for years before she died last July at the age of 95.
Click here to read today’s full story in the Surrey Now newspaper by Tom Zytaruk.
The family of Ester Verdant had asked the funeral home to check whether Ester had pre-paid for a casket, but the home could find no record of it, the family said.
The family later learned that not only had Verdant bought an oak casket for $3,936 in 2002 from the funeral home, which was paid for by monthly instalments, but Verdant had also pre-paid for her funeral service through a monthly life insurance policy.
The family only recently learned about the pre-existing contracts while going through Verdant’s personal papers after her burial, the deceased’s granddaughter, Maria Thelle Kim, told the Surrey Now.
When the family contacted the funeral home with this upsetting news, the funeral home director was “very apologetic” and offered to pay out the amounts received for the casket and funeral services, but the family said it wasn’t sufficient, considering Verdant had been buried in the “wrong” casket, causing the surviving family members “much emotional distress and sleepless nights unnecessarily.”
The lesson for family members: Be aware if a loved one has a pre-paid contract for funeral services, and know where that contract is located to avoid similar grief as this family suffered.
Good for them for suing. The funeral home gambled that the relatives would never find out the funeral was paid for. I wonder how many times they’ve gotten away with that gamble.