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Dispelling 2 More Funeral Preplanning Myths

3263252_sIn my last blog post, I discussed the fact that there are myths with respect to funeral preplanning and discussed some of the legislation that surrounds it. In this blog post, I’ll dispel 2 more funeral preplanning myths; that of cost and cremation.

Myth #1: It’s expensive to preplan a funeral, right? No, absolutely not.

It’s Free.

Preplanning a funeral does not cost any money. In fact it is a loving gift to let your family know what you would prefer to celebrate your life in the end.

In the Province of Ontario, Funeral Homes and Funeral Directors are self-regulated through the Ontario Board of Funeral Services. Part of the regulations state that upon request, an individual must be provided a consumer guide of services and merchandise offered by the funeral home without cost or obligation. Further, this consumer guide must be dated, the prices included and the offering of a consultation without cost or obligation.

Funeral directions written down ahead of time, is one of the last gifts you can give your family. Yes some deaths are sudden and unexpected, leaving a family in a state of chaos as to what to do to honor that person’s life. However, approximately 70% of deaths are known. For example a person may be terminally ill and the family knows that it is a matter of time before a funeral will be needed. This is a gift of time.

I have worked with families who take advantage of this gift of time and do some preliminary work to understand what has to be done and what can be done to celebrate their loved one’s life. When people take a bit of time to explore what has to be taken care of in funeral arrangements, there is more of a sense of calm and control over what they have to do and can do to celebrate their loved ones live.

Myth #2: I want to be cremated so I don’t need to involve a funeral home.

Somehow this has become a myth in our social fabric and it is not true. Whether a person wants burial or cremation, with or without any type of service or celebration of their life, the deceased is first brought to a licensed funeral home.

When a person dies, a medical doctor or coroner or a nurse practitioner signs a Medical Certificate of Death. Once this document is signed, a licensed Funeral Director will remove the body from the place of death and bring the deceased to the funeral home. This is necessary, as the death must be registered in the Province of Ontario. Along with the Medical Certificate of Death, the Executor signs a Statement of Death. These two documents are not allowed to be photocopied and the funeral home delivers these documents to the local municipality to register the death. In turn these documents are forwarded to the Attorney General’s office and this is how a death is registered under the Vital Statistics act in the Province or Territory.

Another reason a person can not go directly from the place of death to the crematorium, is that the body must be in a rigid, solid bottom, combustible container. Many Funeral Homes call this a cremation container and it may be made of solid wood, particleboard or even heavy cardboard.

Additionally the coroner must sign a Cremation application. The Coroner’s office has the highest authority in the Province and the coroner must view the deceased and determine, with their signature on the Cremation application, that there is no suspicious or harmful manner to the person’s death. If the Coroner has doubts as to the persons cause of death, then the Coroner’s Office may demand that an autopsy be done on the body to determine the cause of death

In summary when a person wants to be cremated, the deceased is sheltered at the funeral home for a short period of time in order to complete the necessary documents and obtain signatures, place the deceased in a cremation container and transfer this to the crematorium.

Are there any surprises here? I’d love your feedback. And don’t forget to leave a link back to your own blog via the commentluv feature here on my site.

In my next blog; another myth dispelled – My family knows what I want……

Until next time,



2 replies
  1. CaroleG says:

    Thanks Kat, for your very informative post on preplanning. I can’t tell you how many families I have spoken to who do not preplan. The difference in emotional between those who do and those who did not, is huge. The ones that do not almost always say they wish they had preplanned their loved one’s funeral service. Without preplanning, no one can ever be prepared for the expense, planning, and emotions that comes when a loved one dies.

    • Kat says:

      Hi Carole you are absolutely right on the mark. While it does take a bit of courage to make an appointment to preplan ones funeral. The outcome is the sense of pride and accomplishment in knowing that you have done the best you can to let your loved one’s know what type of funereal services you want to celebrate your life and loved one’s. Thank you for your comments.


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