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What Needs to Be Done When Someone Dies?

I had three calls this week from colleagues asking me to guide them through the process of what has to happen when a loved one dies.  Unfortunately in each case there was no preplanning nor had the families had any conversations about what type of funeral the deceased wanted.  Imagine their total bewilderment and shock at having to make important once in a life time decisions – all while they are in a state of total emotional overwhelm.

I think we could all agree that this is not the optimal state of mind to be in to have to make funeral decisions.  Especially when there are so many steps involved that haven’t been thought about.  To give you an idea of this comprehensive list, I have prepared a short list of just a few of the many steps involved in what needs to be done when someone dies. Read more

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What is a State Funeral & How is it Organized?

state funeralThe recent state funeral to honour the former Federal Finance Minister Mr. Jim Flaherty, peaked my interest as to how a State Funeral is organized in Canada.

Under the asepsis of the Department of Canadian Heritage (DCH), a state funeral is a public event, held to honour and commemorate present and former Governors Generals, Prime Ministers and sitting members of the Ministry. Also a state funeral may be offered to an eminent Canadian at the discretion of the Prime Minister.  A State funeral offered, organized and executed by the Government of Canada – Governor General-in-Council, with the DCH as the lead agency, offers the public an opportunity to pay their respects to the deceased.

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Brain Donation

brain donationMany people consider body or tissue donation but have you considered brain donation?

Brain donation to the Douglas-Bell Canada Brain Bank provides national and international researchers with the necessary brain tissue; cells, proteins, and genes to study neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases.

Both healthy and unhealthy brains are required to provide the brain tissue for researchers to strive to understand mental and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer Disease, Parkinson Disease, frontotemporal dementia, Pick disease, and the biological factors associated with mood disorders, and suicide.

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Airport Regulations Regarding Flying With Cremated Remains

travelling with cremated remains People often ask if you are allowed to fly with cremated remains and what the airport or government regulations would be. The answer is, yes, you can fly with cremated remains. Often people want to take their loved one home and bury, scatter or entomb their cremated remains outside of Canada. Cremation containers are allowed on the plane with you providing you meet certain criteria.

In addition to accompanying documentation such as the: Cremation Certificate and Funeral Directors Proof of Death and Letter of Contents; x-ray screening of cremated remains will be taken at pre-boarding airport security checkpoints, to ensure there are not prohibited items inside the remains.

On July 26, 2013 Transport Canada (TC) released regulatory changes requiring the Canada Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) to follow these procedures regarding the X- ray screening of cremation containers in checked baggage or carry- on baggage.

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What Would You Do if a Loved One Died Away From Home?

bigstock-A-senior-adult-couple-sitting--14032157In our increasingly mobile society, we are traveling for work, pleasure, education, medical treatment, or to visit family.  Perhaps you have heard of a tragic tale of a loved one or acquaintance dying away from home. What would you do?

Amid the emotional whirlwind, there are the vigorous legalities involved in repatriating the body.  When a person dies away from home, the international consulate is involved along with the Canadian consulate.  Additionally there are Public Health requirements and specific embalming and merchandise requirements to bring the body across an international border.  There will also be fees for the way bill to bring the deceased home.  These costs can range from $4,000.00 to more than $12,000.00, depending on the country in which the death occurred. Read more

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3 Major Changes to the Ontario Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act

bigstock-Mourning-woman-on-funeral-with-47269159On July 1 2012 the new Ontario Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act comes into effect.  There are 3 major changes in the legislation concerning prepaid funeral contracts.  They are:

  1. The Funeral home must guarantee all goods and services listed on the prepaid contract.
  2. Funeral Homes may not accept prepayment for cemetery related services.
  3. The administration fee has increased.

Each of these legislative changes is discussed in turn.

1. Prepaid funeral contracts

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