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When a Death Occurs

“Where Do I Begin?”

This is one of the questions we get asked the most. For some, it’s the first time they’re facing the shock of losing a loved one, and the mere thought of arranging a funeral can be daunting and overwhelming. Working with Circle of Life makes the process that much easier. Simply follow these steps to help turn an intimidating process into a calming journey.


1. Simply call us as soon as you find out your loved one has passed away at 905-628-8558 – we are available 24/7 offering a compassionate ear and helping hand.

2. We will make arrangements to have your loved one placed in our care, whether they’re at the hospital, nursing home, hospice, or anywhere else in Ontario.

3. We will meet you at Circle of Life to discuss whether you would like to have your loved one cremated or buried. We’ll also make all necessary arrangements such as choosing the cremation or burial casket and funeral venue.

4. Let us help you get all the necessary forms completed, such as  Provincial forms including CPP death benefits, Health Card cancellation, an Estate Checklist to guide you in your final tasks, and an unlimited number of Proof of Death Certificates. Already made arrangements with another funeral home? We can assist you with transferring any prearrangements to Circle of Life.

At Home or at Work

Home or at Work

When a death occurs at home or in the workplace, a family member or co-worker should contact emergency personnel and the person's physician if he or she was under a doctor's care. If the death occurs at home with family or friends present, and the person is under a physician's care, the family will want to call us directly.

However, if the death occurs in a residence and is sudden, the police will need to be notified and respond to the residence before the deceased is removed from their home.

If in any case you are not sure of who to notify or what to do, you may call (905) 628-8558 and we'll assist you in notifying the proper agencies.

While Under Supervised Care

While Under Supervised Care

When a death occurs in a care facility, such as a hospital or nursing home, the professional staff will notify you. If the name of the funeral home has been left with them, the institution will notify the funeral home at the time of the death. The funeral director will contact you following their notification to help you proceed. If a loved one was in the care of a hospice program, a hospice representative will give family members instructions and procedures to follow. The coroner/medical examiner will be notified by hospice. Following their release, the hospice will contact the funeral home.

Widening the Circle

Widening the Circle

Our staff members are experienced professionals who can provide much of the information you need, emotional support and compassionate guidance.

While you may ask the director any questions at this time, you will be able to discuss the arrangements in detail later when you meet in person. During this initial call, the funeral director will gather information to be able to transport your loved one to the funeral home.

The funeral director may ask you several questions, including whether your loved one made any pre-arrangements. The director will also schedule a date and time for you to meet at the funeral home and will let you know what you should bring with you. Others you will need to call are:

- Family members and friends

- Clergy or other spiritual advisors

Those Important Questions

Those Important Questions

If there is no pre-plan in place, there are several other questions that you may have to have answered in regards to the death of your loved one:

- Do I have to have embalming?

- Do I need to purchase a casket?

- What about cemetery arrangements?

- Does the family have to engage the services of a minister?

- What type of service should we have?

By contacting our staff, we'll be able to help answer your questions and assist in making the appropriate plans. You can reach us at (905) 628-8558.

However, as we’ve said before, one of the best ways to make sure that all of your questions and desires are taken care of is to make pre-arrangements. This can be as simple as outlining your wishes to having all of the details written down and arrangements prepaid. Please contact one of our staff at (905) 628-8558 to learn more about pre-arrangement.

What to Expect When You Arrive at the Funeral Home

What to Expect When You Arrive at the Funeral Home

You and your family will be greeted at the door and shown into the arrangement office. You will be guided through the entire arrangement process, according to your wishes. This is not a one-way conversation; we want to hear your ideas and desires, and use them as the foundation for the arrangement process.

Going Through the Checklist:

We understand that when someone has passed away, paperwork is the last thing on your mind. And while we do need certain information, we work hard to make this process fast and seamless so you can get back to being with your family as quickly as possible. While we’ll need some information when you first contact Circle of Life, the rest might only be required later.

These are the most important questions we need to know about the deceased

• Their name

• Their date of passing

• Their Social Insurance Number

• Their location and phone number or address (hospital, hospice, home, or nursing facility)

• Their legal address

• Their date and place of birth

• Their occupation and place of employment (if your loved one was retired, you can simply let us know their occupation before they retired)

• Their father’s name, mother’s name, and maiden name

• Their parents’ birthplaces

• Their marital status

• If they were married or in common-law, please provide us with their spouse’s name and maiden name

• The informant’s name (person giving information), address, and relationship to your loved one

• If there is a last will and testament, who is/are the named executor(s)?

• The burial plot information (including cemetery deeds or licence, telephone numbers of contact persons)

• The surviving spouse’s birthdate, birthplace and Social Insurance Number (for CPP Survivor Pension Benefit)