Frequently Asked Questions

We have heard thousands of questions, and chosen to provide you with the answers to some of the more common questions relating to a funeral, a funeral service and funeral homes.

When a death happens, why do I need to call a funeral home or transfer service?

To make arrangements for care and disposition of the deceased. To coordinate with medical professionals and government to record and register the death. To announce the death in the community in accordance with the family’s wishes.

What’s the difference between a funeral home and a transfer service?

A funeral home can embalm a deceased (if necessary) and host celebrations of life or traditional funerals. A transfer service can do neither, nor can they participate in a funeral service of any kind. All other services provided are the same. Circle of Life is licensed to provide all services.

What are the decisions I need to make at the time of a death?

Burial or cremation. Embalming if necessary – with the input of the funeral director. If burial, has a burial site been arranged with a cemetery? If cremation, what will happen with the cremated remains? Will there be a family-only identification visit prior to disposition or an open visitation prior to or after disposition? Will there be a service of any kind? If so, religious or non-religious; where will it be held; will it be officiated or simply a drop-in; will there be refreshments? Will there be tributes / memorial cards / music or other unique aspects. Will the passing be announced? If so, in newspaper(s), the internet (the funeral home’s website and / or Facebook).

What choices are most people making today?

Cremation is the preferred choice – price being one of the deciding factors. If a service of some kind is chosen, a non-religious, personally representative one is more common. Beyond that, plans are as unique as the individual.

Do I need a casket for a cremation?

Yes – Ontario law requires that a body be transferred to a crematorium in a solid container – cardboard being the minimum requirement. Circle of Life offers many options starting at $195.

Can cremated remains be scattered?

Yes – on personal property, on unoccupied Crown lands or Crown lands covered by water (unless prohibited), or anywhere else with the permission of the owner. Some cemeteries offer a scattering garden and there will be a charge for this service.

What are the benefits of preplanning my funeral?

Preplanning one’s own final arrangements frees families from having to make decisions at a time that is usually emotionally upsetting. Preplanning also allows a person to take charge of how their final arrangements will proceed. Done in advance, decisions with respect to burial or cremation and whether to plan for a traditional religious funeral or a more informal and personally designed celebration of life can all be carefully considered.

Do I have to pay for my funeral prearrangements in advance?

No. You can simply prearrange your supplies and services without prepaying. Circle of Life will keep a record of your plans at no cost. However, prepaying your prearrangement will guarantee the cost of your plans at today’s prices.

How do I choose a funeral home?

Consider recommendations from family or friends; talk with more than one funeral home; and inquire what is included in their prices. Ask them for their price list and a written price estimate to assist you when comparing prices and services.