Funeral FAQs

Everything you need to know about funerals.

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Why do I need to call a funeral home or transfer service when someone dies?

All families need to make arrangements for the care of their loved one after they pass away, and this can be a daunting process when you’ve just started the grieving process. But with support from Circle of Life, we can help you make an overwhelming experience that much easier. We will record and register your loved one’s passing and announce it in accordance with your family’s wishes.


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

A funeral home can embalm your departed loved one (if necessary) and host celebrations of life or traditional funerals, whereas a transfer service doesn’t offer these options. Circle of Life is licensed to provide all of this.


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 do most people choose these days?

Most people prefer to cremate their loved ones based on cost. If a service of some kind is chosen, a non-religious, personally represented one is more common. Aside from these trends, the details vary.


Do I need a casket for a cremation?

Yes – Ontario law requires that departed loved ones be transferred to a crematorium in a solid container, with cardboard as the minimum requirement. Circle of Life offers many options, starting at $205.


Can cremated remains be scattered?

Yes, the ashes of your dear loved one can be scattered on personal property or 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, with a charge for this service.


What are the benefits of preplanning my funeral?

Pre-planning your funeral relieves the family of this burden.  Pre-planning also allows the person to take ownership of how the funeral will proceed. Please keep in mind that your executor can make changes to your pre-arrangement after your death.


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

No – you can simply pre-arrange your supplies and services without pre-paying. Circle of Life will keep a record of your plans at no cost. However, if you prepay your pre-arrangements, you will guarantee that the cost of your plans remains at today’s prices.


How do I choose a funeral home?

Recommendations from family or friends if they have had first-hand experiences with the funeral home. Try talking to more than one funeral home and compare their prices and services to help you choose the best option. Ask for an exact estimate. It may be beneficial to meet with the funeral director at the funeral home of your choice to see whether they have a calm, caring, and compassionate approach to customers, since family members will be leaning on them during a very difficult time.

If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to reach out.