FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION
Courtesy Ontario Board of Funeral Services
www.funeralboard.com


Arrangements


Q. WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR FINAL ARRANGEMENTS?

A.
The Executor and/or next of kin bear legal responsibility in the disposition of the deceased. It is prudent for the executor to include the family in any decisions regarding final arrangements.
Q. IS EMBALMING REQUIRED IN ONTARIO?

A.
Embalming is not required in Ontario but may be necessary under some circumstances.
Q. CAN SERVICES BE PREARRANGED?

A.
Yes, services can be prearranged through a funeral home or transfer service and can be prepaid if you wish.
Q. HOW MUCH DO FUNERALS AND TRANSFER SERVICES COST?

A.
Costs depend entirely on the goods and services selected by you. Every funeral director and transfer service operator is required by law to have price lists available to the public at no charge and without obligation.
Q. WHEN WILL I FIND OUT THE COST OF THE GOODS AND SERVICES I HAVE SELECTED?

A.
At the time the arrangements are agreed upon, the funeral director or transfer service operator must give you a written contract including the total price of the goods and services selected and estimate of any disbursements. The contract must be approved and signed by the person making the arrangements with the funeral director or transfer service operator.
Q. IS IT NECESSARY TO RETAIN THE SERVICES OF A FUNERAL DIRECTOR OR TRANSFER SERVICE OPERATOR FOR ALL DEATHS?

A.
No. It is possible to bury a member of your own family provided you comply with all relevant legislation.
Q. WHAT ARE CASH DISBURSEMENTS?

A.
Cash disbursements are payments made by the funeral director on your behalf and might include items such as newspaper notices, clergy honoraria or flowers. Disbursements are charged to you at actual cost and if they appear on your contract, must be itemized and included in the total price.
Q. MUST A CASKET BE PLACED IN AN OUTSIDE CONTAINER FOR BURIAL?

A.
This is not the law in Ontario. However, local customs vary and some cemeteries have by-laws requiring that outside containers be used for interment. For more information contact Cemetery Regulations, Ministry of Consumer & Commercial Relations; Tel: (416) 326-8392.
Prepaid Arrangements
Q. WHAT IS A PREPAID SERVICE?

A.
You may prearrange and prepay services and supplies by means of a contract between you and the funeral establishment or transfer service.
Q. WHAT HAPPENS TO MY MONEY?

A.
You have two options either it is held in trust for you at a bank, trust company, credit union or fraternal society or you may have the option to purchase an insurance product.
Q. IS THE PRICE OF A PREPAID SERVICE GUARANTEED?

A.
Funeral homes do not have to guarantee services that have been prepaid. Purchasers should ensure that the contract clearly states whether or not the price will be guaranteed.
Q. HOW DOES A GUARANTEE WORK?

A.
At the time of death the funeral director or transfer service will calculate cost based on the current prices. If the principal plus interest or insurance death benefit is less than the cost of services no other money is owed.
Q. WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE IS AN EXCESS OF FUNDS AFTER A GUARANTEED PREPAID FUNERAL HAS BEEN PROVIDED?

A.
If you prepaid after June 1, 1990 the balance, if any, of the prepayment funds that are in excess of the cost of delivering the services and supplies contracted for must be refunded to the estate. If you prepaid prior to June 1, 1990 the funds will be refunded at the funeral establishments discretion.
Q. HOW ARE PREPAID FUNDS PROTECTED?

A.
Legislation provides several means for ensuring protection of prepaid funds. At the time of prepayment, the funeral director or transfer service operator must provide the purchaser with a contract, signed by the purchaser and the funeral director, showing clearly the services you have selected and the monies you have paid. Within 10 days of the investment of the prepaid funds, the funeral establishment or transfer service operator must deliver to the purchaser an investment receipt from the financial institution that the investment has been made.
If you do not receive a receipt within this time frame we encourage you to contact the funeral home or transfer service. In addition, trust funds are inspected by the Board of Funeral Services. Funeral establishments and transfer service operators must annually submit to the Board of Funeral Services a Report of the Public Accountant on their trust funds. The Board of Funeral Services administers a Compensation Fund that provides compensation in the event of misappropriation of trust monies.

Q. WILL MY MONEY BE RETURNED IF I CHANGE MY MIND?

A.
Yes. When a written request is received, all monies including principal and accrued interest must be refunded. However, the funeral home or transfer service may keep an administration fee of 10% of the funds to a maximum of $200.00 if the contract is cancelled after thirty days. The financial institution or insurance company may also charge a cancellation fee.
Q. HOW CAN I OBTAIN INFORMATION ABOUT SERVICES OR COSTS ?

A.
Funeral directors and transfer service operators welcome and encourage people to make such inquiries prior to or at the time of need. Call the funeral home or transfer service and request a price list. They must provide a price list without cost or obligation. You are encouraged to compare prices and services by obtaining price lists from several establishments.
Cremation
Q. WHAT IS CREMATION?

A.
Cremation is a process where fire reduces the body to a residue.
Q. IS A CASKET REQUIRED BY LAW FOR CREMATION?

A.
No. However, if a casket is not used, crematoria require that the body be enclosed in rigid container of combustible material.
Q. WHAT IS DONE WITH THE CREMATED REMAINS?

A.
Cremated remains may be retained by the family, interred in a cemetery, placed in a niche in a columbarium, or scattered on one's private property or in a designated area of the cemetery.
Q. DO I HAVE TO BUY AN URN?

A.
No. The ashes are returned to you in a small plastic box.
Funeral Alternatives
Q. WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON'T WANT A TRADITIONAL FUNERAL?

A.
All funeral homes must offer an inexpensive service known as 'direct disposition'.
Transfer Services are companies that may only offer the 'direct disposition' option.
Q. WHAT IS A DIRECT DISPOSITION?

A.
This option includes the removal of the deceased from the place of death, the placement of the body in a container or casket, the delivery of the body to the cemetery or crematorium and the filing of necessary documentation.
It does not include visitation or services with the body present.
Q. DOES DIRECT DISPOSITION MEAN I HAVE TO HAVE CREMATION?

A.
No. You can have either cremation or earth burial.
Other
Q. IS IT POSSIBLE TO DONATE YOUR BODY OR ORGANS TO MEDICAL SCIENCE?

A.
Yes. However your wishes should be discussed with your family.