What is Embalming?

  • The complete disinfection, preservation and restoration of a deceased human body.
  • It involves the removal of blood and body fluids and replacement with a preservative solution. The body is then dressed in clothing selected by the family and placed in the casket or cremation container chosen.
  • Embalming is beneficial for public health, facilitates viewing of the deceased and slows adverse changes to the body so that the family has opportunity to say goodbye and allow time for others to gather.
  • Embalming is not a legal requirement in the Province of Ontario.
  • Some do not wish to have embalming due to religious and/or personal wishes. (Alternatives are listed below.)

Are there Alternatives to Embalming?

  • Posing facial features and having the deceased dressed in clothing selected by the family.
  • Families are also welcome to identify their loved one without any posing or dressing in the casket or cremation container selected or on our hospital stretcher.
  • An un-embalmed body may be viewed and be present at a visitation and funeral service. The funeral home however cannot be held responsible for changes that may occur to the body including odour, discolouration and decomposition.

What is Cremation?

  • Is the reduction of the body into bone fragments through subjection to intense heat. The bone fragments are then further reduced mechanically to a final product with a fine, gravel-like texture, often incorrectly called “ashes”.
  • Cremation does NOT disallow a family time of goodbyes, embalming, a visitation period, a funeral or memorial service or earth burial (of the cremated remains). There are a variety of ways in which cremation can be a part of the funeral process. It is not a means to an end but an option that is available along the funeralization process.

What is Pre-Arranging or Pre-Planning?

These terms both describe the act of making plans before a death occurs. They may be minimal, such as communicating a few wishes that you would like to have carried out. They may be more extensive stipulating the various details of a service and including pre-payment of all or a portion of the expenses. Pre-planning never goes father than you wish it to!

What is the value of Pre-Arranging your wishes?

Pre-arrangements help to clearly communicate your wishes to loved ones and/or executors. They create a plan for loved ones to follow and cause the subject to be discussed in the family unit before the time of need. Good pre-arrangements alleviate some of the hard decisions for your family but also leave flexibility to suit the family needs and unforseen circumstances.

What Happens When a Person with a Pre-Arrangement Dies?

When a person who has pre-arranged their funeral dies the family contacts the funeral home as they would in every case. The family will be invited to come to the funeral home to make arrangements. At this time the family information will be gone over to ensure its correctness. The executors, who legally exercise authority after a person has died, will select the services and follow the wishes outlined on the pre-arrangement sheet. They will then sign a funeral contract that reflects the wishes of the deceased with prices that are current at the date of death. Please note that executors do have the power to change ANY pre-arrangement wishes that you may have recorded. This is why it is so important to communicate your wishes to the executors so that they understand what you would like done and why. Remember though to give them some flexibility based on unforseen circumstances. The executors will then take care of the cost of the services selected with monies that remain in the estate at the time of death.

What About Pre-Paying?

Pre-arranging your funeral puts you under no obligation to also pre-pay it. Usually people are interested in what the services they have selected would cost. The funeral director can tally this up fairly easily and the decision to pre-pay is yours!

How are pre-paid funds held?

Mark Jutzi Funeral Home is a member of Guaranteed Funeral Deposits of Ontario (G.F.D.) This is a fraternal organization where pre-paid funeral funds are held in trust in the name of the person pre-arranging their funeral. G.F.D. has recently launched a number of insurance products that may also be helpful depending on your situation. All pre-paid funds are held by G.F.D. They cannot be touched by the funeral home until proper proof of death is issued. These funds are also protected by the Board of Funeral Services Compensation Fund and are subject to yearly inspection by the Board of Funeral Services and quarterly reporting by G.F.D. A person who holds a pre-paid funeral is welcome to call and inquire at any time about their funds.

What part of my pre-arranged wishes can I pre-pay?

Generally, whether the funds are in a trust account or are through an insurance product, the amount pre-paid reflects the service charge for services selected, the casket or cremation container selected, the urn or outer container selected (where applicable), applicable taxes (ie GST) and any of the applicable miscellaneous charges such as reception facilities, in memorium cards or grass and lowering device.

Pre-paid funds do not usually involve any cash disbursements. This is mainly because these are not funeral home charges and are thus out of the funeral home’s immediate control. Cash disbursements vary in price quite a lot over time and the types or amount of cash disbursements required may change over time.

Some families really want all the foreseeable cash disbursements pre-paid. In this event, we will take an allowance for taxes and cash disbursements that are specifically identified. In this case we reserve the right to inflate the cost of all cash disbursements. This usually means doubling the current amounts in order to be able to guarantee the contract.