Below is a list of questions and responses that we commonly receive at the funeral home. We will continue to include any new questions in this section that we feel would be helpful to others.
If you have a question that has not been covered in this site we would like to hear from you. You may use the "Ask the Director" section of our site to forward your question or comments to us.
If you would prefer to call us on the telephone, we would be pleased to provide an answer to any funeral related matter you may have. If we do not have the answer immediately, we will find it for you and contact you the minute the information is in our hands.
|WHY PRE-PLAN MY FUNERAL ?|
|In Life there are choices: Most of us plan ahead in life. We plan for our wedding, our children's education, family vacations and other significant expected life events. We also plan for the unexpected events of life by purchasing a home, auto and medical insurance.|
By understanding the benefits of pre-planning, it has prompted many of us to pre-plan our own funeral. This is a free service which carries no obligation and is designed specifically to provide you with helpful information, which in turn gives you the knowledge to make well informed decisions regarding your funeral wishes.
|MY WISHES ARE OUTLINED IN MY WILL....SO WHY WOULD I NEED TO PRE-ARRANGE ?|
|A will is an important legal document, however, final wishes and directives contained within a Will may not be honoured because the Will is normally not read until after the funeral. To be sure this won't happen to you, one should pre-arrange their funeral decisions.|
|IS CREMATION LESS EXPENSIVE THAN TRADIITIONAL EARTH BURIAL?|
|It can be. Costs associated with either option strictly depends on the services and merchandise you select. What type of urn, casket or container and the type of funeral or memorial service chosen. There are so many variables, the individual can design what is most appropriate both personally and financially for either means of disposition. The most economical solution of all, is to plan well in advance, so the costs are inclusive at today's prices and in today's dollars.|
|DO I HAVE TO PRE-PAY MY FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS?|
|No, Funeral arrangements may be made in advance withou pre-paying them. In this case the costs involved for the choices you make at the funeral home today are not guaranteed when your death occurs. The services and merchandise are provided at need at the current prevailing costs. |
It should be noted that when you pre-plan and pre-pay your funeral arrangements you will be protected against escalating funeral prices. By locking in today's funeral costs and ensuring that the necessary funds are set aside, you relieve yourself unnecessary future worry and your survivors of an unexpected expense.
|REGARDING PRE-ARRANGING, I HEAR SO MUCH ABOUT PEACE OF MIND, WHAT DO THEY MEAN?|
|As if there is not enough emotional strain and stress of caring for a loved one who is terminally ill, or if a death occurs very suddenly. The last event one wants to make within a few hours after the death of a loved one is funeral arrangements. Many families who have undergone the stress and strain of exactly that, have made the choice to pre-plan their own funeral. By doing so, it lifts the burden from their survivors and relieves them of making many decisions at a time of grief and emotional stress. That is what they mean when they tell you they have peace of mind.|
|HOW MUCH DOES A FUNERAL COST ?|
|Today the average funeral in Canada costs about $ 6,500.00. However, this fiqure differs based on what part of the country you are located. The above price includes the funeral home's services, facilities and equipment, casket and an outer burial vault or urn, as well as the cash disbursements i.e. funeral notices, cemetery/crematorium charges, honorariums, etc. You obviously can spend much less than this or much more depending on the choices you make. Since each funeral is unique, the cost will vary, therefore this is a difficult question to answer. One should know that there are many options available today to create a fitting and meaningful ceremony, tailored to fit any budget. Funerals can be expensive, but yet, they don't have to be. The decision is entirely up to you. I have often said that a meaningful funeral can include an entire full piece orchestra or your church choir to a simple prayer or a song. Please remember first and foremost, do what is right for you and your family, never feel you must spend beyond your means. If any of the above information concerns you and you feel the need to have input regarding your choices, then pre-planning is really the thing to do. Pre-planning gives you the opportunity to make your own decisions and choices, it also makes things much easier for your family. Over 90% of the paperwork is done, wishes are recorded, details are completed and the expenses can be pre-paid. This then, allows your family to focus on their grief and ability to create and personalize a meaningful service.|
|DO I HAVE TO HAVE AN OPEN CASKET ?|
|No you don't, but it has been our experience over several years that stated simply, seeing is believing. Viewing and spending time with the remains is a a way of honouring the transition from life to death and saying our last goodbyes. Some families deem it extremely important that they themselves have time with the deceased and if there decision is to have the casket closed for the public visitation, so be it. This decision afterall is the choice or may be the wishes of the individual and/ or the immediate family members. I would also like to address if I may, the myth, that viewing the remains distorts your memory of the person who has died. We have heard on several occasions, "I want to remember him/her the way he/she was" Viewing the remains is indeed and always a personal choice and no one should be forced to do it. However, most families who choose to spend time with the remains, find it an incredibly meaningful experience. They are given the opportunity to see this special person one last time and truly begin to acknowledge the reality of death. If you have an opinion regarding what is right for you, pre-arrangement is really the best way to ensure your wishes will be carried out.|
|WHEN I PROVIDE MONEY FOR A PRE-ARRANGED FUNERAL, WHAT GUARANTEE DO I HAVE THAT THE MONEY IS SAFE AND WILL BE AVAILABLE TO PAY FOR SERVICES AND MERCHANDISE WHEN IT IS ACTUALLY REQUIRED?|
|Legislation requires licensed funeral service establishments to place monies received on account of a pre-arranged funeral into a trust account. When the Scotland Funeral Home places the monies in trust we will guarantee that the cost of the contracted services and merchandise will not exceed the total amount held in trust, including the initial payment and interest accrued. The monies we receive are held by financial institutions that have a Canada Deposit Corporation depositors insurance.|
|WHAT IS CONSIDERED THE BASIC STEPS OR THE MAKE-UP OF A FUNERAL ?|
|(1) The Arrangement Conference: |
While this event is really not considered technically a part of the actual process, it is very difficult to continue without this happening. A meeting between you and your funeral director serves as the foundation for creating a meaningful funeral. During this conference, the funeral director aquires from you, information, vital statistics, funeral notice information and other important details about the person who has died and the outcome of this conference will put your mind at ease, knowing the funeral director will go to work for you putting into place the choices that you have made.
(2) The Visitation:
This process is sometimes called the "Wake", "Calling hours", or "viewing". The visitation is a time for family and friends to gather and to support one another in their grief. Often the remains are present with an open casket, allowing those who knew and loved the person who has died a chance to acknowledge the reality of death and to afford the public and family the privilege of paying last respects. In short, by receiving friends through a visitation activates the family's support system and allows the public to express their concern and love they have for each other.
(3) The Eulogy:
Often the called the "service of remembrance" or the "homily". The eulogy affirms the significance of that life and for all who shared in it, it also acknowledges the unique life of the person who died.
(4) The Procession:
Also called the cortege, this is more commonly known as the funeral procession and would take place from the funeral home chapel or place of worship to the cemetery. Mourners will accompany one another by driving in procession to the final resting place of the person who died. The procession is also a symbol of the public honouring and expressing mutual support of the death.
(5) The Committal Service:
Whether the remains will be buried in a casket or the cremated remains will be buried in an urn at the cemetery, this is the final opportunity to say goodbye. Families are often deeply touched by this service and the memory of this act resonates for years to come, afterall, by accompanying the remains to its place of rest brings the necessary feeling of closure and finality to the whole funeral process.
(6) The Gathering or Reception:
Most funerals are followed by a reception or gathering of friends and family. This is an informal time to release after the more formal and emotional elements of the funeral ceremony. It allows the family and friends to come together to tell stories, to laugh, to cry and to share support one another, and all in history and lifetime events of the person who has died. Whether most people realize it or not, the reception or gathering is also a transition and rite of passage back to the living again. Even in the face of death, it demonstrates the continuity of life.
|HOW DO I CHOOSE A FUNERAL HOME ?|
|There are many factors involved in choosing a funeral home. You may have already made that choice either by past experiences of a death of a loved one or by already having pre-planned your funeral arrangements. |
If niether of the above have become evident in your life, you may wish to choose by knowing the funeral home and its staff can plan and carry out any of your choices regarding a meaningful ceremony. Whether the family choose earth burial or cremation it is important to know the funeral home you choose will honour all of your requests. Make sure they are known for their professional advice, their caring and compassionate manner, their attention to detail and their willingness to personalize your ceremony.
Your funeral director should be open and creative to new ideas and requests, you should consider their reputation, location, facilities, costs and above all their attitude. Many funeral directors are very active and committed members of their communities. Before you choose a funeral home call your friends, family, neighbours and your clergy and ask for recommendations. Choose a funeral home because of all of the above , as well as the fact they will best meet your needs in creating a personalized, memorable and healing funeral.
|WHAT IS CREMATION ?|
|Simply put, Cremation is the accelerated reduction of the remains to ash, through the process of heat and fire.|
|I HAVE OFTEN HEARD, FUNERALS ARE FOR THE LIVING.......WHY ?|
|Most Certainly, funerals are for the living, Funerals play an important and meaningful role in the grieving process.|
Since the dawn of humanity, people have created funeral rites because of the need for them to pay last respects and bid farewell to the deceased. Mourners bring many emotions: to express their thanks for a life well lived, for the friendship they have cherished over the years, to request forgiveness, grief and love. The funeral gives us an opportunity to express these feelings and to make peace with the memory of the deceased within the proper and dedicated atmosphere that funeral homes or a place of worship provide.
The funeral helps us come to grips with our grief, so that our lives can continue being productive and fulfilling The funeral is also the first step in recognizing, and the eventual acceptance of the death. Another important step that the funeral provides is that the family share the burden of their grief with those close to them, thereby allowing them to accept the reality of their loss. An old saying tells us that caring for the deceased with respect and ritual is the highest form of kindness, because it can never be repaid.
|WHAT IF I HAD PREPAID MY FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS YEARS AGO ELSEWHERE ?|
|You should know that a prepaid arrangement can be transfered from any funeral home to the Scotland Funeral Home. It is important for you to know that the prepaid funeral funds placed in trust are always your funds until the time of death. Therefore any decision you make regarding transfer is up to you. The original funeral home may deduct (by law) an administration fee for transfering your funds. If this should occur, please have the peace of mind that the Scotland Funeral Home will credit your account for the amount charged.|
|WHAT INFORMATION DO YOU HAVE ON THE NEW AND UPCOMING HARMONIZED SALES TAX?|
|(7) GOVERNMENT IMPOSED TAX: (H.S.T.) Beginning July 1, 2010 our government will be imposing on us yet again an additional 8% tax on funeral services. Along with the original 5% as of 1990. This will be known as the Harmonized Sales Tax or the Blended Sales Tax.|
Anyone who has their fully funded prepaid arrangement in place before July 1, 2010 will be exempt from the 8% increase. If you do not have your fully funded , arrangement in place, we like every funeral service establishment in Canada, will have no other option than to add 13% to each and every funeral service required. We truly regret this option, but as you realize it is out of our control.