Top Six Things You Should Know About Planning a Cremation or Funeral.

1) You don’t need to purchase an urn or casket from the funeral home. Funeral homes will often have the best of the best when it comes to their selection of caskets and urns. What you may not know is that you can purchase a casket or urn elsewhere, even online at Walmart or Costco in some areas, or direct from the manufacturer. In these instances the casket can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars less than you would be paying from the funeral home. Similarly, a funeral home may have less expensive options that are not on display but readily available. Always ask to see what other choices are available to you. If scattering ashes – you may not need to purchase an urn at all.

2) Scattering ashes is perfectly legal. Somehow people have been convinced that scattering is against the law. The truth is that it’s perfectly acceptable provided that you are not scattering on private property without permission. For example, in Manitoba, the provincial government has even endorsed the practice by giving notice that ashes may be scattered on unoccupied provincial government-owned Crown land or water, including provincial parks. No official government approval required! The rules in other provinces may vary slightly.

3) Embalming is not required by law. If a person is being cremated or if a funeral is being conducted within reasonable period of time, the body of your loved one may not need to be embalmed. The cost of embalming is quite high, and is only necessary if you plan to have a viewing of your loved one. Although it isn’t recommended to have a public viewing without embalming, it’s certainly feasible for the immediate family.

4) Prepaying for your arrangements does not always cover everything. When you decide to prepay for your funeral arrangements with a funeral home, it’s important to make sure you know what is being covered. Or more importantly, ask for a detailed list of the things that are NOT included. There are often additional costs, for example music, catering, obituaries, clergy fees and flowers, presented to the family later as a surprise. By prepaying you also run the risk of losing components (or everything) if that funeral home shuts down. Be sure you understand what happens to your