PLANNING YOUR FUNERAL Background Information

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					PLANNING
YOUR
FUNERAL

Background Information
 
 
 
 
 




                                                     
 
 
 
Funeral Planning and Memorial Society of Manitoba
December 8, 2010
In America, death is treated as an unexpected emergency. Instead of
the last rites, we deal with the last crisis. It’s no wonder funerals often
seem awkward and painful. We are not prepared. The problem is that
we are reluctant to talk about death.


-Robert Fulghum, From Beginning to End: The Rituals of Our Lives
(1995).




Making our end-of-life decisions may be less fearful to face if we
understand what happens to the body after death, and demystify the
funeral options.


-Lisa Carlson, Caring for the Dead: Your Final Act of Love (1998).
January 2008




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Contents
Part 1 Introduction .......................................................................................................................... 5 
  Four essential documents ........................................................................................................... 6 
  When should a lawyer be consulted? ......................................................................................... 6 
Copyright ......................................................................................................................................... 7 
Starting Out: Six Questions ............................................................................................................. 7 
  #1: Do You Want to Donate Your Body? .................................................................................... 7 
  #2: Do You Prefer Cremation or Earth Burial? ............................................................................ 7 
  #3: Do You Want a Service? ........................................................................................................ 7 
  #4: What Type of Funeral Do You Want? ................................................................................... 7 
  #5: If You Choose to Bury Your Body or Ashes, Where is it to Be? ............................................ 8 
  #6: Do You Have a Funeral Budget? ........................................................................................... 8 
“Death Care” Vocabulary ................................................................................................................ 8 
  Some Definitions ......................................................................................................................... 8 
  Words Relating to Cremation ..................................................................................................... 9 
  Words Relating to “Earth Burial” ................................................................................................ 9 
Part 2: The American Way of Death ............................................................................................. 10 
  Before the 20th Century: Home Funerals .................................................................................. 10 
  During the 20th Century: from “Home Funerals” to “Funeral Homes”..................................... 10 
                                                              .
  Do Consumers Know What They Want?  .................................................................................. 10 
  Choosing a Funeral Director or Funeral Home ......................................................................... 11 
Part 3: The Funeral Business in Winnipeg .................................................................................... 13 
  “The Cost of Dying in Winnipeg” .............................................................................................. 13 
  Manitoba’s Funeral Homes ....................................................................................................... 13 
  Winnipeg’s Funeral Homes: ...................................................................................................... 14 
  A Voluntary Association of Funeral Directors ........................................................................... 16 
  Do It Yourself: A Funeral without A Funeral Director ............................................................... 16 
  Procedure .................................................................................................................................. 17 
                                                            .
  Body Removal (or “Transfer”) Services  .................................................................................... 17 
Part 4 The Three Ways to Dispose of Your Body .......................................................................... 18 
  1. Donation for Anatomical Studies or Transplant ................................................................... 18 
  2. Cremation ............................................................................................................................. 19 
  3. Earth Burial: Three Choices ................................................................................................... 21 
  Cemeteries ................................................................................................................................ 23 
  Mausoleums: a 4th way to dispose of your body! .................................................................... 23 
                                                                            .
Part 5 Funeral Services and Memorial Services ............................................................................ 24 
Part 6: The Costs ........................................................................................................................... 26 
  The Four Types of Costs ............................................................................................................ 26 
  Cost #1: The services of a funeral home ................................................................................... 26 
  Cremation: three choices .......................................................................................................... 26 
  Funeral Homes: prices for the simplest service they provide .................................................. 27 
  Cost #2: various items – depending on the type of funeral ..................................................... 27 
  Cost #3: a grave for the body or ashes ..................................................................................... 28 


                                                                                                                                                   3
  Cost #4: a memorial for the grave ............................................................................................ 29 
  How Are Funerals Paid For? ...................................................................................................... 29 
  Should You Pre‐pay? ................................................................................................................. 30 
  Consumer Tips from Books and Articles ................................................................................... 34 
     .
Index  ............................................................................................................................................. 36 
Application for Membership ......................................................................................................... 39 




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Part 1 Introduction
The Funeral Planning and Memorial Society of Manitoba (FPMS) is a non-profit,
non-denominational organization which aims to provide its members with end-of-
life information to assist them in making informed decisions for their final
arrangements. We encourage members to pre-plan (but not pre-purchase) their
choice of arrangements, to put these plans on paper and to share this information
with family members or the person(s) most likely to carry out their wishes upon
death. In addition, FPMS will store your Funeral Plan for future reference,
providing the following conditions have been met:
•   your plan is complete and recorded on the FPMS My Funeral Plan form included in the
    end-of-life documents tab on this website;
•   your plan has been reviewed by a member of FPMS
•   you have considered alternative arrangements for storing your Funeral Plan.
This website is the result of information gathered by members of FPMS. It outlines
the many options available to you when determining your final arrangements.
Included in the end-of-life documents is a printable form, at
www.funeralsocietymb.org/End of Life Documents.html. You can complete this
form so your family will have a record of your final wishes.

Our main message: 
Include anything you want in your final plan. 
But, for your plan to be effective, you must complete and share it. 
 
One of the services FPMS provides is to offer a power point presentation to small
groups on the subject of funeral planning. This has been well received but in so
doing we have found that there is a lack of knowledge and understanding about the
funeral industry in Manitoba. Occasionally the Free Press and Winnipeg Sun
publish features on the subject but there is much more work to be done.
FPMS is also in regular contact with the Funeral Board of Manitoba. In Manitoba,
funeral directors and embalmers are licensed and regulated by this board, which
operates under The Funeral Directors and Embalmers Act (2008). The website for
The Funeral Board can be found at www.gov.mb.ca/funeraldirectorsboard/.. Lists of
licensed funeral directors, licensed funeral homes, The Funeral Directors and
Embalmers Act, the Annual Report, Code of Ethics and consumer complaints can all
be accessed from this website.




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The Public Utilities Board (PUB) of Manitoba also has regulatory powers over the
funeral industry in Manitoba. The authority to regulate and license owners and
agents of any cemetery, columbarium, crematory or mausoleum is given to the PUB
under the Cemeteries Act (1999). A funeral director who accepts prepayment for a
funeral must comply with The Prearranged Funeral Service Act (1988). To view
these acts, go to the PUB website at www.pub.gov.mb.ca.
 Simplicity and dignity go well together. Familiarize yourself with what is required
by law and what is optional, i.e., your choice. We encourage you to make your
decisions while you are of sound mind and then to share your plan with your family,
next of kin or a close friend who will take responsibility for carrying out your chosen
plan.

Four essential documents
Everyone – especially senior citizens – should have the following documents:
1. A funeral plan that indicates what you want to happen when you die.
2. A power of attorney, to appoint someone to look after your financial affairs if you
   can’t.
3. A health care directive (living will) to appoint someone to make your health care
   decisions if you can’t.
4. A will, to dispose of your property after you die.

When should a lawyer be consulted?
We recommend consulting a lawyer specializing in Estate Planning concerning a
power of attorney and a will. Few lawyers have any expertise in the other two
documents, and most of us can do them on our own.




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Copyright
                                          
Copying and distributing this document for a non-profit purpose is invited and
encouraged. For information on copying for any other purpose, contact the Funeral
Planning and Memorial Society of Manitoba at 613 St. Mary’s Road, Winnipeg,
Manitoba, R2M 3L8. You can also leave a message (204) 452-7999..or email us at
fpmsinfo@mts.net.


Starting Out: Six Questions
A funeral plan requires answers to at least the following questions.

#1: Do You Want to Donate Your Body?
You might wish to donate your entire body for medical education (also referred to as
“anatomical studies”) or scientific research, or part of your body for transplant. But
even if you wish to donate your entire body, it might be refused — for any number of
reasons. So you must have a back-up plan, starting with the following choice.

#2: Do You Prefer Cremation or Earth Burial?
How do you want your body disposed of? Your choices are cremation or earth burial.

#3: Do You Want a Service?
Do you want a funeral service (with your body present) or a memorial service (your
body is not present)? If so, where do you want the service held – and what do you
want to happen at the service?

#4: What Type of Funeral Do You Want?
The answers to #2 & #3 will direct you to one of the following SIX basic types of funeral: 

Cremation
1. Immediate cremation with no memorial service.
2. Immediate cremation, followed by a memorial service – on the same day, or
   later.
3. A funeral service with your body present in a casket, followed by cremation.

Earth Burial (of your entire body)
4. Immediate earth burial with a graveside service.


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5. Immediate earth burial, followed by a memorial service – on the same day, or
   later.
6. A “traditional” funeral service – with your embalmed body present in a casket,
   whether open or closed – followed by earth burial.

#5: If You Choose to Bury Your Body or Ashes, Where is it to Be?
And what kind of memorial (marker or tombstone) do you want on your grave? 

#6: Do You Have a Funeral Budget?
How much can you afford to spend — or how much are you willing to spend — on your 
funeral?  
The estimated average cost of a funeral is $5,000 to $10,000 – including a grave and marker. 

“Death Care” Vocabulary
The words in each of the following groups mean much the same thing.
ashes, remains, cremated remains, cremains (a contraction of “cremated
remains”).
coffin: an octagonal (eight sided) shape; casket: a rectangular (four sided) shape.
dig up and fill in, open and close; opening and closing. “Open and close” applies
to niches too.
funeral industry, death care industry, funeral business, the dismal trade (old
English).
funeral parlour, mortuary, funeral home, funeral chapel.
grave, lot (one grave), plot (two or more graves).
remove a body (from the place of death), transport a body, body removal,
transfer.
traditional funeral, complete interment service, full service funeral (includes
embalming, casket, viewing, earth burial).
undertaker, mortician, funeral practitioner, funeral director.

Some Definitions
at need, pre-need: when you call a funeral home, you are either “at need”
(someone has just died) or “pre-need” (you are planning someone’s funeral – perhaps
your own - but the person has not died).




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body-snatching once referred to digging up a corpse, but it now refers to a funeral
home picking up a corpse without authorization – such as after receiving a
telephone inquiry for a price quotation.
decomposition: the process by which a corpse turns to dust. “Ashes to ashes, dust
to dust” is often quoted from The Bible: Genesis 3:19 and Ecclesiastes 3:19-20.

Words Relating to Cremation
cremation: the reduction of body mass by the use of intense heat, leaving only
mineral residue.
crematory, crematorium. There are three plural forms: crematoria, crematoriums,
crematories.
columbarium: a building, room or wall with compartments (niches) in which to
store urns.
inurn/inurnment: burying an urn in the ground, or placing an urn in a niche in a
columbarium.
minimum container/alternative container: the “minimum” varies from funeral
home to funeral home. It is sometimes a plywood casket, a cardboard container, or a
so-called “dignity box”.

Words Relating to “Earth Burial”
earth burial: this term refers to burying the whole body (though of course
cremains can be buried)
embalming: injecting a corpse with chemicals to temporarily delay decay and to
give the appearance of a life-like condition, usually for the purpose of viewing.
viewing: the body is in an open casket; visitation or prayers: the body is in a
closed casket.




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Part 2: The American Way of Death
Before the 20th Century: Home Funerals
Before funerals became a business, the family and friends of a deceased person did
everything required to dispose of the body, including washing and preparing the
body for burial, constructing a casket, arranging a wake, and digging the grave.
Heather Robertson, Grass Roots (1973) – referring to Winkler, Manitoba:
Before 1949 [when a funeral home opened in town] the dead were simply planted in
the front garden, close to the road so the headstones would be visible to passersby.
The body was washed by the local women, stitched into a white cotton shroud, and
laid out for a day or two in the parlour. Caskets were made by the village cabinet
maker. Funeral invitations were circulated like chain letters: the first name on the
list delivered it to the second, the second to the third, and so on.

During the 20th Century: from “Home Funerals” to “Funeral Homes”
What funeral homes now call a “traditional” funeral is based on the 20th century
“traditions” of the funeral industry. Funeral homes can of course provide a valuable
service, but some critics argue that a family’s involvement is too often reduced to
following a funeral director’s directions and paying the bill. The critics suggest that
a family’s participation in arranging and conducting a funeral helps them to grieve.
The prime example of a funeral home “tradition” is embalming. It began in modern
times during the U.S. Civil War (1861-1865), and has been promoted by the
industry as a necessary part of grieving and “closure”. Critics argue for less
emphasis on the body of the deceased, and more emphasis on celebrating his or her
life.

Do Consumers Know What They Want?
It is said that a funeral is the third or fourth most expensive thing most people will
buy in this life, after a house and a car, and maybe a wedding – and divorce. The
average person is involved in arranging at least two or three funerals in a lifetime.
Funeral directors like to say that they sell their customers only what the customers
want to buy. But do their customers know what they want?
Do funeral directors take time – do they have enough time – to explain all
the options to every customer? Relying on a customer’s pre-conceptions
can save a lot of time.



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♦ Darryl Roberts (a former funeral director), Profits of Death: An Insider Exposes
  the Death Care Industries (1997):
“There is one glaring difference between the funeral industry and other types of
business. There is much more consumer knowledge available about nearly every
other type of business….
When it comes to funeral and cemetery goods and services, the consumer woefully
lacks the basic knowledge about what choices are available and what they should
cost.”
Jessica Mitford, The American Way of Death, Revisited (1998):
“Choice does not enter the picture for average individuals faced with buying a
product of which they are totally ignorant, at a moment when they are least in a
position to quibble. The cost of a funeral almost always varies … according to what
the traffic will bear.”
♦ Darryl Roberts, Profits of Death: An Insider Exposes the Death Care Industries (1997):
“Death is often ignored until one has no alternative. But by then, the death
merchants have us right where they want us: vulnerable, emotional, susceptible,
and with checkbooks in hand…. Many of the people I met during my years in the
funeral business were fine people. By and large, they are good folks, but they are
business people first and foremost. Their motives are too often fueled by profit….
“Funeral directors assume you will deal more easily with your grief if you buy the
most expensive services. They assume you want to purchase the best for the most,
to show family and friends how much you cared for the deceased.”

Choosing a Funeral Director or Funeral Home
Jessica Mitford mentions an unusual fact: the fewer funeral homes there are in an
area, the lower their prices tend to be; the more funeral homes there are in an area,
the higher their prices tend to be. Mitford suggests a reason for that: people
arranging a funeral rarely shop around.
Of course, we all would choose a funeral director based on their integrity and
trustworthiness. However, it is for the consumer to decide how to recognize and
measure these attributes.
 
Lisa Carlson, Caring for the Dead: Your Final Act of Love (1998):  
 
“According to a 1995 study for the funeral industry [in the U.S.], almost 90% of people do not shop 
around for a funeral:  


                                                                                              11
•   45% pick a funeral home that served someone else in the family; 
•   33% call the nearest funeral home;  
•   11% pick a funeral home based on perceived ethnic or religious affiliation.” 




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Part 3: The Funeral Business in Winnipeg
“The Cost of Dying in Winnipeg”
On October 7, 1997 the Winnipeg Free Press published several articles by reporter
Paul Wiecek under the headline “The Cost of Dying”. The following are excerpts
from those articles.
*   *   *
A Free Press investigation of the local funeral industry found wide price disparities
among funeral homes are commonplace An industry spokesman said the price range
is a function of the goods, services and facilities supplied. Among other findings:
•   Some of the major funeral homes in Winnipeg have been bought up by corporate
    funeral chains. The names remain the same
•   The markups on coffins vary widely.
•   Cremation is becoming the funeral of choice in Manitoba.
Here are a few pointers to keep from paying top dollar when planning a funeral:
•   As with any large purchase, shop around
•   Ask questions when you go to funeral homes for price quotations.
•   Embalming: During the Free Press survey, several funeral homes warned against not
    embalming, saying airborne pathogens from an unembalmed body pose a health risk —
    but health experts say there is no danger.
•   Be careful of purchasing pre-paid funeral plans. Many are not portable if you
    move away, and at least two studies have found that you’re typically better off putting
    money into a mutual fund or some other secure interest-generating account. The
    studies found that such funds generate more than enough interest to offset any
    increased funeral costs.

Manitoba’s Funeral Homes
Manitoba has about 86 funeral homes and 226 licensed funeral directors to handle
the 10,000 deaths that will occur each year in the province. For a complete list, go to
www.funeraldirectorsboard.mb.ca and click on Licensed Funeral Directors.




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Winnipeg’s Funeral Homes:


Aboriginal Funeral Chapel                          724 Selkirk Ave.     586-7700
Bardal Funeral Home & Crematorium                  843 Sherbrook St.    774-7474


Arbor Memorial Services
(A Canadian Corporation with head office in Toronto)
      Chapel Lawn Funeral Home                     4000 Portage Ave.    885-9715
      Desjardins Funeral Chapel                    357 Des Meurons      233-4949
                                                   St.
      Glen Eden Funeral Home                       4477 Main St.        338-7111
      Glen Lawn Funeral Home                       455 Lagimodiere      982-7550
                                                   Blvd.


Cropo Funeral Chapel                               1442 Main St.        586-8044


Dignity Memorial
(owned by Service Cooperation International with head office in Houston, Texas)
      Green Acres Funeral Home and Cemetery        Hwy. 1 & Narvin      222-3241
                                                   Road
      Klassen Funeral Home                         1897 Henderson       338-0331
                                                   Hwy
      Thompson Funeral Home                        669 Broadway Ave.    783-7211
      Thompson “In the Park” Funeral Home and      1291 McGillivray     925-1120
      Cemetery                                     Blvd.


E. J. Coutu & Co. Funeral Directors                680 Archibald St     253-5086
Friends Funeral Services Inc.                      2146 Main St         339-5555
Kilcollins Cremation Services                      724 Selkirk Ave.     782-3541
Knysh Funeral Chape                                1161 Fife St.        582-0973


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Korban Funeral Chapel                                  907 Main St          956-2193
LeClaire Brothers Funeral Products & Services          603 Erin St.         775-2220
Mosaic Funeral, Cremation & Cemetery Services          1839 Inkster Blvd.   275-5555
Neil Bardal Inc.                                       3030 Notre Dame      949-2200
                                                       Ave.
Prairieland Aboriginal Funeral Home                    447 Selkirk Ave.     226-7581
Transcona Funeral Chapel                               1800 Day St.         222-6677
Voyage Funeral Home & Crematorium                      1531 Pembina         284-7500
                                                       Hwy.
Voyage Funeral Home & Crematorium                      220 Hespeler Ave.    668-3151
Wheeler & Harder Funeral Chapel Inc.                   211 Regent Ave.      224-1525
Wojcik’s Funeral Chapel & Crematorium                  2157 Portage Ave.    897-4665
Wojcik’s Funeral Chapel & Crematorium                  1020 Main St.        586-8668

 
Laws that Govern the Funeral Industry in Manitoba 
1. The Board of Administration 
The authority to license and regulate funeral directors and embalmers is given to
the “Board of Administration” established under the Manitoba Funeral Directors
and Embalmers Act (referred to below as the FDEA or the Act.).


The Board has seven members, the chair being an appointed civil servant. Two
members are funeral directors. An annual report is published each spring listing
names of those licensed. Information from this report is included on our website.
The Board of Administration has published a Code of Ethics which can be accessed
on their website. The Board has also developed a consumers’ brochure which is
available at all Manitoba funeral homes.

Funeral Directors and Funeral Homes MUST be Licensed
The FDEA sets out the requirements to become an embalmer and funeral director,
and to practice as one. The Act gives the Board the power to make regulations about
such matters as the content of training courses. It’s all in the Funeral Directors and
Embalmers Regulation (2009).


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The Act prohibits anyone from acting as a funeral director or embalmer, or
operating a business as such, without a license. The Board handles complaints by
and about funeral directors, and has the power to cancel a license.
The Board is located at 254 Portage Ave, Winnipeg, R3C OB6; telephone 947-1098;
fax 945-0424; www.funeraldirectorsboard.mb.ca.

2. The Public Utilities Board
The authority to regulate and license owners and agents of any cemetery,
columbarium, crematory or mausoleum (with specific exceptions) is given to the
Public Utilities Board (PUB) under the Cemeteries Act (1999).
A funeral director who undertakes to provide the funeral services of another person
under a prearranged funeral must comply with the Prearranged Funeral Act (1988).
To view these two Acts, go to www.pub.gov.mb.ca. The Public Utilities Board is
located at 400-330 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg; telephone 945-2638.



A Voluntary Association of Funeral Directors
According to its website, the Manitoba Funeral Services Association is a non-profit
organization that provides a service for funeral directors and funeral homes across
Manitoba. It is “dedicated to the advancement of funeral service through support to
the public, as well as our members [who are funeral directors].” Every province has
such an association.
It is a voluntary association, with no disciplinary powers.
Some funeral directors and funeral homes do not see any benefit to membership,
and are not members.

Do It Yourself: A Funeral without A Funeral Director
The law allows a body to be disposed of without the help of a licensed funeral
director. This definition is from The Vital Statistics Act: “lay funeral director”
means any person other than a [licensed] funeral director who takes charge of a
dead body for the purpose of burial, cremation or other disposition.

Some facts
•   When a corpse is “free to go”, the law does not require that it be moved by ambulance or hearse.  
•   The law does not require a body to be buried in a casket. A sheet or shroud will do. 
•   A casket is not required for a burial in the three cemeteries operated by the City of Winnipeg.  


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•   A casket can be made at home 

Some inspiration
These books tell how some individuals took matters into their own hands and
buried their own dead:
•   Doug Smith, Big Death (2007): pages 106-108.
•   Xavier Cronin, Grave Exodus: Tending To Our Dead in the 21st Century (1996): chapter
    7.
•   Lisa Carlson, Caring for the Dead: Your Final Act of Love (1998), pages 17 to 40. It is
    advertised as “A complete guide for those making funeral arrangements with or
    without a funeral director.”
•   Ernest Morgan, Dealing Creatively with Death (14th edition, 2004), pages 62-63 and 95-
    96.

Procedure
The Vital Statistics Act requires a doctor to complete Part 2 (“Medical Certificate of
Death”) of a “Registration of Death” form within 48 hours of the death, and forward
it to the Department of Vital Statistics. The body can be released to the “lay funeral
director” after he or she completes Part 1 of the form, which is available from Vital
Statistics (254 Portage Ave., 947-1098) or a funeral home. The V.S. office also
provides a “burial certificate”, which is required before a cemetery can authorize a
burial. In the case of cremation, an “authorization to cremate” is provided, and is
required by the crematory.

Body Removal (or “Transfer”) Services
•   Winnipeg First Call telephone 257-0877) is a family-owned business, established
    around 1970. It will move a body to a crematorium
•   Winnipeg Funeral Transfer Service (telephone 956-2882) is a family owned business
    established in 2002. It will remove and shroud a body from the place of death for a fee.
    It has a holding facility in Winnipeg, where a body can be kept and refrigerated for a
    fee. It has cardboard containers for cremation, and airtight metal liners for
    transporting a body that is not embalmed within 72 hours.
These two companies appear to share a common office.




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Part 4 The Three Ways to Dispose of Your Body
 
These are the choices: donation, cremation, burial. Other choices, such as
“plastination”, might be available in future.

1. Donation for Anatomical Studies or Transplant
You can donate your entire body, or you can donate parts of it for transplant.

Donating your entire body
For information about donating your body for anatomical studies, call the
Department of Human Anatomy in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of
Manitoba for a copy of the booklet Service after Death: Information on Leaving One’s
Body for Anatomical Studies. Telephone 789-3652.
The University will not accept a body from which any organ or tissue is taken for
transplant. It’s all or nothing at all.
When a corpse is accepted, the University arranges and pays for an eventual
cremation. A service is held each year at Brookside Cemetery to honour all those
whose bodies have been donated. Of course, a memorial service for any of the
deceased can be held in the usual way, at any time after his or her death.
If you decide to donate your body, it might not be needed when the time comes. So
you must have a back-up plan, which begins with choosing between cremation and
earth burial.

Donating parts of your body
For information on
•   organ donations, call Transplant Manitoba – Gift of Life Program at 787-1897.
•   tissue donations, call the Tissue Bank at 940-1750.
•   corneal donations, call the Lions’ Eye Bank at 788-8419.
Even if you choose to donate, you must still choose between cremation and earth
burial of the rest of your body.




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2. Cremation
Every corpse eventually turns to dust, either by cremation or by slow disintegration
in a grave. As the Bible says (Genesis 3:19, God speaking to Adam), “You are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”
Cremation is used in most of the world, and approved by all the major religions.
Incidentally: the Vatican approved cremation in 1963.

Some rates of cremation
•   Italy, Ireland and Brazil: less than 4%. Japan: 99%. Britain: 1945: 10%; 2000: +70%.
•   U.S.: first cremation: 1876; 1939: 3%; 1970: 4%; 1998: 24%; 2005 (estimated): 40%.
•   Canada: 1970: 6%; 2004: 36%; 2010 (estimated): about 50%. Cremation is more
    common in B.C. (about 80%), among members of memorial societies (more than 90%),
    and among older people.
•   Manitoba: 1982: 15%; currently: about 50%. In Winnipeg: 50 to 60% – and increasing.

Why do people choose cremation?
These are some of the reasons mentioned in the many books referred to in this
document:
•   cremation can be – and usually is - less expensive than earth burial.
•   -cremation is regarded as simpler, less emotional, and more convenient for planning
    funeral services.
•   separation of family members: this is reflected in the decreasing number of “family
    plots”.
•   aging: our population is aging and living longer; some people outlive most friends and
    family.
•   one way or the other, it’s “dust to dust”: cremation replicates the process that a buried
    body undergoes, but more quickly and without the image of slow decomposition (even
    with embalming).
•   environmental concerns: cemeteries can be sources of pollution, and can affect
    water tables.
•   land use: where land is scarce, the rate of cremation is higher. Japan’s rate is 99%.




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The cremation process
 
From Darryl Roberts, Profits of Death: An Insider Exposes the Death Care Industries (1997): 


“Cardboard or wood caskets and even canvas body bags are most commonly used.
The doors to the retort [cremation chamber] are opened and the body [and
container] slid inside. The retort is heated to about 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Most
retorts are fueled by natural gas. Most of the human body is water, and the balance
of bones is composed primarily of calcium phosphate. The application of the intense
heat of the cremation evaporates the water. The flames then incinerate the muscles,
flesh and organs. Most of the bone structure will crumble, but will not be reduced to
ashes.
“The process takes an average of one to two hours, depending on the temperature in
the retort, and the size and condition of the body.
“The smokestack is subject to environmental laws, and emits minimal amounts of
residue. When the process is complete, the mostly grey ashes are removed, any bone
fragments are pulverized, and all placed in a box or urn. The average person yields
five to seven pounds of cremains.”
Note: there is no health hazard in dealing with ashes. After 1,500 degrees, they
are sterile.

Participating in the process: tips from a Winnipeg funeral director
Some crematories have facilities that allow a service to be held outside a window
that gives a view of the cremation chamber in which the casket is placed. You might
at least want someone to watch the process: criminal charges have been laid in
other jurisdictions where the purchased casket was switched or the body not
cremated. Some crematoriums charge extra to have witnesses, or limit the number
of witnesses, or both. If you wish, you can turn the switch to start the process. You
will not see the casket on fire unless you look into the peephole that is usually
provided.

Crematories in Winnipeg and Manitoba
The Public Utilities Board has licensed (under The Cemeteries Act) nine crematories
in or near Winnipeg, and another nine outside Winnipeg: Beausejour, Brandon,
Carman, Dauphin, Flin Flon, Portage la Prairie, Russell, Selkirk and Swan River.
Every funeral home has access to one of the crematories and can provide “cremation
services”.


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What is done with the ashes?
Cremains are usually placed in an urn and buried in a cemetery or placed in a columbarium.  
But as time goes by, more alternatives – some of them rather bizarre – have developed: 
• scattering in a park, on a golf course or cottage property, or over a river or lake.
•   placing the ashes in a locket or picture frame containing a picture of the deceased.
•   firing the ashes into the air – or even into outer space.
•   using the carbon given off in the cremation to make a diamond.

If ashes are buried, is an urn required by law?
No. But some private cemeteries require that an urn be used..

Is it legal to scatter remains?
Manitoba law does not prohibit the scattering of human ashes. The Litter
Regulation under The Environment Act of the province and the Anti-Litter By-law of
the City of Winnipeg prohibit the distribution of “ashes”, but the definition of
“ashes” in both laws does not include human ashes.
Prohibitions under federal law: the definition of “waste” in the Canada Water Act
and of “deleterious substance” in the Fisheries Act is so broad that it must include
cremains – and therefore scattering is prohibited in waters under federal
jurisdiction.
Of course, scattering ashes on any property should be done only with the permission
of the owner of the property – whether it is private property or public property.

3. Earth Burial: Three Choices

Caskets
For most of the 20th century, the first question a funeral director would ask a
customer was, “What kind of casket do you want?” - because almost every funeral
involved a casket. Funeral homes built their profits into the price of the caskets,
and still do to some extent. But the increased rate of cremation is changing that.
One of the biggest factors in the cost of a funeral is a casket, ranging in prices from
several hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Darryl Roberts, Profits of Death: An Insider Exposes the Death Care Industries
(1997):




                                                                                           21
“Caskets are big business, and provide the highest profit margin of all the goods and
services a funeral director provides…. There is no casket or vault that will keep out
the elements for all time. There is nothing that can prevent the disintegration of the
casket, nor stem the flow of water into a vault….
Embalming is chosen by some people for religious or cultural reasons, or because
they think there is no alternative. And some people – including many funeral
directors – believe that mourners overcome their grief more easily when they can
see with their own eyes that the deceased is indeed dead. It is sometimes said that
the customs in most areas of the world are to assist a deceased body to decay. North
American practice seems to be to do everything possible to deny the inevitability of
decay.
Darryl Roberts, ,Profits of Death: An Insider Exposes the Death Care Industries
(1997):
“The truth is that injecting the body with a formaldehyde solution retards the
natural decomposition by only a few days…. A corpse represents practically no
infectious risk. A body that is dead of a non-communicable disease presents
virtually no threat at all…. We’ve seen embalming become an American institution,
while the rest of the world regards it as an anomaly.”
Jan Wong in “Dying for a Discount” in The Globe and Mail (November 30, 2002):
“Decomposition can start overnight…. The owner of a crematory says, half-jokingly,
embalming is so invasive that everyone should be made to watch a five minute
video before signing [to authorize it].”
Coriolis (an anonymous Toronto funeral director), Death Here Is Thy Sting (1967):
“It is strange that people would entrust the remains of their loved ones to the care
of a total stranger with only the vaguest idea of what he is about to do.”
Jessica Mitford shocked America with her description of the embalming process in
The American Way of Death (1963). This is how she introduced the description in
her 1998 update:
“No law requires embalming, no religious doctrine commends it, nor is it dictated by
considerations of health, sanitation, or personal daintiness…. If the funeral men are
loath to discuss the subject, the reader may be equally loath to go on reading at this
point. For those who have the stomach for it, let us part the curtain. Others should
skip [from page 45] to the bottom of page 49.”




                                                                                       22
Is embalming required by law?
The only Manitoba law relating to embalming is in the Diseases and Dead Bodies
Regulation under The Public Health Act. Section 58 of the Regulation requires that
a body be embalmed if it is to be transported within the province and will not reach
its destination within 72 hours.
 But even then, the body does not have to be embalmed if it is shipped in a coffin
constructed of (or lined with) metal or some other impervious material and is
airtight – or if the coffin is placed in “a tightly constructed outer container
constructed of (or lined with) metal or other impervious material and [airtight].
If a body is shipped to a destination outside the province, the laws of the destination
apply.

Outer Containers: Liners and Vaults
An outer burial container can be placed in a grave to receive a casket or urn. The
container is intended to protect the contents of the casket or urn, and to keep the
ground from settling.
A grave liner is an un-sealed concrete box covering the top and sides of a casket or
urn.
A burial vault is a sealed, one piece box made of concrete or metal, surrounding a
casket or urn.

Is a liner or vault required by law?
No, but some privately owned cemeteries require them for caskets or urns – or both.

Cemeteries
There are more than 50 cemeteries in Winnipeg. Private cemeteries are free to set
their own rules, including a requirement that a casket or an urn be set in a liner
or vault.

Mausoleums: a 4th way to dispose of your body!
A mausoleum is a building used for storing (or “immuring” or “interring”) caskets. It
is sometimes referred to as “above-ground burial. It can be several times more costly
than an earth burial.




                                                                                      23
Part 5 Funeral Services and Memorial Services
In everyday language, “funeral” includes everything involved in disposing of a
corpse. More technically, a funeral service is a service with the body present, and
a memorial service is a service without the body present, usually because it has
been cremated or buried.

Should You Have a Service?
Many people say that they don’t want a service to be held after their death, perhaps
forgetting that a service is for the benefit of those who live on. Your friends and
relatives might feel a need to pay their respects, pay tribute, and share their
thoughts and feelings about you.
This is an important subject to discuss with the people who are most likely to
arrange your funeral, because even if you don’t want a service, they could have one
anyway. You won’t be heard to object!
Robert Fulghum, From Beginning to End: The Rituals of Our Lives (1995):
“Martha [planning her own funeral] would have settled for the least expense and
trouble: immediate cremation, ashes scattered, and no funeral. Her children agreed
about cremation, but for reasons they found hard to express, they wanted her ashes
placed in a nearby cemetery, and they wanted a memorial service of some kind….
With her children, she purchased a plot in the cemetery. She gave them suggestions
about the service….”

Location: Where Are Services Held?


A funeral service (a service with the body present) is usually held in a place of
worship or funeral home, partly because those buildings are equipped for moving a
casket in and out of their premises – and they usually have lots of parking.
Since a memorial service does not involve a casket, the service can be held in a
home, hotel, restaurant, art gallery, pub, park, garden, boat, cemetery, place of
worship, funeral home – or even a golf course. Some golf courses have so many
services or scattering of ashes that players complain about the disruption to their
games.




                                                                                      24
Memorial service – also known as a ”Celebration of Life”
A memorial service can be religious or secular (non-religious). Secular services
are becoming more popular, sometimes led by a person known as a “celebrant” (or
“secular officiant” or “non-denominational funeral officiant”) who can prepare the
service and deliver the eulogy. There are at least two such people in Winnipeg. They
can be contacted through a funeral home.
The public library has books on how to conduct a service. For example: Amanda
Bennett and Terence Foley, In Memoriam: A Practical Guide to Planning a
Memorial Service (1997).




                                                                                  25
Part 6: The Costs
According to the Globe and Mail (2005), Canadians spend an average of $7,000 to
$10,000 for a funeral, including a cemetery plot. The cost of a funeral is not tax-
deductible.

The Four Types of Costs
A simple fact: the more elaborate the funeral, the more it is likely to cost. The
possible costs of a funeral can be divided into these four parts:
1. The services of a funeral home – for one of the six types of funerals.
2. miscellaneous items (flowers, cars, etc.) – depending on the type of funeral.
3. a grave for the body or ashes.
4. memorial (a flat marker or an upright tombstone) for the grave.

Cost #1: The services of a funeral home


The Funeral Board of Manitoba has published a brochure which is available at all
Manitoba funeral homes. Here you will find a wealth of pertinent information. The
Code of Ethics of The Funeral Directors and Embalmers of Manitoba mandates that
a funeral director must give you a no-obligation, itemized, written estimate of the
services and products you have selected for the deceased within the first meeting.
With this document in hand, you should be able to “shop around” at other funeral
homes and compare apples to apples. Of course, the cost will depend on what you
buy.

Starting prices for the services of a funeral home
There are at least SIX basic types of funerals. Generally speaking, the first one in
the following list is the least expensive, and the last one is the most expensive. But
it depends on what you buy!

Cremation: three choices
1. Immediate cremation (or “direct cremation” or “direct disposal”), with no service
   at the funeral home. This is usually the simplest and least expensive choice — if
   one buys only the basics covered by the fee.
2. Immediate cremation, followed by a memorial service at the funeral home.


                                                                                      26
3. A funeral service (with the body present in a casket) followed by cremation-this
   can be the most expensive choice, partly because it includes the cost of both a
   casket and cremation. A casket can be purchased (and cremated with the body)
   or rented. The rental charge can more than the purchase price of some caskets.

Earth Burial: three choices
1. Immediate earth burial (or “direct burial” or “direct disposal”), with a graveside
   service. We are told that this kind of funeral is quite rare, except in movies.
2. Immediate earth burial, followed by a memorial service at the funeral home.
3. A “traditional” funeral service at a funeral home, with the embalmed body
   present in a casket, followed by earth burial.

Funeral Homes: prices for the simplest service they provide

    “Immediate Cremation, No Service (at the funeral home)”
This page is about a cremation arranged by a funeral home – but without a service
at the funeral home.
We are told that the total time required for a funeral home to provide this service is
about three hours, and consists mostly of the home filling in standard forms –
and waiting for a doctor to sign the Death Certificate and for someone to sign an
“Authorization to Cremate”.

Buyer beware – of “Upselling”
Some funeral directors have cautioned that a low price might be used only to attract
business, and with the expectation that a customer is likely to buy more than what
the low price covers.

Prices can change at any time – and are usually negotiable
You will find addresses, telephone numbers and advertisements in the Yellow Pages under
“Funeral Directors”. 

Cost #2: various items – depending on the type of funeral

Publishing a death notice/obituary
The cost depends on how long it is, whether it includes a picture, and the day of
publication.




                                                                                    27
Costs relating to a service
•   Flowers
•   Fees of clergy and musicians
•   Catering:
•   Use of premises: there is usually a fee for the use of premises for a service or reception.
•   Stationery: a register for attendees to sign, “order of service” cards, thank you cards,
    and so on.

Death certificates (proof of death)
There are two types of certificates: 
• Funeral Director’s Death Certificate: this can be used as a proof of death for most
   purposes except the Land Titles Office and large insurance claims. Funeral directors
   usually provide three or four of these certificates as part of their service fee.
•   Certificate of Death - Department of Vital Statistics (Province of Manitoba): $25 each.

Urns: from wicker baskets to stuffed animals
An urn is not required by law. Cremains can be simply poured into the ground or
buried in a $5 wicker basket or a cookie jar – unless the rules of the cemetery don’t
allow it. Bill Belcher (retired) makes wooden urns for a reasonable price (call 256-
0045). A recent (and odd) innovation: Huggable Urns (U.S.) sells pillows and stuffed
animals, each with a pouch for cremains.

Earth burial: miscellaneous costs
•   A casket is often the largest expense
•   Clothing for the deceased can be bought, but there is probably something in the closet
    that will do.
•   A limousine or hearse (or both): the cost might be included in a funeral home’s
    “package” fee.

Cost #3: a grave for the body or ashes
A good place to obtain prices for a grave — if only to compare with other cemeteries
— is the Cemeteries Branch of the City of Winnipeg, which operates three
cemeteries: Brookside Cemetery (since 1878), Transcona Cemetery (since 1914), and
St. Vital Cemetery (since 1937).




                                                                                      28
Those cemeteries average about 1,000 burials every year — 80% of them at
Brookside. The office is located at Brookside Cemetery, 3001 Notre Dame Ave.
Telephone 986-4348 for a price list – and a map of the grounds. Several sites have
plaques about some famous residents. .

Grave Liners and Burial Vaults
Some cemeteries may require a grave liner or burial vault. Expect to pay from
hundreds to thousands of dollars, partially depending on whether the liner is for an
urn or coffin.

Cost #4: a memorial for the grave
As with caskets, the sky’s the limit. See about 20 Winnipeg companies under
“Memorials” in the Yellow Pages. There will also be an installation charge at the
cemetery.

How Are Funerals Paid For?
Answer: usually from the estate of the deceased.
If the estate does not have enough assets to cover the costs of the funeral, any
person who signs a contract with a funeral home – or with anyone providing a
service relating to the funeral – will likely have to pay some or all of the cost out of
his or her own pocket.

Benefit programs
Benefits under the following programs are not automatic. Someone (usually the
person named as executor in the deceased’s will) must apply for them.
1. Canada Pension Plan: it pays a maximum of about $2500 as a death benefit –
   if the deceased ever contributed to the Plan. About 20% of eligible people do not
   apply for this benefit. There is no deadline for application. Call 1-800-277-9914
   or search the CPP on the internet. This payment, like every other payment
   under the CPP, is taxable income.
2. Employment and Income Assistance Program (government of Manitoba): If
   a person dies while receiving income assistance (sometimes called “welfare”), an
   amount might be payable. An agreement with the Manitoba Funeral Services
   Association sets out the products and amounts payable. Call General
   Information Line: 945-4437 (Winnipeg) or 1-877-812-0014 (outside Winnipeg).




                                                                                       29
3. The Department of Indian and Northern Affairs (government of Canada)
   — referred to as INAC or DIAN: assistance might be payable if the deceased has
   status under the Indian Affairs Act and is receiving income assistance at the
   time of death. INAC describes it as a program of “last resort”, which means that
   payment will be made only if no other funds are available. An agreement with
   the Manitoba Funeral Services Association sets out the products and amounts
   payable. Call 983-2842.
4. The Last Post Fund pays the funeral costs for a veteran –depending on the
   value of the estate.
5. Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation (Autopac) will pay funeral costs,
   up to a maximum, when death results from a traffic accident. Call 985-7200.
6. The Victims’ Bill of Rights Act (Manitoba): When a person dies as a result of a
   criminal act. there may be an amount payable. Call 945-0899 or 1-800-262-9344.
7. Workers Compensation: When death occurs on the job, there is an immediate
   cash payment to the estate and a later lump sum. Call 954-4321 or 1-800-362-
   3340. The Workers Compensation Act may be found at www.wcb.mb.ca. Click
   on WCB Laws.



Should You Pre-pay?
Everyone agrees that pre-planning is a good idea. There is less agreement about
pre-paying. The opposing opinions are illustrated by these headlines:
       Winnipeg Sun (February 18, 1996):     “Pre-paid funerals called rip-off”.
       Winnipeg Free Press (July 22, 2002): “Pre-pay funeral, rest in peace”.

Two ways to pre-pay
After you plan your funeral with a funeral home, and the home tells you what the
funeral will cost, you can pre-pay the cost in one of two ways:
•   Buy a pre-arranged funeral plan with one payment, or many payments over time.
    At least 88% of payments are required under The Prearranged Funeral Services Act
    to be placed in trust until the contract is cancelled or the person dies. The other 12%
    may be retained by the company – but some companies place 100% in trust. As of 2003,
    about $40 million are in trust under about 15,000 contracts in Manitoba. The Public
    Utilities Board (government of Manitoba) licenses companies to sell these plans, audits
    the trust accounts, and handles any complaints. Their website is at www.pub.mb.ca.



                                                                                   30
    The Board does NOT set, regulate or approve the prices
•   Buy an insurance policy for an amount that will cover the quoted cost of the funeral,
    and name the funeral home as beneficiary. The policy cannot be sold to you by a
    funeral director unless he or she is licensed as an insurance agent by the Insurance
    Council (988-6800). For information on this type of policy, call the Canadian Life and
    Health Association: 1-800-268-8099. This approach is now more popular than the one
    mentioned above. The Pre-arranged Funeral Act does not apply.

Some questions to ask about a pre-paid funeral plan
•   Ask to see the seller’s license. Make a note of the name and date on the license.
•   Coverage: how many of the four types of costs are covered? Is it just the funeral
    service? Or just cemetery costs (a grave, and a flat marker or upright tombstone)? Or is
    it everything?
•   Purchase money: in the case of a pre-paid plan, how much of the purchase money will
    be placed in trust (the required 88% — or more)? Where will the money be placed
    (name of bank or trust company)? Will you receive reports? If so, how often — and what
    will be in them?
•   Cancellation: can the plan be cancelled at any time? How? Will there be a refund? If so,
    how much?
•   Transfer: if you move, can the plan be transferred to another province or country?
•   The named funeral home: are your survivors required to use the funeral home named
    in the pre-payment documents? What happens if the funeral home goes out of
    business?
•   Can you change the plan? If so, how? Do you have to cancel the contract and start over?

Pre-paying for a grave — and selling an unused grave
You can buy a plot in a municipal cemetery or private cemetery at any time, but the
sale is final and there is likely no cancellation provision or refund. If you buy and
later decide to sell, you can advertise, but plots are difficult to sell. The number of
sold and unused plots is a problem in some cemeteries. Why are plots not used?
People move, or forget about the purchase, or leave no record of it.




                                                                                     31
Under The Cemeteries Act, the Public Utilities Board approves the prices of
cemetery plots in cemeteries that are operated for profit. But the PUB does not set
or regulate the prices for non profit cemeteries. A Regulation under the Act
requires that at least 35% of the purchase price of a plot be placed in trust for
“perpetual care” of the plot.

Pre-paying for a marker or tombstone
You can buy a flat marker or upright tombstone any time. Of course, the sale
(inscription and all) is final.

Arguments for and against Pre-paying
FOR: If you buy now, before prices rise, you will freeze today’s prices. AGAINST: If
the funeral you want is moderately priced (under about $5,000) any price increase
could be small, given the competitive environment in Winnipeg. Prices might even
go down with changes in the funeral industry – such as through internet shopping
and competition from more crematories
FOR: If you make the decisions now, you and your family will have peace of mind.
AGAINST: That is a good reason to pre-plan, but not necessarily to pre-pay. If you
pre-pay, you might be less inclined to change your pre-paid plan later, because
changing a funeral plan is easy, while changing a pre-paid contract is more
complicated. Rather than pre-paying, it can be just as convenient to save the cost of
your funeral in a bank account, bond or whatever.
FOR: If you buy now, you can choose the funeral home you want. AGAINST: When
your time comes, that funeral home might not be around. It could be out of
business, or purchased by a corporation – and even corporations go out of business.
The people who arrange your funeral might feel obligated to use any home you
choose, even if there are good reasons to go elsewhere.
FOR: If you pre-pay, you control the amount that will be spent on your funeral.
AGAINST: If the people who arrange your funeral decide to do something different
than what you have planned - such as if they decide (perhaps with encouragement
from the funeral home) to buy a more expensive funeral – that is the funeral you
will have, and any additional costs that are “reasonable” can be charged to your
estate. It’s sometimes called “pay now – pay later” – and adding insult to injury.
The best way to control the cost of your funeral is to make a funeral plan, set a
price limit, and make sure that your next of kin (and any other people who are
likely to be involved in carrying out your plan) agree to follow your plan.



                                                                                   32
FOR: When you buy a pre-paid plan, the money goes into trust; you do not receive
the interest, so you don’t have to pay taxes on the interest. If you put that money
into a bond or GIC, the interest is paid to you — and you must pay tax on it.
AGAINST: When interest is paid to you, it is indeed taxed — but the rest of the
money is yours. The interest on the money in a pre-paid plan goes to the funeral
director!

More Information on Funeral Planning
    The Public Library has many good books on this subject, here listed from newest
    to oldest:
     
•   Tom Jokinen, Curtains: Adventures of an Undertaker-in-Training (2010): an
    account of what the author discovered about the gap in time between death
    and burial from a Winnipeg point of view.

•   Doug Smith, Big Death: Funeral Planning in the Age of Corporate Deathcare (2007):
    a description of the current funeral industry – and advice on planning - by a
    Winnipeg writer.
•   Katherine Ashenburg, The Mourner’s Dance: What We Do When People Die (2002).
    The author considers how people have dealt with death, historically and currently.
•   Ernest Morgan, Dealing Creatively with Death: A Manual of Death Education and
    Simple Burial (14th edition, revised and updated, 2001, 160 pages): with 14 editions
    since 1962, Morgan must be doing something right.
•   Abdullah Fatteh, At Journey’s End: The Complete Guide to Funerals and Funeral
    Planning (1999, 338 pages). The author lives in Florida. He is a lawyer, doctor,
    teacher, coroner and author. His book is both an overview of the subject, and a
    practical guide to arranging a funeral.
•   Lisa Carlson, Caring for the Dead: Your Final Act of Love – (1998, 640 pages). It’s
    described as “A complete guide for those making funeral arrangements with or
    without a funeral director.” It’s big, but most Canadian readers will be interested in
    just the first 175 pages. The rest is a state-by-state review.
•   Jessica Mitford (1917-1996), The American Way of Death, Revisited (1998, 274
    pages). This is a revised edition of her exposé of the funeral industry in The American
    Way of Death (1963), which inspired many changes in the industry and U.S. law. The
    1998 edition reviews all that. Her philosophy: “You might not be able to change the
    world, but you can embarrass the guilty.”



                                                                                  33
•   Darryl Roberts, Profits of Death: An Insider Exposes the Death Care Industries (1997,
    229 pages). The author was president of a “funeral corporation” for 20 years. This is
    an easy and interesting read.
•   Xavier Cronin, Grave Exodus: Tending To Our Dead in the 21st Century (1996, 254
    pages). This is an insider’s interesting overview of the funeral industry’s past, present
    and future.
•   Robert Fulghum, From Beginning to End: The Rituals of Our Lives (1995, 273 pages).
    This enjoyable book is an easy read, filled with practical advice and interesting
    anecdotes.
•   Gregory Young, The High Cost of Dying: A Guide to Funeral Planning (1994, 110
    pages). It’s a thin book, but packed with lots of useful information. He once owned
    a chain of funeral homes.
•   Kenneth Iverson, Death to Dust: What Happens to Dead Bodies (1994, 650 pages!).
    The Texas doctor covers every imaginable topic relating to death, in an amusing
    and instructive way.


The web has lots of information.
For example: “Funeral Consumers Alliance” (formerly named Funeral and
Memorial Societies of America) has lots of information, and links to other websites.

Consumer Tips from Books and Articles
1. First and most importantly, prepare a funeral plan!
2. Your memorial: consider how you want to be remembered. By having a big
   funeral and tombstone? By giving to family and friends? By donating to
   charitable organizations? Or?
3. Discuss your funeral plan with the people who are most likely to arrange your
   funeral.

    Even if you pay for your funeral now, the people who arrange it can change it
    when the time comes, and any additional fees that are “reasonable” can be
    charged to your estate. It is therefore a good idea to try to obtain their
    agreement to follow your plan.
4. Go shopping! A wise consumer obtains at least three quotations before buying an
   expensive item. Funeral homes sell products that can be very expensive. Take
   your funeral plan - and a friend or two!


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5. Remember: a funeral home is a business, and funeral directors sell goods and
   services.
6. Don’t be shy about calling a funeral home for an appointment. Funeral directors
   are used to meeting people to discuss their funeral plans, and providing price
   quotations. Ask for a tour!
7. Be ready to ask questions! It’s the consumer’s best protection.
8. Prices are almost always negotiable. In some ways, it’s like shopping for a car.
9. A low price can become expensive! Some funeral homes quote low prices only to
   attract customers, and then pressure the customers to buy more than what the
   low price covers (called “upselling”).
10. Buying items (including caskets) separately is usually less expensive than buying
    everything at one funeral home. But it usually takes more time, unless there are
    people to share the work.
11. Caskets and vaults: buying either or both of them is not like buying a car or
    television: when the casket and vault are buried, they are gone forever. If you
    buy a casket, consider buying from a “casket discounter”. Winnipeg has one:
    LeClaire Brothers at 603 Erin St. at Portage Ave.
12. Cemeteries: if your funeral plan includes burial of your body or ashes in a
    cemetery, go to two or three cemeteries (and at least one owned by a municipal
    government) for price quotations and a list of their requirements on such things
    as liners, vaults, markers and tombstones.
13. Start your “obit”, if only to make it easier for someone to finish it when it’s
    needed. If you want a picture to go with your published obituary, pick one (some
    obits have two).
If someone dies unexpectedly and there is no funeral plan, one approach to planning
is for the family to sit down and put together a funeral plan – perhaps using the
document “My Funeral Plan”. One or two people who are not part of the immediate
family (such as a daughter-in-law or a friend of the family) can then take the plan to
two or three funeral homes to obtain information and price quotations.




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Index
Administration, Board of, 15     crematories, 20 
alternate container, 9           crematorium, 9 
anatomical studies, 18           crematory, 9 
Anti‐Litter By‐law, 21           Cronin, Xavier, 17, See 
articles, 34                     death certificate, 28 
Ashenburg, Katherine, 33         death notice, 27 
ashes, 8, 21                     decomposition, 9 
association, 16                  dig up, 8 
at need, 8                       Diseases and Dead Bodies Regulation, 23 
benefit programs, 29             dispose of body, 18 
Bennett, Amanda, 25              do it yourself, 16 
Board of Administration, 15      documents, 6 
body, 8                          donate body, 18 
body bag, 20                     donation, 18 
body removal, 17                 earth burial, 7, 9, 21, 27, 28 
body snatching, 9                Embalmers and Funeral Directors General 
body transfer, 17                    Regulation, 15 
books, 17, 33, 34                embalming, 9 
Brookside Cemetery, 18           Employment and Income Assistance 
budget, 8                            Program, 29 
burial, 7                        Environment Act, 21 
Canada Pension Plan. See         environmental laws, 20 
Canada Water Act, 21             Fatteh, Abdullah, 33 
Carlson, Lisa, 11, 17, 33        fill in, 8 
casket, 8, 16, 20,               Fisheries Act, 21 
Cemeteries Act, 32               Foley, Terrence, 25 
cemteries, 23                    Fulghum, Robert, 34 
certificate, 28                  funeral, 7 
closed casket, 9                     pre‐paid, 13 
coffin, 8                        funeral director, 11 
columbarium, 9, 21               funeral directors, 10 
consumers, 10                    Funeral Directors and Embalmers Act, 15 
container, 9                     Funeral Directors and Embalmers Act, 
container, 9                         15 
containers, 23                   funeral home, 10 
corneal donations, 18            funeral parlour, 8 
corpse, 16                       funeral service, 24 
cost, 26, 27                     grave, 8, 26, 28, 29 
costs, 26, 28, 29                grave liners, 29 
cremains, 8, 21                  home funeral, 10 
cremation, 7, 9, 26, 27, , ,     Indian and Northern Affairs, 30 


                                                                      36
inurn, 9                                     Public Utilities Board, 16 
Iverson, Kenneth, 34                         Registration of Death, 17 
Last Post Fund, 30                           Regulation, 15 
law, 16, 23                                  remove body, 8 
lawyer, 6                                    Roberts, 20 
lay funeral director, 16                     Roberts, Darryl, 11, 20, 21, 22, 34 
license, 15                                  Robertson, Heather, 10 
liners, 23, 29                               scatter, 21 
Litter Regulation, 21                        service, 7, 24 
lot, 8                                       shipping, 23 
Manitoba Funeral Services Association, 16    Smith, Doug, 17, 33 
Manitoba Public Insurance, 30                the D, 20 
marker, 32                                   tissue donations, 18 
mausoleums, 23                               tombstone, 32 
Medical Certificate of Death, 17             traditional funeral, 10 
memorial, 26                                 transfer, 8 
memorial service, 7, 24, 25                  transplant, 18 
minimum container, 9                         upselling, 27 
minium container, 9                          urn, 9, 21, 28 
miscellaneous items, 26                      vault, 29 
Mitford, Jessica, 11, 22, 33                 vaults, 23 
Morgan, Ernest, 17, 33                       Victim's Bill of Rights. See 
niche, 9                                     viewing, 9 
obituary, 27                                 visitation, 9 
organ donations, 18                          Vital Statistics, 17 
pay, 30                                      Vital Statistics Act, 16, 17 
paying for funeral, 29                       vocabulary, 8 
plot, 8                                      web, 34 
prayers, 9                                   Winnipeg 
Prearranged Funeral Services Act, 30            cost of dying, 13 
pre‐need, 8                                     funeral homes, 13 
pre‐paid funeral, 13                         Winnipeg First Call, 17 
pre‐payment, 30, 31, 32                      Winnipeg Funeral Transfer Service, 17 
pre‐planning, 30                             Wong, Jan, 22 
price, 26, 27, 28, 29                        Workers Compensation, 30 
proof of death, 28                           Young, Gregory, 34 
Public Health Act, 23 




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    38
Funeral Planning and Memorial Society of Manitoba

Application for Membership
 
Please enclose the $15 membership fee ($25 for two in the same household). This is 
one‐time fee for a lifetime membership, with no additional fees. 
 
Name (Mr./Mrs./Ms) ______________________________________________________ 
 
The name of any additional person at the same address who is applying for 
membership: 
 
 
________________________________________________________________________ 
 
Address: ________________________________________________________________ 
 
Postal Code: _________________________ Telephone: __________________________ 
 
Email address (for Society use only):__________________________________________ 
 
 
Please help the Society in its planning by answering the following questions. 
 
1. How did you learn about the Society? _____________________________________ 
 
2. If you have been involved in any way with a funeral service or memorial service, 
please describe the experience. 
 
________________________________________________________________________ 
 
3. Would you be interested in doing volunteer work for the Society? ________________ 
If so, what type of work do you prefer to do? ___________________________________ 
 
Please send this membership application and payment to: 
 
Funeral Planning and Memorial Society of Manitoba 
613 St. Mary’s Road 
Winnipeg, Manitoba R2M 3L8

 
 



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