Cremation and Do It Yourself (DIY) Funerals

Cremation as a viable burial option has been increasing in acceptance and personal choice in North America.  The cost is a reason given by many individuals for this choice.  Hmmm…is there really much difference in cost?  The basic, average cost for a cremation alone is approximately $500.00 in Southern Ontario but added to this are the funeral expenses, registering the death, coroner’s report etc..  Some people have suggested bypassing the funeral home and getting someone else to take the now “deceased body” to the crematorium. 

Well, sounds good in conversation but,

  • Who is going to do this; your distraught family?
  • Who has the time to run around and get the required documentation; if they know what it is?

 The funeral home or a transfer service if there is one in your community can transfer the deceased.  Transfer service businesses are separate and different from a funeral home business and do not replace a funeral home.  There is the option of removing the deceased yourself but there are possible roadblocks to consider.


Consider having to remove a deceased from a hospital.  Did you know that hospitals do not have a uniform policy for dealing with this? 

My research into hospital policies and procedures in Southern Ontario from Windsor to Toronto found;

  • one hospital with 2 different policies hmmm…this was a problem waiting to happen
  • a few hospitals who would not respond to my inquiry
  • one hospital commented they were in the process of reviewing their policy
  • one hospital provided the information in an email within 10 minutes (London Health Sciences Centre) and yes they have a well thought out policy to the point of informing the police department that a deceased would be transported in a specific vehicle for a stated duration

Now, if you still want to continue with the DIY arrangements here is the wording received from the Board of Funeral Services that permits a family member to remove a deceased.

As of July 1, 2012 The new Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act (2002)
came into effect. Under the Regulations, Section 7 Subsection 2, “A family
member of a deceased individual is exempt from subsection 8(2) of the Act
when the family member is, for no consideration, providing funeral services
in respect to the deceased individual, other than arterial embalming.” Only
family members are permitted to perform the services and naturally, they
would have to be willing to do it.
                                                           –   Has to be a family member
                                                           –  No money is to be paid to the family member
                                                           –  No embalming will be done

Remember, I provide information and food for thought.  I don’t recommend one choice over another nor am I endorsed by anyone but, geeze…this sounds like a lot of extra “stuff” to do when a family member is grieving a loss.

As always, be an informed consumer and research your options.  People who work in the funeral home and cremation industry are open to answering your questions.  Some funeral home websites also offer supportive information and resources.