Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS eco?
Is eco a licensed funeral home or a transfer service?
eco is proud to hold a license as a full service funeral home through the Board of Funeral Services. Unlike many lower cost providers, eco’s licensing is the highest available in Ontario.
Why arrange funeral services online?
eco has made the mysterious and uncomfortable realm of funeral services transparent for you. Using eco’s online arranging system allows you to save significant money and decide what you do and do not want. There’s no pressure like you often find in a funeral home setting. You’ve browsed and shopped online for flights, clothing, even groceries. eco enables you to handle this often scary process with a guided independent touch.
What is a transfer service?
Great question! Transfer Services are licensed by the Board of Funeral Services, but with several limitations on what they are allowed and not allowed to provide to families. They are often times lower cost options than funeral homes, but eco is one of few Ontario firms that specializes in lower cost options while holding a license as a funeral home
Are you (eco Cremation & Burial Services Inc.) corporately owned?
Although eco Cremation & Burial Services Inc. is federally incorporated, the company has one shareholder and one director. That director is Nathan Romagnoli, with whom we hope you’re familiar at this stage. Unlike several of eco’s competitors, we do not have an army of corporate staffers to pay with no one driving the vision of the business. At eco, Nathan drives the business. This is why we are so proud to offer you wholesome, economical and environmentally responsible services.
How can I ensure that eco Cremation & Burial Services Inc. is in good standing?
Contacting the Board of Funeral Services will allow you verify that eco is in good standing. As a former embalming examiner for the Board of Funeral Services and a licensed funeral director since 2003, the Board of Funeral Services will be able to verify all of Nathan and eco’s information for you. We have nothing to hide, and we are proud of our record.
What makes eco more eco-friendly as a funeral home?
eco is the first funeral home in Ontario offering a full suite of more environmentally sustainable services and products, from less harmful chemical treatment of the body, to biodegradable caskets and urns. eco’s licensed facility was also created using 90% repurposed materials in the belief that we do not need to impact the environment to operate a successful business.
Why is eco less expensive than other funeral homes?
eco has a different business model. By decreasing significant overhead fees, eco is able to pass savings on to you.
How does eco’s cost guarantee work?
eco is so proud of our prices that we will not only match, but beat a viable local competitor’s rate by $1. Products and services vary widely in terms of quality and comprehensiveness, but if you provide us with an estimate on services and pricing from another funeral home, we are confident that we can provide better services at a better price.
How do I pay for your services?
Whether a simple floral display or the cremation of a loved one, eco asks for all funds to be paid at the time of arrangement, in order to offer you the best and most economical services available. Don’t worry though, you will have been guided through all forms of financial funding options to ensure that if there is any recoverable money, you will receive it. Check the eco Resource tab for further funding options. Remember as well our financial incentive on saving a specific percentage based on the manner in which you pay. If our costs are kept down, we will pass the savings to you! Your legal contract is your guarantee to receive all itemized services and merchandise on specific dates.
I am receiving ODSP or financial assistance. Can this help pay for funeral expenses?
Yes. It’s likely that eco can assist in financial assistance for funeral arrangements through your local office of Social Services. Just tell us that you’re in need and we’ll handle the rest. You are unable to apply for assistance after fees for funeral services are paid.
Is cremation cheaper than burial?
There are many variables here. Options for merchandise and interment spaces are usually less expensive than traditional products, however there are far more options with cremation than there are with burial, some of which could be more expensive.
What is cremation?
Cremation is the process of reducing the deceased human body by means of fire. Intense heat between 1200-1800 degrees Fahrenheit is blown onto the casket or cremation container inside of a small chamber called a retort. The cremation process is highly regulated in Ontario by means of documentation and tagging. Cremation typically takes approximately 4 hours to complete at which time the fragmented bone is gathered. Any remaining metals are removed at this time. The fragmented bone is then mechanically reduced further producing a fine pebble-like consistency composed essentially of calcium from bone and teeth. A numbered tag is placed with the cremated body, corresponding to a cremation certificate issued by the crematorium.
Do I have to have a traditional casket for cremation?
No, you don’t need a traditional casket for cremation. There are specialized products made for cremation often called cremation containers or cremation caskets. eco specializes in several cremation containers and cremation caskets made of more suitable materials. By law, you must choose an item which is considered to be of a ‘rigid and combustible material.’ It is important to know that in some instances, a cardboard cremation container cannot be utilized for a deceased human body because it may not be considered sound. The dignity and respect of your loved one is paramount for eco, as is the consideration of our staff’s health and safety. Please be mindful and responsible when choosing an appropriate container. Sometimes choosing the cheapest option such as a cardboard container is not appropriate. eco strives to ensure your satisfaction while allowing us to handle things respectfully and safely.
Can I just call a crematorium to handle my arrangements?
No, a crematorium is simply a building holding a cremation retort. Although the cremation operator is licensed, the crematorium cannot arrange for the stages prior to the deceased arriving at the crematorium. You must use the services of an organization like eco Cremation & Burial Services Inc., to arrange for a disposition, whether through burial or cremation after the death has been registered in its municipality. It is also legal for this to be handled completely alone, outside of a licensed funeral director. This may, however be an overwhelming and stressful experience.
How can I be assured that I am receiving my loved one’s cremated body and nobody else's?
Our cremations are handled in a very strict and regulated manner. A series of documentation including that of an Ontario Coroner is submitted to the crematorium prior to the process taking place. Upon receipt of the deceased at the crematorium, the deceased is issued a metal numbered tag, which is held with the casket or container until cremation. During the cremation the tag remains in or on the retort identifying the deceased. That tag is then placed with the cremated body after its final stage of reduction. You will see this tag attached to, or inside of the urn. This numbered tag will then correspond to the cremation certificate also issued by the crematorium.
What’s the most economical way to receive my loved one’s urn back after cremation?
Depending on which crematorium is chosen, all will allow for receipt of the urn direct from the crematorium. It is important to know that failure to retrieve the urn can warrant a common ground burial at cost to you.
eco is also able to deliver the urn to your home or address of choice, including a cemetery for later burial.
Remember as well that eco can be trusted to scatter the cremated body with your approval as well. Just ask. That’s why we’re here for you.
Can I travel with my loved one’s urn?
Yes, be sure to notify eco if you have intent to take your loved one’s urn out of province or country. There is special documentation that is suggested for this process. As well, the series of urns offered by eco are suitable for air transport as some are not made of metal. Remember also that eco can handle the shipment or scattering of your loved one’s cremated body for you, if desired.
Can I attend the cremation?
Absolutely. eco offers the ability to accompany your loved one to the crematorium, and if you wish, to commence the cremation process. There is usually a limit of 6 adults allowed in this area for safety reasons.
Our cultural expectations require us to participate in the cremation process. Is this possible?
Absolutely. eco is proud to educate and support many cultures and faiths with very strong death practices and rituals. There is almost no request that cannot be accommodated by eco. Where ceremonially dressing or participating in the cremation process is required, we can help.
Can I still have a funeral, ceremony or celebration with cremation?
Absolutely. Cremation is truly one step in a process of placing someone at rest and remembering them. Some families choose to minimize this process with no services. The question remains, what do you want do with the cremated body?
What is burial?
Burial is an ancient tradition of caring for our dead used in almost every society from the beginning of time. Today’s burials take place in registered and controlled cemeteries in an assigned lot which is essentially a small piece of eternal real estate. Regulations state that a casket containing the body can be buried in the Earth, usually a minimum of 6’ below the surface. Interment is the term for placement of a body into the earth.
What is a Green Burial?
A more responsible outlook on life has drawn us to understand the ecological considerations of death-care. Making conscious decisions on certain products like caskets, cremation containers and urns that lessen their impact on our environment is a green mentality in itself. Certain cemeteries across Canada have come to understand that a more natural burial process is preferred by many people. Some of these cemeteries have begun to allow for non-traditional burials without burial vaults or protective caskets. Talk to eco to explore how we can help in making a burial process more environmentally responsible by means of specially made natural caskets and urns.
Why do I need a burial vault for the cemetery?
Some cemeteries operate under a bylaw that states that a burial vault or grave liner is required. This is essentially for the care of the cemetery. Burial vaults support the earth above the casket to mitigate the natural settling of the earth due to decay of a casket. Some cemeteries do not require burial vaults or liners. If needed, eco offers the most economical vaults and liners on the market.
Is it true that bugs will eat me if I am buried?
This age old idea still evokes fear and discomfort. The reality of burial outside of a sealed burial vault means that the casket is in direct contact with the Earth and all of its natural elements. These natural elements include air, water, roots, stones, clay and other such materials. Think of planting a tree in the earth, burial is the same concept.
What is double-depth burial?
Some cemeteries are running out of space, so burials take place at extra depth. This allows a future burial above to save space. Often times a burial vault is required for structural support.
Can a body be moved from one grave/cemetery to another after burial?
Yes. With the professional help of eco, disinterment can take place under approved circumstances. Many families wish to have this take place for reasons of comfort. Burial vaults assist in this process.
What is entombment?
Entombment is a term referring to above-ground burial. Entombment takes place in a built structure containing crypts in which a casket is individually contained. This is often popular among European families as it emulates what may be traditional in their homelands.
What is embalming?
Embalming is considered to be the preservation, restoration and disinfection of a deceased human body. Embalmers in Ontario are educated through a college diploma and are then licensed by the Ontario Board of Funeral Services. Embalming takes place in a sterile, regulated area often similar to a common clinical setting.
Is embalming a necessity by law?
No, embalming is not a legal requirement in Ontario. Depending on the style of your arrangements however, there may be benefits to embalming.
Are these chemicals harmful to the environment? Are there better or worse embalming chemicals?
eco Cremation & Burial Services offers a special method of embalming that uses no formaldehyde, which is typically found in embalming chemicals. eco uses a modern, state-of-the-art system that exposes less harmful chemicals to the embalmer and the environment, while producing the same results of traditional embalming. Ask us about this option.
Is an open casket possible for trauma/illness related deaths?
Absolutely. A select number of eco’s embalmers are highly skilled in restoring individuals to better states, especially after illness or injury has affected the body.
I have Power of Attorney for a loved one. When they die, does that mean that I am in charge?
No. It is important to understand that Powers of Attorney are only effective during the life of the person whom they are regarding. Upon death, all duties of Power of Attorney cease and assumed executorship takes effect, if there is a Last Will & Testament. In the absence of a Will, there is a legal flow of individuals allowed to take charge of arrangements.
Who has the authority to handle funeral arrangements upon a death?
It is imperative for individuals to understand who has the legal right to make important decisions regarding funerals and disposition after a death. The executor(s) of the Will hold the right to make such decisions.
What if there is no Will?
If every effort has been made to locate a Last Will & Testament including contacting the potential lawyer’s offices for a possible will, there is a legal flow of individuals allowed to take charge of the arrangements. This list is as follows, in order or right:
5) father or mother
6) brothers or sisters
8) uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces
9) collateral relatives or a more remote degree.
Do I need to show proof of executorship to commence arrangements?
Yes, eco’s website will guide you through the steps allowing you to submit the first and last pages of the deceased’s will plus any codicils relating to the will. We do not need to see content of the will, typically just the first page showing named executor and last page with signatures as well as a form of identification of the arranger/executor.
Do I need to have a hearse for a burial?
No. In fact, eco believes in lessening its carbon footprint while keeping costs economical to you. Therefore, we use specially equipped vehicles other than flashy and expensive hearses.
Do I have to see the deceased’s body?
No, you do not have to physically view the body by being present with the deceased. eco can ensure we are completing these important tasks with the highest level of caution and care, while keeping in mind your comfort. Several careful steps are taken throughout the process of caring for your loved one, but remember that our verifications are only as good as the hospital or care facility may provide. We must ensure that we are in fact caring for your loved one in some capacity. We will allow for a means of digital verification, whereby a confidential photograph is taken with all forms of received identification. This can be verified electronically. Rest assured that all steps are taken to prevent misidentification.
Do I have to place a newspaper death announcement?
No. There is no law which states that a death announcement must be made in the newspaper. However, many families wish to do so. Don’t forget to see eco’s free obituary writing tab for assistance and allow our staff to place that announcement in the paper at no charge.
Is scattering illegal?
It’s important to know that most registered cemeteries can handle the scattering of a cremated body in their cemetery. Scattering elsewhere can be tricky and confusing as most areas are either governed by local laws, or private properties. Call eco to help you understand.
Do I need a lawyer to assist me after the death of a loved one?
Estate lawyers can certainly be a great wealth of information. Depending on the complexity of someone’s life and death, there are many things that can be handled independently by an executor or administrator of an estate.
What is an executor
An executor (male) or executrix (female) is a legal term for the individual(s) who have been named by a testator (someone who has made a will) to carry out the directions of the Will. This is often done in conjunction with a legal advisor, but not always.
What is Probate?
Probate is a legal term. It is essentially the process of approving the validity of the Will and allowing for the dispersing of the deceased person’s property according to the Will. Ontario holds a specialized court of through which this process is handled.
What is a Clearance Certificate?
A Clearance Certificate is a legal document issued by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) stating that the deceased and their estate is clear of any debts owing to them. This safeguard will prevent you from being potentially liable for the deceased’s debt owing to CRA.
TRAVEL & SHIPMENT
Can I travel with my loved one’s urn?
Yes, be sure to notify eco if you have intent to take your loved one’s urn out of province or country. There is special documentation that is recommended for this process. The series urns offered by eco are suitable for air transport, as some are not made of metal. Remember also that eco can handle the shipment or scattering of your loved one’s cremated body for you, if desired.
Their wish was to be buried in their home country? Is this possible?
Absolutely, eco has access to every country’s regulations stating how a deceased person can be allowed entry into their country. This process is often called repatriation, and it is more common occurrence than you would expect. Though it may take a few extra days, eco can easily fulfill the requirements of shipping a full deceased person or cremated person back to their homeland. Families are often surprised at how economical it can actually be.
What is a Letter of Content?
A Letter of Content is a document that can be requested to eco from the crematorium stating what is inside of the particular urn in reference. It is signed by the person placing the cremated body into it. It is often supplied to airlines and or border officials in travel.
What is Preplanning?
Preplanning with eco is an organic approach to helping you feel comfortable with understanding your options and placing the power of decision making with you. Many families already know that eco is a respectable choice and that our costs are unbeatable without compromising quality. Thus, many families wish to preplan with us. Preplanning with eco can be done online, through tele/web conference or in person. Often times due to consumer curiosity, in-person meetings are made to ensure your comfort is kept. During this meeting, options are presented to you and information is exchanged and kept on record with us so that at the time of passing, much of the work is already completed.
Many of our services are able to be prepaid which leaves families feeling free of the worry of who pays the bills at the time of passing. Our licensed staff are here to guide you through all of your options in an effort to let you rest assured you've made good decisions for you and your family.
When families choose to prepay their final expenses, eco does not take your money ourselves. It is placed in a protected Trust Fund or Insurance Policy (depending on several factors). These processes are heavily regulated and policed and your funds are protected through Trust or Insurance regulations in place in Canada. The monies placed will not be claimed or utilized until death has occurred and eco claims the funds after providing a Proof of Death Certificate. Families see the benefits of locking in their costs at today's value during prepayment because after death, calculations are made to show the costs of the services at the time of death vs the monies set aside. If the monies are not enough to fulfill what was originally contracted for, eco will take a 'loss' on our own services so that you don't pay more. It's one of the smartest financial decisions one can make and it ensures the finances are there and available, not locked or frozen after death.
What happens if I preplan and move?
Not to worry, depending on the style of arrangement in place, eco can still fulfill your plan through our extensive network of professionals across Canada. If we’re unable to, we’ll gladly refer you to like-minded industry colleagues who can assist.
What happens after my body is donated to Medical Sciences?
After eco arranges for the safe transportation of the body into the University/School’s care, the body is usually anatomically embalmed allowing for meticulous, safe study of tissues, bone, organs etc. A donated individual is kept safe as a medical specimen within their care for upwards of 3 years at which time Cremation of the body takes place. In many instances, estate representatives are contacted after the cremation takes place and family may have the option to take into their care the person’s cremated body. Often times, the deceased’s cremated body is interred in common ground or otherwise set out in the institution’s policy for body bequeathal.