Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Purpose of a Funeral?

Funerals provide surviving family members and friends a caring, supportive environment in which to recognize the death of a loved one and to share thoughts and feelings about that person. Funerals are the first step in the healing process. The ritual of attending a funeral service provides many benefits including:

  • Providing a social support system for the bereaved
  • Helping the bereaved understand death is final and part of life
  • Integrating the bereaved back into the community
  • Easing the transition to a new life after the death of a loved one
  • Providing a safe haven for embracing and expressing pain
  • Reaffirming one's relationship with the person who died
  • Providing a time to say good-bye

It is possible to have a full funeral service even for those choosing cremation. The importance of the ritual is in providing a social gathering to help the bereaved begin the healing process.

Why have a Public Viewing?

Viewing is part of many cultural and ethnic traditions. Many grief specialists believe that viewing aids the grief process by helping the bereaved recognize the reality of death. Viewing is encouraged for children as long as the process is explained and the activity voluntary.

What Happens if Death Occurs in the Middle of the Night or on the Weekend?

Our Funeral Director's are available to assist when called upon 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

What if  Death Occurs Away from our Community?

We are here to help, your first call regarding funeral arrangements should be to the Malcolm, Deavitt & Binhammer Funeral Home, as we can arrange to have your loved one transported home from anywhere in the world. By contacting us, we can begin right away to repatriate your loved one bringing immediate comfort in knowing that all details are being cared for by our professionals.

Is it Possible to Rent a Casket?

Families choosing cremation have been increasingly requesting to rent a casket for their loved one rather than purchasing one. We at the Malcolm, Deavitt & Binhammer Funeral Home have been able to facilitate this request, which has significantly reduced the cost to families making this decision. The casket provided is essentially comprised of a solid maple exterior shell and an inner casket that the public never sees making this choice suitable for public visitation and viewing. The inner casket placed within the shell is specially crafted to ensure that the deceased never comes in contact with the outer shell. Also, this inner casket meets the criteria of all crematoriums in the Province of Ontario. After the funeral service, our funeral directors remove the inner casket from the outer maple shell. The inner container holding your loved one then has an approved top attached and is transported to the crematorium. The outer maple shell will be used by a number of families, however eventually the casket reaches a point of wear and it is cremated. Because its usage is limited, the rental casket is replaced after a relatively small number of uses. However, due to the reusable nature of these units they can be also appreciated by families with environmental concerns.

How do l Explain Death to my Children?

What can you do as a mom, dad, uncle, grandpa or close family friend to help children through the difficult time of grieving the death of a loved one? The following is a recommended list of do’s and don’ts to help you when talking to children about death.

  • DO be honest about death. As hard as it may be to break the news to a child, honesty is the best policy. It is far worse for a child to accidentally discover the “secret” and then be told “We thought it was best not to tell you.”
  • DON’T use euphemisms. Explaining death to a child as “Uncle Johnny went on a long trip” or “Grandma Betty is sleeping” may instill fear in the child of going on a trip or to sleep. It is better to explain in simple phrases like “dead means a person’s body has stopped working and won’t work anymore.”
  • DO help children express their feelings. Encourage children to cry-out their grief and talk out their thoughts and feelings about death.
  • DO be a good listener. Like adults, children need to talk about the loss and their feelings connected to it.
  • DON’T tell a child how to feel. Let a child experience and express grief in their own way.
  • DO offer continuous love and assurance. Children need to know they are loved to feel secure. By being present and available during the difficult mourning process, parents can help their children bear the pain.
  • DON’T hide your grief from children. Seeing you grieve will let children know that it is normal and healthy to cry and feel sad after death.
  • DO invite others to help your children. Often, someone outside the family can provide much needed additional comfort, concern and care.
  • DON’T assume children will just “get over it.” Whether you are dealing with a young child or adolescent, be proactive and provide all of the comfort and consolation you can.

Can Cremation Remains be Transported on an Airplane?

Due to regulatory changes by Transport Canada, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) has implementing new procedures that affect passengers transporting cremated remains by air. Cremation containers are still allowed in both carry-on and checked baggage. However, they must now pass through an x-ray machine at the pre-board security screening checkpoint before being cleared to accompany passengers on their flights. If a container is made of a dense material (such as metal, stone or ceramic) that prevents screening officers from clearly seeing its contents, the container will likely be rejected. Out of respect for the deceased and their loved ones, under no circumstances will screening officers open a cremation container, even if requested to do so by the passenger, nor will they inspect a container that has been opened (unless it is empty). If a container is not cleared, the passenger will not be allowed to proceed with the container past the checkpoint and will be required to make alternate arrangements.

It is recommended that a Death Certificate and Cremation Certificate also accompany all cremated remains being transported by air. 

Can Identity Theft Occur After Death?

 Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information without your knowledge or consent to commit a crime, such as fraud or theft even after death. Identity thieves steal key pieces of personal information — either physically or in other ways, without your executor knowing — and use it to impersonate you and commit crimes in your name. In addition to names, addresses and phone numbers, thieves look for: Social insurance numbers, Driver's licence numbers, Credit card and banking information, Bank cards, Calling cards, Birth certificates or Passports. Identity thieves can manipulate your information and invade your privacy. They can use stolen identities to conduct spending sprees, open new bank accounts, divert mail, apply for loans, credit cards and social benefits, rent apartments and even commit more serious crimes. We at the Malcolm, Deavitt & Binhammer Funeral Home take identity theft very seriously after death and provide executors with valued assistance to ensure that one’s estate is not in danger of such a crime. 

Why do l Need a Will?

No matter the value of your assets, you have the right to decide who will manage your estate after your death, and how your assets will be distributed. Without a Last Will and Testament (“Will”), these very important decisions will be made by the government. In Ontario, the Estates Administration Act regulates the manner in which people will be selected in order to manage the assets of your estate. Part II of the Succession Law Reform Act sets out who is entitled to share in those assets, and in what proportion. The results that arise under these statutes may not be a desirable outcome for your family’s particular needs and likely not the results you intend. In addition to managing your financial affairs after your death, an executor named in your will shall also be responsible for providing direction to our funeral home ensuring that your funeral instructions are fulfilled. Furthermore, a will allows you to design how your assets can be distributed in a manner which is ideal for you. In particular, you can provide for the welfare of your family and ensure the efficient management of your property by a trusted person, designated by you.

Who is Eligible for Canada Pension Plan Death Benefits?

Death Benefit

Since its implementation in 1966, the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) has kept a record for each person who pays into the Plan. At the contributor’s death, CPP provides a death benefit, which is a one-time, lump sum payment made to the deceased contributor’s estate. The amount of the death benefit depends on how much, and for how long the deceased contributor paid into the CPP. To determine the amount, CPP first calculates how much the contributor’s CPP retirement pension is, or would have been if the contributor had been 65 at the time of death. The death benefit is equal to six month’s worth of this calculated retirement pension, up to a maximum of $2,500.

Survivor’s Benefits

The Canada Pension Plan survivor’s pension is paid to the person who, at the time of death, is the legal spouse or common-law partner of the deceased contributor. If you are a separated legal spouse and there is no cohabiting common-law partner, you may qualify for this benefit. If your deceased common-law partner contributed to the Canada Pension Plan, you could be eligible for survivors benefits. Also, The Canada Pension Plan children’s benefit is paid to a dependent natural or adopted child of the deceased contributor, or a child in the care and control of the deceased contributor at the time of death. The child must be either under age 18, or between the ages of 18 and 25 and in full-time attendance at a school or university. We, at the Malcolm, Deavitt & Binhammer Funeral Home are pleased through our “After the Funeral” program to assist with the completion of all documentation and applications to ensure that those who have entitlement to these and other benefits will be assisted.

Do we need to have a Death Announcement and what is Included in One?

It is highly recommended to have a Death Announcement that’s either placed in a local newspaper, or placed online.  A Death announcement lets the public know when a death has occurred, and provides information about the funeral arrangements.  Death Announcements generally include the deceased’s full name, age, city and date of birth and the city they were living in when they died.  It also includes the name of the deceased’s spouse, along with the names of other significant family members such as parents, children or grandchildren.  Space may be limited in a newspaper obituary but often can be expanded upon when prepared for our website.