How Long Can a Funeral Home Hold a Body?

Posted on October 10, 2018 by Circle of Life Cremation and Burial Centre under Cremation Services, Funeral/Memorial Service Planning
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When a loved one dies, it can be hard enough dealing with the emotional fallout that ensues.

Then comes organizing the funeral, which could involve making travel arrangements for family and friends traveling from afar.

What happens if certain loved ones need a few days to arrive for the funeral or you need longer to complete final arrangements? How will the funeral home preserve the body leading up to the funeral? In circumstances such as these, an embalming technique may be used.

Funeral Homes Will Care for Your Loved One’s Body

Although sometimes a funeral can happen as quickly as 24 hours after a death, the average period between death and burial/cremation is two to three days. When family members must travel a distance, a delayed funeral may occur several days later.

Funeral homes ensure the body remains preserved with proper care, which sometimes involves embalming.

When Is Embalming Used?

Legal regulations differ depending on when embalming is required.

Here in Ontario, embalming is not required. However, some funeral homes may choose to embalm a body if there will be a viewing or if there will be a delay before a funeral can be held.

If the body is shipped into or out of Ontario or by a public carrier, embalming is legally required.

Deciding on Final Arrangements

Hopefully, your loved one has completed final arrangements that outline whether they choose to be cremated or buried.

If they’ve chosen to be cremated, the cremation can be done right away. Depending on their wishes, a funeral, memorial service or scattering of ashes can occur at a later date – or not at all.

If a burial is further than a few days away, the funeral home will most likely embalm the body to keep it preserved until that time.

Completing Your Final Arrangements is Easier on Your Loved Ones

It’s never easy to discuss death and your final arrangements. However, doing so ensures the process is as seamless as possible for the loved ones you leave behind.

Outlining whether you want to be buried or cremated as well as outlining estate matters is the best thing you can do for your family when you’re no longer here.

Dealing with a loved one’s death is difficult enough – ensure your final arrangements are in order to make this difficult time a little bit easier. Contact us today for more details.



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