If you are considering cremation for yourself or a loved one, here are some points to consider.
What to Ask When Choosing A Crematorium
- How does the process work?
- How long does the process take?
- How much will the process cost?
- May a family member witness the cremation?
- If a family member wants to know if the maple casket was actually cremated, can the crematory answer that question a month later?
- Ask to see the container in which they return the ashes. Is it marked “temporary container”?
- Why? This is may be a tactic to get consumers to purchase more expensive urns.
- Is the crematory licensed by any state agency? If so, how often does the agency do inspections?
WHN TIP – Overall Condition: When visiting the crematorium, pay attention to the overall cleanliness and professional appearance of the business.
What To Do With the Cremated Remains
Burial in a mausoleum or columbarium
- Ask what fees are associated with this option, such as cost of the crypt, the opening and closing fees, charges for endowment care and other services
Scattering the ashes in a designated area in the cemetery
- This could include a plaque memorializing the deceased. Ask about a fee.
Placing the remains in an urn for your own keeping.
Scattering the ashes outside of the cemetery
- Remains can be scattered on private property if the owner of the property permits it.
- Remains may be scattered in other places as long as it is permitted by local regulations, check with local cities/counties in the area of interest.
WHN TIP — Cemetery Memorial: If scattering the remains outside of the cemetery, ask if a memorial of some type can be placed on the cemetery grounds, so survivors have a place to visit that will always be maintained and preserved. Check regarding any fees.
For More Information
The Cremation Association of North America
The site has guidelines for cremation.
Funeral Consumers Alliance
A nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting a consumer’s right to choose a meaningful, dignified, affordable funeral.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
The FTC prevents business practices that are anti-competitive or deceptive or unfair to consumers and enhances informed consumer choice and public understanding of the competitive process without unduly burdening legitimate business activity.
International Cemetery Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA)
An international trade association representing all segments of the cemetery, funeral service, cremation and memorialization profession.
The information provided here is not meant to be a substitute for professional advice. These tips are from experts and people who have shared their real-life advice; always check with appropriate professionals you trust in making your purchasing or life-related decisions.
Photo Credit: Toimetaja tõlkebüroo