Here are some starter questions if you choose to visit a crematorium (or what to ask your funeral director if you don't go yourself):
- Check for general cleanliness.
- May a family member witness the cremation?
- How does the process work?
- How long does the process take?
- How much will the process cost?
- 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?
- If you plan to bury your loved one's cremated remains in a mausoleum or columbarium, you can expect to purchase a crypt and pay opening and closing fees, as well as charges for endowment care and other services.
- Many cemeteries now provide for scattering of the remains in a garden set aside for that purpose, which can include a plaque memorializing the deceased.
- If remains are scattered somewhere outside the cemetery, many cemeteries allow you to place a memorial of some type on the cemetery grounds, so survivors have a place to visit that will always be maintained and preserved.
- 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.
- You may also place the remains in an urn for your own keeping.
- For more information, The Cremation Association of North America can
help with guidelines.
- You can also visit the Funeral Consumers Alliance Web site. The Funeral Consumer's Alliance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting a consumer's right to choose a meaningful, dignified, affordable funeral. Visit their site for more information on an overseas death, caskets and urns and additional information.
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.