Although cremation is quickly replacing traditional burial methods, most people still do not know much about the process. Most people only know that cremation is cost-effective and eco-friendly. Fortunately, funeral directors understand everything to do with cremation, including the process and the legalities involved. Therefore, funeral directors are the best professionals to talk to if you have any cremation questions. This article highlights pertinent questions you should ask a funeral director when preparing to cremate a deceased loved one.
Who Should Authorise Cremation?
The notion that only family members can authorise a funeral director to cremate a loved one is nothing but a misconception. Although family members play a crucial role in funeral arrangements, authorisation of the cremation process is guided by law. First, a funeral director determines whether a deceased left instruction regarding who signs a cremation authorisation form. Notably, such directions take precedence. However, if such instructions do not exist, the deceased's spouse, children (of legal age), or next of kin — in that order — can sign the authorisation form. A funeral director must abide by legal requirements and protect signees from possible disputes from family members.
What Can/Can't You Do with Cremation Remains?
Once you have decided to cremate a loved one, you still must choose what to do with the remains. You can do various things with the ashes, including painting, making fireworks and planting, among others. However, you cannot do certain things with cremation remains, which is why you need to talk to a funeral director. For instance, although you can scatter cremation remains anywhere, you need permission from the local council. Nonetheless, a funeral director can help you acquire such permission since they often work with local councils.
Do You Maintain Identification?
When the ashes from a crematorium arrive, you cannot confirm whether they belong to your loved one or another person. Not even a DNA test can help identify the deceased since the temperatures used do not permit DNA survival. With this in mind, the last thing you want to take home is someone else's remains. Although funeral homes are not legally obliged to separate cremation remains, maintaining identification is still crucial. Therefore, you must ask a funeral director if and how they retain identification during and after the cremation process. Asking the question gives you peace of mind knowing that the remains sent by a crematorium belong to your loved one.