Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about Cremation



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Questions about Cremation

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What questions should I ask when looking for a cremation provider?

It is important to remember that not all cremation providers are the same. You should not base your decision on the price alone. You should also make sure you are getting a quote for the complete cost.

Some Questions You Should Ask The Cremation Provider Include:

  • Are you a member of any industry organizations like the Cremation Association of North America?
  • Do you follow a code of ethics?
  • Do you perform your own cremations, and if not, who performs the cremations? Where are they located?
  • Can I schedule an appointment to meet the staff face-to-face and tour your facility?
  • Can I witness the cremation?
  • How soon after receiving the deceased do you perform the cremation?
  • Do you keep the body refrigerated until cremation?
  • Do you require identification of the body prior to cremation?
  • What kind of tracking system do you use to make sure I receive the correct cremated remains?
  • How will you return the ashes, if no urn is provided prior to cremation?
  • What is your policy on holding cremated remains after cremation?
  • How do you dispose of prosthetics and artificial devices?
  • May I have references of other families you have served in the past?
  • Do you offer any kind of guarantee on your services?
  • Do you offer any options for memorialization or other gatherings of remembrance for my loved one?
  • Is your staff certified and up to date on the proper use of the cremation equipment and care of the body and cremated remains?

Why is cremation regarded as an irreversible process?

Cremation reduces the body down to its basic elements, destroying all organic matter so that all that remains of the body is inorganic mineral elements and bone fragments. With burial, you can exhume a body and still extract identifying information, even though natural decay processes are present. With cremation, you cannot extract any identifying information from the cremated remains of a person, nor can you distinguish between the cremated remains of one person from another.

Why do states have laws regarding a waiting period before a body can be cremated?

Because the cremation process is irreversible, many states require a waiting period of up to 48 hours after death before a body is released to cremation.

Is DNA still retrievable from cremated ashes?

No. Cremation is an irreversible process. DNA starts to degrade at about 800 degrees F. The heat in a cremation chamber may range from 1400 to 1800 degrees F. Any DNA is thus destroyed by the cremation process.

Do cremated ashes pose any kind of health hazard?

No. Cremated remains are essentially sterile in themselves, having been purified during the cremation process.

Can you exhume an embalmed body and have it cremated?

Depending on the situation and the laws of your state, it may be possible to exhume a body under certain circumstances and have it cremated. Cremation is recommended if the purpose for exhuming the body is to transport the remains. Due to the natural processes of decay, transporting an exhumed body is more expensive and challenging than transporting the cremated remains of the body once exhumed.

What is the weight of ashes after cremation?

On average, the cremated remains (ashes) of an adult human female weigh around 4 pounds (1.8 kg). The ashes of an adult human male weigh around 6 pounds (2.7 kg).

Do laws regarding cremation vary from one state to another?

Yes. Every state has different laws regarding the cremation of human bodies. For a look at the cremation laws in your state, visit <<>>>

Are there any laws governing cremation in my state?

Yes. Every state has different laws regarding the cremation of human bodies. For a look at the cremation laws in your state, visit <<>>>

Are all cremated remains of the deceased returned to the family?

Yes. After the cremation is completed and the cremation chamber has cooled down, all the cremated remains are gathered from the chamber and processed into a uniform granular consistency popularly known as “ashes”. The crematory or funeral home then returns the ashes to the family in either a temporary or permanent urn.

Can two human cremations be done at the same time?

No. In addition to being illegal to cremate more than one body at the same time, most cremation chambers are not large enough to accommodate more than one body during the cremation process.

What are “cremains”?

“Cremains” is another word for “cremated remains” or “ashes”.

How can I be sure I’ve received the correct cremated remains?

Any reputable and responsible cremation facility will have a set of operating procedures and policies in place (also known as “chain of custody”). These processes are designed to reduce or eliminate human error while providing the client with the highest level of service. If you have any concerns or questions about this issue, ask your funeral home or cremation provider to explain their chain of custody process to you.

What state currently has the lowest cremation rate?

In 2012, Mississippi had the lowest cremation rate, at 16.9%.

What state currently has the highest cremation rate?

In 2012, Nevada had the highest cremation rate, at 74.2%.

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