Choosing a Cremation Provider
When considering cremation
Once you've decided on cremation, you'll need to choose a crematory or cremation provider. You should do some research into local firms that provide funeral and cremation services. There may be several in your area that are reputable, but you'll want to choose one that's going to meet your needs and also make your family and friends feel comfortable with the cremation process.
Since you may be less familiar with the concept of cremation than you are with traditional funerals, you can get cremation service providers to mail or email you information packages. With this information, you can select one or two service providers that you want to interview or make an appointment with. Remember that you can find a lot of information by searching online. Many funeral and cremation providers have detailed websites.
Planning a Cremation
Before you talk to anyone, decide:
- How much you feel comfortable spending
- What services you want or don't want (e.g. embalming, casket, etc.)
- What you want done with the remains
Some questions and concerns you might want to keep in mind are:
- Is the crematory member of a trade body? For example, the Cremation Association of North America (CANA) certifies crematory operators in proper use of equipment.
- Some funeral homes advertise cremation services, but don't perform them on site . Is this what you want?
- Can the cremation be witnessed by family and friends?
- What's the time between reception of the remains and the actual cremation?
- What are the refrigeration and preservation facilities like?
- How does the crematory keep track of the identity of the remains throughout the interment and cremation processes?
- How do they treat the remains if they're not immediately inurned?
- What do they do with prosthetics, pacemakers, pins, artificial hips, knees, etc?
- What references can they give you from other families?
When you visit the funeral home or crematory:
- Get a feel for the atmosphere. Will your family feel comfortable there?
- Make sure they give you as extensive a tour as possible, or as you feel is necessary.
- View the merchandise and find out about as many options as you can.
- Ask lots of questions.
- Don't make any decisions on site. Even if you're sure you've found the right place, there's always time to confirm later.
- Immediately after each visit , rate the home on issues that are important to you.
In general, the cremation industry is very conscious of its image, and this should be reflected in any crematory you visit. CANA members are likely to be well informed of the latest issues in cremation, and will be best able to anticipate all your concerns and questions.