Frequently Asked Questions
- If I don’t have a funeral with the body present, I would still like to have some sort of ceremony so that family, friends, and associates can gather to commemorate the event. What are my choices?
- My family may be willing to accept my plans for cremation, but they would like me to have a funeral service with the body present. Is this possible?
- How are the cremated remains presented to the family?
- Does a body have to be embalmed before cremation?
- Is the deceased person cremated unclothed?
- What happens to medical devices such as hip implants and pacemakers?
- If cremation is chosen, must a funeral home be called at the time of death?
- Exactly what happens at the crematory?
- What is the time frame for cremation, and what steps are involved?
- Who is required to sign the authorization for cremation?
- What legal documents are required for cremation?
- I understand that more and more people are choosing cremation. Is this because the cost is lower?
If I don’t have a funeral with the body present, I would still like to have some sort of ceremony so that family, friends, and associates can gather to commemorate the event. What are my choices?
Cremation offers a wide array of ceremonies from which to choose. A private or public visitation can be held before cremation is done. A memorial service can be held in a place of worship or at the cremation provider's facility, with or without the cremated remains. This can be delayed as long as necessary after the death to allow family and friends to gather from distant locations. Some churches and retirement communities routinely handle these memorial services themselves, without the involvement of the cremation provider. Other possibilities include graveside services at the cemetery or columbarium. A scattering ceremony offers a personal touch only cremation can provide.
My family may be willing to accept my plans for cremation, but they would like me to have a funeral service with the body present. Is this possible?
Yes, if such a funeral is desired, the deceased can be embalmed and placed in a ceremonial casket. With cremation the full funeral can be held without the expense of purchasing a casket or vault.
How are the cremated remains presented to the family?
The quantity of cremated remains of an adult is comparable to the size of a 6 inch x 6 inch x 6 inch box or a large dictionary. Unless otherwise specified by the family. The remains are returned in a plain temporary container. This container should not be used for permanent disposition of the cremated remains.
Does a body have to be embalmed before cremation?
Embalming is a practical necessity only if there is a public viewing or a funeral with the body present. The State of Texas does not require embalming.
Is the deceased person cremated unclothed?
The deceased may be clothed as desired by the family. A military uniform, scholastic robe or other special garment may be cremated. Often the special clothing is neatly folded and cremated with the deceased.
What happens to medical devices such as hip implants and pacemakers?
Large fragments of metal that can readily be separated from the ashes are removed prior to pulverization. Pacemakers and implanted measured dose dispensing devices have an explosive risk, and are removed prior to cremation.
If cremation is chosen, must a funeral home be called at the time of death?
No. Just call us at 1-800-648-4007 and we will handle all of the details in accordance to your wishes for cremation. You may then log into our secured server to complete the arrangements from the comfort of your home. You will never have to leave your home for any reason, unless you choose a service that includes a Memorial or Funeral Service followed by cremation. Our Funeral Directing Staff has spent many months designing, researching and creating this service to be as simple to use as possible.
Exactly what happens at the crematory?
The deceased is placed in a combustible alternative container , used during refrigerated storage and then placed intact in the cremation chamber. After cremation the remains are processed further by pulverization and then placed in the desired container selected by the family. We offer a wide selection of urns as well as keepsake mementos from which to select. Your family can choose to receive the cremated remains at the Funeral Home or they can be delivered or mailed for an additional fee.
What is the time frame for cremation, and what steps are involved?
Once vital statistic information is obtained from the family, a death certificate is sent to the attending physician to sign and certify the cause of death. Once completed by the attending physician, the death certificate is then sent to the Medical Examiner’s office for review. The Medical Examiner will issue a Cremation Permit after review. The Signed Death Certificate as well as the Cremation Permit is presented to the local registrar’s office where a Burial Transit Permit is issued. The total process could take a minimum of 7 days to complete.
Who is required to sign the authorization for cremation?
The persons listed in priority below have the right, duty and liability to control the disposition (including cremation) of the decedent’s remains:
- The decedent (if done through a prearrangement, in a will, or a written instrument signed and acknowledged by such person)
- The person designated in an "Appointment of Agent of Remains" signed by the decedent
- The decedent’s surviving spouse
- The decedent’s surviving adult children
- Either one of the decedent’s surviving parents
- Any one of the decedent’s surviving adult siblings
- Any adult person in the next degree of kinship in the order named by law to inherit the estate of the decedent
What legal documents are required for cremation?
- Authorization for Cremation form signed by the next of kin
- Death certificate signed by the attending physician
- Medical Examiner Cremation Permit
- Burial Transit Permit issued by the Local Registrar.
I understand that more and more people are choosing cremation. Is this because the cost is lower?
While it is true that the cost of cremation is about 20% of the cost of burial, surveys indicate many people are choosing and planning cremation because of other factors. These include the simplicity and dignity of cremation services, environmental concerns, and the flexibility cremation offers in ceremony planning and in the disposition of the remains. In some parts of the country, cremation is being chosen for disposition for more than a third of all deaths. Of course, cremation is practically as old as humanity, having been practiced for centuries in other cultures. Our modern approach is simply a reflection of our growing concern for the simplicity and dignity of the cremation rite.