As more and more individuals choose a cremation over a traditional burial, it is essential to know how to plan for cremation and what to do if your loved one needs to be cremated.
Tip #1: Getting Authorization
You can't just send a body to a crematory and have it cremated. Before a body can be cremated, an authorized individual must document that they allow the cremation to happen. Exact laws on who can give that authorization vary from one state to the next.
Generally, the authorized person is a legal representative that the deceased appointed, or a surviving spouse or surviving children. If those relationships or individuals don't exist, then a surviving parent or sibling may give authorization. This authorization has to be in writing. This is to ensure that someone isn't cremated who didn't want to be.
Tip #2: Choose a Facility
Second, you are going to want to choose a facility to do the cremation. It is generally best to select a standalone crematory or select a funeral home with an on-site crematory. That way, your loved one's body doesn't have to be sent to another location for the cremation process before or after the funeral.
Tip #3: Choose What to Do with the Remains
Third, it is important to choose what you want to do with the remains. Do you want to put them in an urn and take them home? Do you want to have the ashes turned into a piece of keepsake jewelry? Do you want to scatter the remains? Do you want to bury the remains?
Figuring out what you want to do with the remains will help you choose an appropriate storage container for the ashes. Figuring out what you want to do will also help you budget for this expense.
Tip #4: Plan a Memorial
A body is not needed for a memorial service. Just because your loved one was cremated doesn't mean that you need to skip out on a memorial service. When planning the memorial service, think about your loved one, and plan an event that fits who they were as a person.
For example, if they loved sports, maybe you ask everyone to wear their favorite jersey to the event and play a round of their favorite sport in a pick-up game in honor of their memory. Or perhaps they were a big foodie, so you want to throw a catered memorial service. The memorial service should be about honoring their memory and allowing closure for those that loved them.
When it comes to planning for cremation, you need to make sure you have written authorization for it to take place. Work with a crematory or a funeral home with an in-house crematory. Know what you want to do with the ashes and plan a memory that honors your loved one's memory.