You can arrange a cremation service in advance or immediately after a loved one has passed away. Cremation arrangements can all be made ahead of time to ensure that finances are not a problem when the time comes and to ensure the wishes of the deceased are honored. Alternatively, you can also plan a cremation service when the need arises, as it can often be difficult to predict the loss of a loved one. Making these plans includes several key decisions and can incur a variety of expenses. Knowing your options and requirements can help you make the appropriate arrangements. Learn more about how to arrange a cremation by reading the sections below or downloading our in-depth guide on the subject.
How to Arrange a Cremation
Knowing how to arrange cremations requires understanding all the options involved. To arrange a cremation service, first understand that there are many options for honoring a loved one who has passed, including a wake, which is also called a visitation or a viewing. Additionally, you can plan a funeral service or a memorial service. Cremation for seniors can include any or all of these options. Make your cremation arrangements based on the type of services you might want for yourself or your loved ones.
You can schedule a cremation with the help of a funeral home if you intend to use its services, or you can contact a crematory directly. To begin your cremation plans, you will require a death certificate and an authorization and permit to cremate the body. The person responsible for arranging those certificates will be determined by your choices for services and the type of cremation.
Scheduling a cremation also includes considering your plans for the ashes after cremation. Your arrangements to cremate might include a plan to scatter the ashes or to place them in the right urn. You could also choose to bury the ashes at a cemetery or mausoleum. You may even choose to bury them on private property, with permission and where it is legally permitted.
What does cremation involve?
Learning what cremations involve will help you to better navigate the situation when the time comes. Cremation arrangements serve as an alternative to full-body burial in a casket. Cremation is the act of turning the body into ash. Making cremation arrangements as a senior offers you a choice in how you want to be honored by your loved ones, and it ultimately costs significantly less than purchasing a coffin and a plot at a cemetery. Still, when someone is cremated, his or her ashes can still be buried in a cemetery or in a mausoleum. They may be kept by a loved one as well.
To understand what to consider when cremating a loved one, it is vital that you know the steps to take after a death. After passing, a body must be moved to either a funeral home or to a crematory. When you arrange a cremation service, you can choose for the body to be cremated within a casket or an alternative vessel, which could be as simple as a cardboard container. Whatever cremation procedures you choose, however, there can be no metal at all, and the material you use must be safely combustible. All pacemakers and similar devices must be removed prior to cremation.
Your cremation preparations might include scheduling a witnessing, which some crematories allow. If you prepare a cremation service, you can request that family members witness the cremation for final closure. If you would like to be there when the body is cremated, you will have to arrange with the crematory for a specific day and time.
How to Arrange a Cremation Service
Arrange a cremation service based on your preferences and budget. You can choose to have no cremation services at all, or you could have several options for family and friends to pay their respects to the deceased.
Cremation arrangements should include a plan for your cremation service. Make your own cremation arrangements in advance to ensure your wishes are honored. Many senior cremation plans can be made in advance to help alleviate the stress their families might feel during this time. Loved ones may choose to have a wake or a viewing at home or at a funeral home. Although cremation service arrangements do not typically involve a viewing, you might be able to rent a casket for this if you intend to cremate afterward. Some people choose to have a full funeral service prior to or after cremation. The service can be religious or not, depending on the preferences of those involved. You could arrange a cremation service at a later date if you have family and friends spread far and wide. These types of cremation arrangements are typically called memorial services or celebration-of-life services. These can be held at any time, from days to months after a person has passed away.
Your cremation service considerations as a senior are entirely up to you and your personal preferences. If you arrange for cremation in advance, you can make your own choices known to close family and friends in writing. You can also pay for certain services ahead of time.