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What Steps are Involved in the Cremation Process?

Video Transcript

Once your loved one is in our care, all the paperwork is completed including all the necessary permits, and the death certificate is signed, then we can begin the actual cremation process.

Answers from Other Funeral Directors Around the United States:

Every state has different laws and requirements pertaining to the cremation process. The first step is to take the loved one into our care. Next we meet with the family, have them complete all necessary paperwork, and confirm information for the death certificate. The third step is to contact the doctor and have the death certificate signed. In North Carolina a certified death certificate or burial transit permit is NOT required for cremation. When a death occurs in the home and not under the care of hospice, a clearance from the medical examiner is required. If all of that is completed and a final identification has been done, the cremation can be scheduled. We service each person in our care individually, and the actual cremation takes approximately five hours. To accommodate this, we schedule each cremation to occur a couple days after all necessary preparations are made.

- Michael Sollitto
Funeral Director in Charlotte, NC


The deceased is placed in a combustible container which is then placed into the retort, or cremation chamber, in which high temperatures of 1400-1600 degrees is used to reduce the remains into bone fragments and ash. After this process is complete, which usually takes 2 to 3 hours, the remains are removed from the chamber using a specialized vacuum and placed into a pulverizing machine which reduces the bones fragments into a fine powder. The cremated remains are then placed into a plastic sleeve before being placed into the final resting container, whether it be a cardboard box or elaborate urn.

- Jessica Watts
Funeral Director in Jacksonville, FL


For the decedent, a tag is manufactured prior to dispatch. When we arrive on scene, the decedent is tagged and taken to our care center. The decedent is bagged, boxed, and placed in climate controlled storage while we wait for permits and documents to be completed. Meanwhile, the documents are created, and the family reviews and signs each one. The death certificate is made and sent to a physician who signs it. The required number of death certificates are then ordered and received. Other necessary permits are requested and received at this time as well. The decedent will have their identity double-checked, and once all documents are received and approved, he/she will be scheduled for cremation.

- C. A. Bankston
Funeral Director in Fort Worth, TX