How can my family be sure the cremains they receive are mine?

How can my family be sure the cremains they receive are mine?

The Cremation Association of North America estimates that in 2015, over 44% of those who pass will choose cremation for their final arrangement. Cremation is an excellent affordable alternative to burial, but sometimes consumers have concerns about the process.

One concern is the possibility of losing or misplacing cremated remains. Dorsey Thomas, Location Manager of National Cremation Service in Atlanta, stated, “National Cremation understands the need to know for certain if the cremains we deliver to your family will be yours. As the nation’s largest cremation services provider and as licensed professionals in our field, we are bound by our ethical and professional obligation to serve individuals and families and to perform our duties to the highest standard of the law. We work hard to uphold the trust of the individuals and families that choose us to help them carry out their last wishes.”

National Cremation follows multiple steps to ensure that we are always able to maintain positive identification from the time when we first take custody of your remains, throughout the cremation process in our facility, until we return the cremains to your family.

These steps include:

  1. All remains must be positively identified by a family member or loved one prior to National Cremation taking custody of the deceased.
  2. After identification, an identification band is placed around the ankle prior to transport to our facility. The band includes name, date of birth, date and location of death, which will help to ensure that your loved one is properly accounted for.
  3. When the deceased is transported from the place of death, the identification band is double checked to ensure the ID tag matches the paperwork.
  4. At the crematory, a stainless steel disc will be linked to the deceased records and placed with the deceased. Stainless steel has a very high melting temperature, well above the temperatures necessary for the cremation. This makes it a suitable material for identification throughout the cremation process. This disc will remain with the deceased during the cremation, and ultimately is placed in the funereal urn along with the cremated remains.

According to Thomas, “Each individual is identified from the place of death, to the return of the individual to their family, and is constantly monitored by numerous staff members. The state requires the family to identify the individual, and requires staff of the crematory to positively identify the individual as well, by a photo identification process required by law.”

To ensure your cremation is carried out to the highest standard of the law, it is also important to work with a licensed cremation professional. According to Thomas, “As a licensed professional in the funeral industry, I am obligated by law to uphold not only the policies, rules, and regulations of the company I work for, but also those that are required on both the state and federal level.”

For more information on the regulations and steps taken to ensure the highest quality of service throughout the cremation process, please contact a representative at National Cremation here.


Special thanks to Dorsey Thomas, location manager of National Cremation Atlanta/Marietta, GA for his support and contributions to this post.