Frequently Asked Questions

What is cremation?

During cremation, a dead body is burned and vaporized at high temperatures, leaving only ashes. The ashes are specifically from the destruction of bone. Other tissues are vaporized.

What are cremated remains?

Cremated remains, or cremains, are the ashes that remain following the cremation process.

How can I tell if I am getting a reputable firm to handle the cremation?

There are a number of ways to ensure you choose a reputable firm for cremation. Check the qualifications of the staff, learn about the procedures that ensure proper running of the crematorium and proper identification of the deceased, and assess the candid and direct disclosure of costs.

Do all religions accept cremation?

Most religions permit cremation; some recommend it. Support for cremation is not universal among faiths, however. Consult your religious advisor with any questions about the appropriateness of cremation in your faith.

How soon after death can cremation take place?

The deceased stays in a safe, climate-controlled environment while death and cremation documents are processed. Many states have a specific waiting period, for example, two days, and require authorization for cremation by a coroner or medical examiner.

Is a casket required?

While individuals and families may choose a casket, or rent a casket for a funeral or memorial service prior to cremation, a casket is not necessary for cremation. When a casket is not chosen, the deceased is placed in a combustible, environmentally safe container for respectful handling during the cremation process.

Is embalming necessary for cremation?

No, embalming is not necessary for cremation.

Is there any special preparation required prior to cremation?

Families should remove all jewelry and mementos from the deceased prior to cremation. Also, families must notify the cremation provider if any medical devices are present.

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

The National Cremation follows strict internal procedures to ensure proper identification of the deceased throughout the cremation process. We will not breach your trust. Identification of the deceased is first established at the place of death; an identification band is placed around the ankle. The ankle band includes several pieces of information including name, date of birth, date of death, and location, to prevent identification confusion. Before the deceased is removed from the place of death, the identification band is rechecked against any paperwork and identification tags.

At the crematory, an assigned stainless steel identification disc, linked to the record of the deceased, is placed with, and remains with, the body. Following cremation, the identification disc is placed in the urn with the cremated remains.

Is it possible for my loved ones to witness the cremation process?

Yes, just let us know in advance so we can arrange a mutually convenient time.

Can my Social Security and/or Veterans Benefits be used if I select cremation?

Visit the Social Security Administration website or the Department of Veterans Affairs website for the most current information. In short, the answer is yes, but restrictions and dollar limits apply.

What if I want a memorial service?

An advantage of cremation is that it offers flexibility. Families may choose to memorialize their loved one with a funeral prior to cremation or a memorial service after cremation. The memorial service can take place with or without the cremated remains. Cremation allows a celebration of life in any way, and at any time, you choose.

If I am cremated, and my spouse chooses ground burial, can my ashes be placed in the same gravesite that my spouse has?

Each cemetery has its own policies and must follow state law, so check with the cemetery. Cremation burials are increasingly common, sometimes with multiple containers of cremated remains in one cemetery plot.

What is an urn?

An urn is a vessel, or container, used to hold cremated remains. A wide variety of urns are available from a simple box to elaborately decorated containers of wood, metal, glass, or clay.

Is scattering my ashes legal?

Yes, all states allow scattering of ashes. Some states require permits, particularly in state and national parks. Ashes may be scattered at sea three miles or more from land. Reporting and conditions may apply. Scattering on private property is prohibited without the permission of the property owner.

What if my family can’t decide on one place for the cremated remains?

An advantage of cremation is the flexibility it offers. When family members have more than one wish for a final resting place, cremated remains can be divided. Smaller amounts of remains can be scattered in different locations or given to different family members for care.

How can I make sure that my wishes will be honored once I’m gone, especially if my family wants something different, like a ground burial?

Making your final wishes clear, both in advance and at the time of death, is the best way to ensure your final wishes will be met. Complete our Planning and Discussion Guide and discuss your choices with your family. A preplanned and prepaid cremation that locks in services and payment helps ensure your wishes will be followed.

What if I prearrange with National Cremation and then move?

As the oldest and largest cremation provider in the nation, the National Cremation has a network of locations to honor your arrangements.

If I choose National Cremation, what happens upon my death? What does my family need to do?

We have worked to simplify the process and alleviate the planning burden for your loved ones. At the time of death, your family or representative calls us. We are available day and night, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our experienced staff gathers the necessary information, arranges necessary paperwork, and arranges for the body to be transferred to our care. We typically arrive in a plain vehicle. We take the body to our nearest facility to await cremation. After the proscribed waiting period, the body is cremated, remains are placed in a temporary container, and the remains are transferred to an authorized member of your family or representative.

I have prearranged with National Cremation and I make payments on a payment plan. How do I stop or change my payment plan?

Call our offices regarding any payment questions.