Guidelines for Choosing a Cremation Provider
It is recommended that when you are arranging for a cremation, it be done prior to immediate need. This gives you the benefit of making arrangements without the pressure of time.
The first thing you need to do is to put your wishes in writing. In many states, you cannot authorize your own cremation and therefore the next of kin(s) must be in agreement if a cremation is to take place. You can check with a cremation provider as to whether your state allows self-authorization.
When choosing a cremation provider, here are some questions to ask:
- Are they a member of the Cremation Association of North America (click here to Find a Local Member)? If not, do they adhere to a code of cremation ethics (see below)?
- Do they perform their own cremations? If so, can you tour the cremation facility? If not, who does the cremations for them and where are they located?
- Do they require the body be identified prior to cremation?
- Can the cremation be witnessed by a family member or designated individual?
- What is the average time between receiving the deceased and the completion of the cremation?
- Do they have refrigeration facilities to hold the body prior to cremation?
- What is the procedure to track the body through the cremation process and verify the identity of the cremated remains following cremation?
- How are the cremated remains returned if an urn is not provided prior to cremation? What is the policy regarding holding of the cremated remains after the cremation is completed?
- What is their policy in regards to disposing prosthetics, artificial hips, knees, etc.?
- Will they give you references of other families who have used their services?
- Have their crematory operators been certified by a recognized organization, such as CANA, in the proper use of the cremation equipment and care of the body and cremated human remains?
CANA Code of Cremation Practice
In the practice of cremation, we believe:
- In dignity and respect in the care of the deceased, in compassion for the living who survive them, and in the memorialization of life;
- That a Cremation Authority should be responsible for creating and maintaining an atmosphere of respect at all times;
- That the greatest care should be taken in the appointment of crematory staff members, any of whom must not, by conduct or demeanor, bring the crematory or cremation into disrepute;
- That cremation should be considered as preparation for memorialization;
- That the dead of our society should be memorialized through a commemorative means suitable to the survivors.