5 Questions to Ask Before Choosing A Cremation Provider

By: Sharp Instincts
Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Cremation is on the rise in popularity, becoming the desired way to dispose of one's remains after one passes away. Once considered a last resort due to budget constraints or religious and cultural beliefs, it is now a sought-after choice.  

Despite being a favourable option, there is still an air of mystery surrounding cremation. Families usually go through an extensive process to understand what entails cremation and ensure their loved one is cared for. Seeking the advice of a reliable cremation provider helps reassure them that they are getting the best value for their money. But many people might still be curious about the steps associated with cremation, so we have compiled a list of five important questions you should ask a cremation provider before committing to the process.

1. Can You Help Me Understand Your Price Ranges?

The cremation costs depend on the package offered by a cremation provider. The Funeral Rule requires a funeral service provider to provide transparent pricing to customers. Be sure to ask the funeral home or your cremation planner or provider to explain in detail how they price each of their services and what will be included in each package. They may not be highly reputable if they cannot provide you with the price list. We strongly suggest that you continue your search in this instance. 

You must also ask the cremation provider to show you their remembrance centre, where urns, mementos, caskets and other items are kept for personalisation and sale. This can help you better understand each item should you wish to purchase from this provider and keep everything in-house and under one bill. One thing to note is that if you go through a company that offers purely crematory services, your options here may be slightly limited. 

2. Can I Tour The Crematory? 

When coordinating your or your loved one's cremation arrangements, you can ask to view the crematorium if they have one onsite. A crematory tour allows you to view the conditions in which your loved one will be placed and assess for cleanliness and whether the provider is adhering to strict guidelines. Onsite crematories allow you to view and say a final goodbye to your loved one in a private setting and witness your loved one entering the crematorium, so there is no chance of a crematory mix-up, giving you further peace of mind. 

3. How Will My Loved One Be Taken Care Of? 

When the funeral or crematory director explains how your loved one will be cared for and identified, it is to ensure the correct remains are returned to their family or loved ones. If the funeral provider or crematory outsources their cremation services, they explain how your loved one's remains will be transferred and how they will ensure a chain of custody. 

Before the deceased is picked up (if the company outsources), a funeral or crematory provider will tag your loved one with their name and date of birth. Although a mandatory step, for your peace of mind, you can confirm this with your provider. Many crematory providers also attach an ankle tag and a stainless-steel disk detailing your loved one's identification before cremation, which is never taken off throughout the entire process, so you have that extra reassurance that the correct remains are returned to you. 

Ask your provider about their identification checkpoints so you're reassured every step of the way that your loved one will be safely handled and returned to you without any issue. These steps should begin with the deceased's removal and end with the placement of the urn. 

4. Can I Hold a Gathering Before or After the Cremation?

The type of remembrance service your loved one or family wishes to have will determine your options concerning cremation. If your loved one wanted a funeral service, you might consider hiring a casket for the service. If they wish to have the service with their urn present, you can ask your provider if they have a designated area for service after the cremation. 

If your loved one or family has opted for a simple cremation without a memorial or visitation, you can ask to be present when the cremation takes place. Many providers also offer a waiting room for families.

Consider any wishes left by your loved one for where they would like their ashes to be kept, buried or scattered and ask the cremation or funeral service provider for their advice or any options they provide. This step should be asked about, as each funeral or cremation service provider will offer something different. 

5. Do You Have Testimonials?

Reading other people's testimonials will help you feel more confident in your decision. Your provider should have either printed materials or can direct you to a link on their website for this information. You can also perform a Google search to find this information. 

Your funeral or cremation service provider should be able to answer all of the questions listed above, and if they can't, perhaps consider searching for one which can. Your peace of mind is of utmost priority. 

For any further queries or assistance, contact our team at Howard Squires Funeral

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