Top 51 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Cremation

Most Frequently Asked Questions About Cremation

If you’re considering cremation for yourself or a loved one, you most likely have some specific questions about the cremation process. We at Fixed Price Cremations would like to help you better understand the cremation process by giving you answers to your most frequently asked questions.

1. What is cremation?

Cremation is a final disposition method in which a person’s body is heated into ashes. This is an alternative process to a traditional burial. Once the body is turned into ash, the remains (known as cremated remains) are placed in an urn or another container of your choosing. Check out this blog post cremation process in Australia to know more about the cremation process in Australia.

2. How popular is cremation in Australia?

Cremation is very popular in Australia. It is a process that has been around for thousands of years, but it has become a more popular final disposition method in recent decades. Many people choose cremation as the disposition method of choice 50-65% of the time. Check out this blog post cremation in Australia to know why is cremation becoming more popular in Australia.

3. What is the role of the funeral director?

The role of a funeral director is to provide a very special service and ensure the wishes of the family and the deceased are filled. A funeral director advises on and arranges all the details that make up a funeral service. The responsibilities of a funeral director include:

– Arrange all matters requested by the family taking into consideration the legal, social, cultural and religious considerations relating to the deceased and to the mourners.
– Transportation of the deceased from the place of death to the mortuary.
– Preparation of the deceased.
– Collation of certificates from hospital or doctor’s surgery.
– Completion of statutory requirements.
– Preparation and insertion of newspaper notices.
– Contact with clergy or funeral celebrant.
– Organise bookings at the venue, church, cemetery and/or crematorium.
– Officially register the death.
– Obtain copies of the death certificate.
– Organise all details of the funeral service, including the supply of vehicles and pall bearers.
– Advise on religious and ceremonial requirements in relation to the funeral service and to visitation and other customs prior to, during and after the funeral.

Many of these items will be included as part of the funeral director’s professional service fee.

With a direct cremation only some of these services are offered.

4. Is a Coffin or casket required?

Yes – however, there may be some variation between states and territories within Australia; however, in most instances, relevant Health Departments require the deceased to be placed in a coffin or casket for burial or cremation. In the case of cremation, the coffin or casket must be combustible.

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5. Should I hire a funeral director?

This is a decision only you can make. If you would like to keep things as simple as possible and you are sure you want a cremation, you can have a direct cremation service performed without the help of a funeral director. It is better to hire a funeral director if you are holding a traditional funeral.

6. Should I buy an urn?

This is another decision that is completely up to you. Cremation providers will offer a simple container for your loved one’s ashes following completion of the process. However, you are welcome to purchase an urn of your choosing either from the cremation provider or from another vendor. Many families prefer to buy something special and tailored to their loved one’s personality.

Here is an example of the cremation urns we offer

7. What is direct cremation?

Direct cremation is the final disposition service of cremation that occurs relatively soon after someone passes on. Typically, there are no services before a cremation happens. Once the paperwork is in order, the deceased is cremated. There can still be memorial services, ash scatterings, and other processions after cremation has taken place if the family chooses. Check out our blog post cremations only to know more about direct cremation.

8. How much does cremation cost in Australia?

The price of cremation in Australia depends on the provider you choose and the services you want surrounding the cremation. You can receive an all-inclusive direct cremation package for as little as $1,850. For more details about cremation cost, you can check out this blog post:
how much does it cost to get cremated

9. What should I do with cremation ashes?

This is something that you and your family will have to discuss and decide as the options are plentiful. You can place the ashes in an urn or in a unique location like in a garden or under a tree. You can also scatter ashes in a body of water, on your family property, or elsewhere. You could place the urn in a columbarium in the cemetery or you could keep it in your family’s home. You could even place pieces of the ashes in jewellery items to wear as a remembrance token.

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10. Can I view the cremation?

This depends on the provider. Some providers have viewing rooms where family members can gather and watch part of the process. It can bring closure to certain people. It’s not always an option so you will want to discuss this with the cremation provider before confirming your choice.

11. If we choose a cremation, does my loved one have to be embalmed?

No, embalming is a process that takes place to help preserve a loved one’s remains for a viewing and funeral service. If you choose a direct cremation, embalming is not necessary at all. If you have a funeral and viewing beforehand, you may want the body embalmed and this depends on the time frame.

12. How long does it take to cremate a body?

The cremation itself takes around 3 hours from start to finish. The body is prepared, sent into the cremation chamber, and then the ashes have to cool before they can be placed into the cremation container.

13. Do you have clothes on when you are cremated?

Yes, the cremation provider can offer simple clothing for the cremation process or the family can choose something for their loved one to wear. The cremation shroud is a simple, dignified choice and allows the family to keep their loved one’s clothing or donate it to charity.

14. Can we put special items in their cremation casket?

Absolutely. Many families find comfort in placing a letter inside the cremation casket with their loved one. Other small items could be placed inside as well, though some crematoriums have restrictions.  It is always best to check with your funeral provider.

15. Can I write my loved one’s obituary?

Yes. While funeral directors and cremation providers can help with the basic details and inform you as to what is normal, many families prefer to write their loved one’s obituary themselves. You are the one that knows your loved one the best and you know what to include and what to leave out.

16. How much will I spend on cremation service compared with a typical burial?

Burials can cost anywhere from $4,000 to $15,000 or more. This is largely because there are so many products and services involved with a burial. You have to buy a casket, a cemetery plot, a headstone, and other such items, for example. Cremation services, when done directly, can cost as little as $1,850.

17. What is cremation preplanning and why should I do it?

Cremation preplanning is the act of planning your own cremation services in advance. Many people do this for their own peace of mind so they know they will get what they want when they pass on. They also do it for family members, so they don’t have final service planning burdens on their shoulders when the time comes. It’s also a good idea to pre pay for your final disposition plans so you can get today’s prices, no matter when the cremation takes place in the future. For more information, you can check out our cremation pre-planning guide.

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18. What happens to my cremation plan if I relocate?

You can transfer your cremation plans to another cremation provider in the event of a relocation. Cremation providers understand that life circumstances can change, and they are flexible about changes with your relocation. Speak to your cremation service provider about the process and any associated costs.

19. What should I do when a death occurs?

When someone in your family passes on, you need to choose a funeral home or cremation provider. Contact a professional service provider and they will transport your loved one from the place of their death to their facilities and start the final disposition method you have chosen. For more information, check out this blog post: What To Do When Death Occurs At Home

20. How is the deceased cremated?

The body will be placed in a cremated coffin, which goes into the crematorium. The coffin and body are heated until they turn to ash. The leftover bone matter will be pulverized into ash as well. Once the combination has cooled, the remains are placed in a container to return to the family.

21. What are the steps involved in a cremation?

Planning a direct cremation is very simple. You call the crematorium of your choice upon your loved one’s death. They transport your loved one to their facilities and help you with the paperwork that must be completed for certification purposes. Once the documents are complete and in order, your loved one is cremated and the remains are returned to you.

For more information, check out this blog post: Cremation Process – A Step by Step Guide

22. How do you memorialise a loved one after cremation?

Many people choose cremation because of the infinite ways to memorialise their family members. They can have memorial services, celebrations of life, ash scattering ceremonies, and many other remembrance processions.

23. How many people use cremation today in Australia?

It is estimated that about 65% of the deaths that occur in Australia end with cremation. In some regions of Australia, that number is only 50% which is still significant.

24. Can I keep the cremated remains if I want, or must I dispose of them?

Yes, you can do whatever you wish with the cremated remains of your loved one. Those who wish to keep the ashes generally keep them in an urn to honour the person or they might put some of the ashes in mini urns to share with others.

25. How can I ensure that I am cremated when I die?

Creating your own pre-plan for cremation is in your best interests if that is the final disposition you really want. You could also make your wishes known to family members and hope that they comply with your wishes after you pass away.

26. What happens to the coffin after the cremation service?

The coffin stays with the deceased for the cremation process. Remains submitted for cremation must be suitably enclosed in a coffin container or receptacle that complies with requirements in Victoria. A crematorium may inspect a coffin and its contents to ensure that neither will impede the cremations process or cause damage to the cremator.

27. Does the cremation take place immediately?

No. There are important documents that have to be gathered and verified first. You must have a death certificate, a consent form, and other documents. These things don’t take long to complete, so the cremation can occur within a few days.

28. Why do people select cremation?

There are a number of reasons why a cremation is a good choice. Some choose it for its lower price while others like its flexibility and versatility. It is a perfectly dignified option for anyone to select.

29. Does cremation replace a funeral?

No, cremation is simply the final disposition for the person’s body. There can be a funeral or memorial service after cremation, if the family so chooses. This helps the family plan a memorial service without having to rush.

30. What rules and regulations govern cremation procedures in Australia?

There are plenty of regulations that must be followed. A body can only be cremated if there is a permit issued by a medical referee. The application process is also required by law. Only one person can be cremated at a time, and so on.

31. Is cremation acceptable to all religions?

It is more accepted by world religions today than ever before, but there are some religions that still prohibit the process, such as those who follow the Islamic faith.

32. Is more than one person cremated at the same time?

No. This is strictly prohibited.

33. How long does a cremation take?

The actual process only takes around 3 hours. The procedures around the process can take anywhere from 2-15 days, depending on the documents and returning the remains to the family.

34. Do I have to buy a coffin or casket when choosing cremation?

Yes in Victoria the laws state that a coffin or casket is required for cremation.

35. What do most people do with the urn?

Many families like to keep the urn to remember their loved one. Even if you scatter their ashes, you can still keep the urn. Urns can also be buried or placed in a cemetery columbarium or kept somewhere in your home.

36. Is cremation less expensive than traditional burials?

Yes. You can save thousands of dollars by choosing a cremation over a traditional burial. For more information, check out this blog post: Funeral vs Cremation – Pros & Cons You Should Consider

37. What happens to your body when it is cremated?

The body is heated in a chamber set to a very high temperature. The body turns into an ash-like substance until all that remains are the ashes of the body.

38. How is a body prepared for cremation?

The body is dressed in a cremation shroud and placed in a heat-resistant container. If there is anything metallic on the body, like a pacemaker, it is first removed to prevent any disturbance to the process.

39. Where to buy cremation urns?

You can buy cremation urns from cremation providers or many other vendors. There are nearly endless options. The urns can be bought off-the-shelf or tailored to represent your loved one.

40. How can I make sure my cremation is environmentally friendly?

Using cremation over burial is more environmentally-friendly. For example, unlike with a traditional burial, you aren’t placing harsh chemicals or metal into the earth. With a cremation, burying the ashes in an urn helps the remains to break down naturally.

41. What is a no service cremation?

A no service cremation is similar to a direct cremation because no services are held before the cremation. For more information, check out this blog post: Cremation Only No Service – Everything You Need To Know

42. What is the cost of a direct cremation?

Direct cremation can cost as little as $1,850 and includes all the basic features you need to conduct a dignified and respectable final disposition.

43. What is the cheapest way to be cremated?

Direct cremation is the cheapest option. With no other services around the cremation, there aren’t nearly as many costs.

44. What do funeral directors do?

Funeral directors orchestrate and organise funeral services of many different types. They deal with burials, cremations, funerals, memorial services, and much more. Most importantly, they provide comfort to family and friends grieving the loss of a loved one. For more information, check out this blog post: What Do Funeral Directors Do for a Family?

45. How can I be sure that the remains I receive are those of my loved one?

The cremation provider has a checks and balances process that is very thorough. Cremated remains are never mixed. If you are concerned about the process, ask the cremation provider how it works.

46. Why has cremation become so popular in Australia?

Australia, among many other regions of the world, has come to appreciate cremation even more because of its price, its flexibility, and its versatility. It gives families the freedom to conduct a quick and cost-effective final disposition with the option to undertake a memorial service as they wish. For more information, check out this blog post: Why is Cremation Becoming More Popular in Australia

47. What is Crematorium?

A crematorium is a facility that cremates bodies and processes remains. Crematoriums are generally facilities outside of funeral homes that only perform cremations.

48. Do I have to make different funeral arrangements if I choose cremation?

You have more options with cremation. You can still have a traditional funeral and viewing, but you don’t have to. If you don’t want that and go with direct cremation, you can have a memorial service, an ash scattering, or nothing at all. The choices are completely yours.

49. How hot does the cremation chamber get?

Cremation takes place at temperatures between 2000 – 2500 degrees Celsius. The intense heat reduces the body to dried bone fragments and ash.

50. Is it true that the bones are crushed after cremation?

Most of the body is heated far enough that it returns to an ash-like form. Once cremation is complete, there are still bone fragments within those ashes. Those are then ground \ down, so the body becomes ash.

51. If I wanted to know more about cremation, how should I go about it?

You could research online on your own or simply contact a cremation provider. The professionals at Fixed Price Cremations can help you assess your needs to see if a direct cremation package, which includes everything necessary for your needs, is the right choice for your family. You can also pre-plan your own cremation or find out more information so you are prepared when the time comes to plan a final disposition method for a family member. Speak with the cremation specialists, who are available 24/7 on 1300 262 797.

We have covered most asked questions pertaining to cremation. If you have others, please visit our FAQs section or comment below.

Related Posts:

The Cremation Process in Australia – A Step by Step Guide
Cremation Pre-Planning – A Start to Finish Guide
Coping With Grief And Loss – Dos And Don’ts
Cremation Only No Service – Everything You Need To Know
Funeral vs Cremation – Pros & Cons You Should Consider

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