Choosing a cremation service provider is a major decision to make. Before you commit to any provider in particular, you make sure your loved one’s remains will be handled with respect and that you will get the highest value for your chosen package.
Services to Be Included
Cremation providers vary widely but more importantly in terms of rates and package inclusions. Ask your potential provider to explain all the details to you. This is dictated by a law called the Funeral Rule. Let them give you a list of packages and their specific prices. Do take note that if you go with a stand-alone crematory, you do not have as many options as you would with a funeral home.
If you’re making final arrangements through a funeral home, find out if they have an onsite crematory. In most cases, they will have crematory partners. If they outsource cremations, or if you’re working with a stand-alone crematory, know how your loved one will be transferred to and from the funeral home. Sometimes, the remains will be returned in a cardboard box. Make it a point to visit the cremation facility too just to know if it’s clean and properly maintained. You will also want to know how the provider identifies remains. Obviously, you want to make sure you get the right remains back.
Consider the type of gathering you and your family would like to have. What remembrance service you choose will affect your choices for the actual cremation. If your loved one has expressed his preference for a funeral service, ask about renting a casket. If you’re holding a memorial service in the presence of the cremated remains, ask the provider if there will be an area in which you can have the service post-cremation. Also try to remember what your loved one told about the final resting place they prefer, and see if your provider can make that possible. Always keep in mind that providers vary in what they offer, so it’s best that you ask all these questions prior to making any major decisions.
Lastly, spend a few minutes scanning testimonials provided by the clients of the funeral home or service you’re eyeing. These people’s own experiences can be a huge help as you try to make an educated decision. The Internet is likely to be the largest source of these reviews. But make sure you’re reading from a third-party website in order to ensure credibility. By nature, a marketing website is made to promote the business behind it or destroy its competitors, so you will probably find manufactured reviews in there.