5 Reasons that Families are now choosing Cremation

Cremation has overtaken burial as the American ‘preferred’ option for death-care.  In 2018, it is forecast that 53% of Americans will opt for cremation over burial.  The cremation rate is increasing year-on-year exponentially, and forecast to reach almost 80% over the next 17 years.

Why is cremation becoming the preferred choice for families?

Funeral & Cremation Trends 2018#1 The cost of cremation vs. burial

Choosing cremation instead of burial is likely to reduce a funeral bill by half, if not two-thirds.  Whereas a typical burial funeral will cost a family between $8,000 – $15,000, a cremation funeral cost in the region of $3,000 – $8,000.  This all depends upon the funeral products and services selected.  However, without question, cremation is cheaper.  There is no requirement for a casket, burial vault or cemetery plot, and embalming of the deceased.  All of which add thousands of dollars to a funeral bill.

#2 Interest in more environmentally-friendly alternatives

Some families see cremation as a friendlier alternative to a traditional burial, where embalming fluids, concrete and steel are deposited into the earth.  Gas & omissions are still an environmental concern, but less so, especially with the newer cremation machines that cremate faster and use less gas.  In some cases, families are seeking out greener alternatives, such as burying ashes in a tree pod.

#3 Families are more dispersed

People have moved around so much more today and families are often dispersed across states, or even countries.  This can make it so much more difficult to coordinate a funeral burial service and bring people together at short notice.  Families are not so tied to the notion of a family burial plot if relatives have moved away, and the notion of it being a memorial site to visit is not of the same significance if families live far away.

Cremation Memorial Services#4 The ‘unconventional’ and personalization are key aspects of funeral tributes & memorialization

Cremation is gaining acceptance, and even popularity, as we all become more accepting of the unconventional.  We are moving into a new era where traditional values are not held in as high esteem.  New ‘norms’ are being embraced…. and being, or doing, the unconventional is popularized.

We have seen examples of this emerging within funeral services, as families opt for non-traditional services, and lean towards services as life celebration events.

Today, we seek personalization in our everyday lives, so why not take this ‘to the grave’…..so to speak!  Cremation offers much more versatility in what kind of memorial services can be held, ……when, where and how.

Even the options of personalizing artifacts with cremated remains is becoming a new industry, with a whole plethora of creative ways to design cremation tributes and scatter ashes.

#5 We need more flexibility in arranging funeral services

Cremation offers much more flexibility in arranging a funeral.  Firstly, it can enable an immediate disposition of the deceased without the immediate need to arrange a funeral service.  One of the hardest things when unexpectedly faced with arranging a funeral service, is the need to make so many decisions quickly.  Often families can find this so overwhelming, and later regret that they didn’t have more time to think through the choices they made.

Choosing a cremation can help remove that immediate need to make decisions about holding a funeral service and what to do to memorialize the remains.  A cremation memorial service is where the cremation is conducted first, and then a memorial service held afterwards.  Of course, with a cremation, there is no ‘rush’ to hold the funeral (or memorial) service immediately.  This can allow time for families to reflect on exactly what kind of memorial service to conduct.  With time to prepare and grieve, families can then find that a memorial service held later is much more meaningful and up-lifting.  It can provide time for families to plan to get together, especially if family are dispersed.

Considering these key reasons why families choose cremation can help us to understand why the cremation rate is increasing.  Cremation offers an affordable, flexible, environmentally-friendly and personalized option to approach death-care.

What does cremation cost in Arlington, TX – just $755

Direct Cremation in ArlingtonAs more Texans consider cremation as a more affordable alternative to burial, we have put together this guide to help you understand cremation costs and what you need to know about cremation.

DFS Memorials works with a network of local, independent funeral homes and cremation providers who all offer transparent, low-cost cremation prices.

What is the average cost of a funeral in Arlington?

In today’s economical climate we are price conscientious consumers, very mindful of costs, and people are now realizing they can price-shop for funeral services.  Why should we not ask how much it costs?  The Internet offers a great tool to research funeral costs from the comfort of your own home.  Unfortunately, not all funeral homes have websites, or put their prices online, so we have put this guide together to outline average funeral and cremation costs in Arlington for you.

The average cost of a traditional funeral in Arlington is $8,145*, although the lowest price is $5,800.

So how do cremation costs compare in Arlington?

Cremation offers a cheaper and more flexible alternative to a traditional burial, and can therefore significantly reduce funeral costs.

No casket, cemetery plot or burial vault is required, immediately reducing some of the most expensive purchases related to funeral expenses.

The average price for a cremation funeral service in Arlington is $4,809*.

Cremation UrnsDirect cremation services in Arlington, TX

Direct cremation is the industry term for a ‘simple cremation’.  Only the cremation service is provided by the funeral home.  No ceremony or funeral services are provided by the funeral home.  The deceased is collected, cremated and the remains returned to the family in a basic urn.

Direct cremation offers families lower cost funeral services, and more control over the time and type of memorial ceremonial services they desire.  A memorial service can be held in a place of worship, a community venue or even outdoors.  The service can be conducted with, or without, the cremation urn present, and can even take the form of an ash-scattering ceremony or interment in a cremation niche or scattering garden.

A basic direct cremation is available in Arlington for $755, although the average price for a direct cremation is $2,382*.   To help families arrange affordable cremation services we have selected only family-owned cremation services providers who can offer a basic cremation package for just $755.

Direct cremation means a family can manage to conduct dignified funeral services for as little as $755

Call now on (817) 369-5240 now to arrange a low-cost cremation

Are there are additional fees to the $755 cremation package?

In order for a cremation to be conducted a ‘disposition permit’ must be issued by the county.  At present there is no charge for this.  Death certificates are an additional cost, as these are issued by the county, and are a third-party expense.  Death certificates cost $21 for the first certificate and $4 for each additional copy issued.

How do I know that I am getting the remains of my loved one back?

This is one of the most frequent questions families ask about cremation.  Strict laws govern the cremation of human remains and identity checks must be made all along the way.  The cremation retort must be completely cleared following a cremation and only one cremation can be performed at a time.  The remains are cleared into a machine that filters out any metal parts (tooth fillings, hip replacements) and then ground into the fine ‘dust’ that is returned as cremation ashes.

What if I am not sure about cremation or the family cannot agree about cremation?

Cremation is such a final disposition, you do need to ensure that you are completely sure that this IS the ‘right’ disposition choice for you.  Certain laws are in place to ensure this final disposition can only proceed if the legal next of kin has authorized it.  A Cremation Authorization Form must be signed by the legal next of kin, and in the case of children, many funeral directors will require all children sign.

You can authorize an agent for your final disposition or sign the authorization when you preplan a cremation.

What can you do with the cremated remains?

The options of what you can do with the cremated remains of your loved one are one of the reasons cremation is becoming more popular.  You can, of course, just choose to inter the remains in a cemetery plot. You can inter the remains in a niche or columbarium, or you can keep the ashes at home.  Keepsake urns even enable you to disperse the ashes between several family members, or choose to scatter some and retain a ‘keepsake’ memorial.

Ash scattering is also more common these days and there are many options for how you can create a befitting ash scattering ceremony.

Can I preplan a direct cremation at an affordable cost?

Yes.  You can preplan a simple direct cremation service.  This is generally funded through an insurance product that will cover this cost when the need arises.  All monies are secured in a trust fund.

How quickly can a cremation be performed?

It generally takes a few days to make the necessary arrangements, complete all the legal paperwork and schedule the cremation.  However, expedited services can be arranged if required.  In Texas there is a mandatory 48 hour wait period after death before a cremation can be conducted.

What do I do if I cannot even afford a cremation?

There is very little ‘free’ money to help families with funeral costs.   What is available is constantly changing due to budget constraints, and varies by county.  Some counties do have a provision to assist needy or low-income families.  Contact Tarrant county DFCS to find out what may be available to you locally.

1200 Circle Drive, Suite 200 Fort Worth, Texas 76119 Phone: (817) 531-5620

There is also a $255 lump sum social security death benefit payment if the deceased qualifies, and your funeral director can help you claim this.  So you may find that a low-cost cremation at $755 with DFS Memorials is a dignified, yet affordable, disposition alternative if your family is struggling financially.

 

If you have further questions about cremation, feel free to call us on (817) 369-5240 and we will be happy to try and help you.

*funeral prices obtained from online funeral price survey website March 2018

What do I do with the ashes after a direct cremation?

With more families turning to direct cremation as a simple and affordable cremation solution, we are finding that this question is arising more frequently.  “What shall we do with the cremation ashes?”.  In many cases, the family opted for a direct cremation as they had already decided against interment, and simply wanted to take care of the immediate disposition of their loved one in an inexpensive, ‘no-fuss’ manner.

Opting for a direct cremation does enable family to take care of the immediate need, and requests, to arrange a funeral.  But once the temporary urn is made available for collection, some folks just aren’t sure what the next steps are.

Having a direct cremation does not mean that you cannot memorialize in your own way, and in your own time!  What can you do to memorialize after a direct cremation?

Ash Scattering Memorial

ash scattering An ash scattering is proving a popular choice for families who feel an interment is unnecessary.  Either the deceased specified an ash scattering or families feel that this is a more befitting final rite.

You can choose to scatter all, or just some, of the cremated remains, and there all many options on where and how.  The options include scattering at sea or over water, scattering in a designated memorial garden, scattering from a plane or scattering just about anywhere that you feel is appropriate.  Families often ask about the legalities and permits required for scattering, and it has thus far been something of an ‘un-regulated’ act.  Certain state and public parks may require a permit, but in the main, there are no regulations, just a need to have a regard for other people and the environment.  Cremated remains are organic and sterile, so pose no threat to the environment, but it is important to be mindful of other people and how they feel about this as a final rite.

If scattering at sea EPA regulations do stipulate that a scattering should occur at least 3 nautical miles from the shoreline.  That being said, it is not uncommon for families to choose to do a beach scattering in the surf on a quiet spot of the coastline.

It is important to think and prepare for an ash scattering.  It is final, and there are right and wrong ways of scattering remains.  The wind direction plays a major part.  We all remember that Big Lebowski blow-back moment!  Ensure you, and your assembled party are all standing downwind.

Hold a Memorial Service

You can conduct your own memorial service.  This means you can hold your own service led and directed by the family.  Or you can enlist a person to conduct it for you – a celebrant, minister or friend of the family.  There are again many options in terms of where to conduct a memorial service.  You can hold it anywhere that you feel is appropriate, from at home, to a community center, church, outdoors or golf club!

Inter cremation remains

Of course, you can still choose to inter cremated remains, and more cemeteries are adding columbarium’s to their cemetery estate to accommodate the demand for cremation niches.  The cost to inter a cremation urn is generally cheaper than a body and casket, but there are some quite expensive niches out there as well!

Cemeteries will sometimes facilitate the opening and closing of an existing cemetery plot to add a cremation urn.  The fees for this differ by cemetery.

Create a cremation artifact memorial

Cremation has inspired a new generation of imagination in what we can do with cremation ashes creatively.   The possibilities are almost endless but listed below are some suggestions of artifacts that are made with cremation ashes:

  • Memorial reef
  • Diamond
  • Blown glass
  • Birdbath
  • Vinyl Record
  • Bullets
  • Tattoo

Share cremated remains and create family keepsakes

If you are unsure just what you want to do with the cremation ashes, you can always opt for sharing between family members with keepsake urns. These are generally a set of small urns and come in various designs and selection of quantity.

Cremation Urns

If you are in need of a simple, low-cost direct cremation, DFS Memorials has a network of affordable cremation providers nationwide.  Select your state and city to find your nearest provider.

What can I do with the cremated Remains?

cremated-remainsToday as more families choose cremation as a final disposition option, so more folks consider what they can do with the cremation ashes once they are returned. Typically about 3 to 7 pounds of cremated remains are generated once a person is cremated. Once fully processed by the crematory these cremated remains resemble a gray-like ash compound.

These days more funeral homes are reporting that families are not even collecting their loved ones’ remains, and in fact many funeral homes now include a clause stipulating that they have the right to respectfully scatter any uncollected remains after a period of 90 days has passed.

So what do you do with cremated remains once you have collected them from the funeral home?

Burying cremated remains

cremation nicheMany people choose to bury the cremation urn.  You can purchase a small cemetery plot (usually similar to an infant size), or purchase a cremation niche in a columbarium.  Indeed more cemeteries are adding both columbaria and scattering gardens.

Alternatively, you may choose to inter a cremation urn into an existing grave plot with a loved one already passed.  Cemeteries will charge you an opening and closing fee to do this, but it can be a great way to ensure loved ones are respectfully laid to final rest and provide a common memorial site for future family to visit.

Keeping cremated remains at home on the mantelpiece

This is not for everyone.  In fact, most folks tend to say that they don’t really know what to do with the urn when they bring it home!  An Aunt of mine used the remains of her late husband in his urn as a doorstop for many years.  Now there are so many different cremation urns, even quirky personalized urns, that the choice can be overwhelming!  Keepsake urns (a set of 1 or more small urns into which the cremated remains can be distributed) also mean that family can share out remains between siblings or family members.  However, it seems that more often than not, a cremation urn kept at home may end up in the back of a cupboard!

Scattering cremated remains

Ash scattering is fast becoming a low cost means by which to ‘dispose’ of someone’s mortal remains that can also offer the opportunity to lay someone to rest in a ‘space’ they loved. Cremated remains are basically organic matter and so pose no threat at all to the environment.  In fact, you could actually argue that scattering cremated remains is a symbolic gesture of reuniting one’s mortal matter with the Universe, and could be interpreted as such by the biblical reference of “ashes to ashes, dust to dust”.

As scattering cremation ashes is gaining popularity, we find we are asked more and more frequently as to what laws govern ash scattering.  There is very little legislation and policing of the scattering of ashes, so long as one conducts it with dignity and common-sense.  If scattering on private land you must have the permission of the landowner.  There are some public areas where you do need to gain permission or sometimes even a permit.  However, in the main, you are at liberty to dispose of a loved one’s remains by scattering them to the winds.

There is an array of ash scattering companies today, and you can choose from an aerial scattering over the natural beauty of mountain ranges, scattering at sea off the coastlines and or having a portion of remain blasted into space to be scattered.  The great thing is that there is something to suit every budget and imagination!

Creating cremated remains artifacts

Memory-GlassBeing largely organic matter cremation ashes can be mixed into a variety of compounds to be constructed into memorial artifacts.  The carbon from a person can be used to create a cremation diamond at the cost of around $3,000.  A cheaper option is to use some cremated remains to make hand-blown glass ornaments and jewelry, and prices for this start at around $30.00.  Cremains can be mixed with cement and used to construct birdbaths and garden ornaments, or even made into a memorial reef fixture.

Transporting cremated remains

Mailing cremated remains

You can legally transport cremated remains, either in person, or by United States Postal Service.  The cremated remains must be securely packed and marked as “human cremated remains”.  USPS offers Label 139, so that the package can be clearly identified and tracked, and it has to be shipped by Priority Mail Express Service.  Courier companies such as FedEx or UPS will not ship cremated remains.

Flying with cremated remains

If you opt to fly with cremated remains, you must ensure that you meet the TSA guidelines for traveling with cremated remains.  The remains MUST be in an x-ray friendly container such as cardboard, plastic or wood, and you should carry the supporting documentation such as cremation permit and death certificate.

Other things you can do with cremation ashes

It does not stop at burying, scattering and creating a cremation artifact.  Today there are all sorts of weird and wonderful things you can choose to do with cremated remains including fireworks, vinyl records, gun cartridges and tattoos!  To read more about quirky ash scattering ideas, visit this Ash Scattering Guide.

Cremated remains held until funeral costs paid in full

The funeral industry is experiencing significant change at present as the shift towards cremation destabilizes a business that has been ‘traditional’ for some decades.  Families are leading this change as they demand lower cost funeral services.  Price and cost are now driving purchasing decisions, largely because families are struggling financially, and paying out thousands of dollars for a funeral is just NOT an option anymore!

unclaimed-cremated-remainsIn September 2012 we published a post about how local county social security departments had a rising issue with families failing to collect cremated remains.  The financial hardship that many families are suffering has resulted in an increase in state, or public, funerals.  County Social Services are dealing with more unclaimed bodies of indigents or low income families.

This story from Illinois highlights how the issue of paying for cremation services continues to plague funeral directors.  In this case the funeral director decided to withhold returning the cremated remains to the family until all payments were made in full.  He is effectively ‘ransoming’ the ashes!  Was he wrong to do this?  If you purchase any other consumer item and fail to make the required payments, the item would be re-possessed.  Today if you purchase funeral products you must pay in full when you purchase these items.  Walmart will not dispatch your $995 casket unless you have paid in full.

As we turn to cremation as a nation, the issue of what to do with cremated remains will continue to present challenges.  I often hear individuals claim that they just wish for family to scatter their mortal remains.   But often families either end up with remains sat in the back of a closet undecided about what to do with their loved ones ashes.

Funeral homes are also reporting a growing issue with unclaimed cremated remains, and the problem this presents for them in storing a growing number of cremation urns.  Some funeral homes have combated this by adding a clause to their cremation contract to allow for them to dispose of the cremated remains if they are not claimed within 60 days.

Low cost cremation services adds to this dilemma.  When a family has managed to arrange an inexpensive disposition for just a few hundred dollars, they are less likely to want to incur further funeral costs on elaborate cremation urns.

Inexpensive cremation options generally need to be paid for IN FULL before the direct cremation is conducted.  A budget direct cremation will usually include a temporary cremation urn/container.  This can be a small plastic urn or a cardboard container.

If you are concerned about funeral costs, then a simple direct cremation is the most affordable option.  A direct cremation can be performed in most areas of the United States for between $495 and $1,395 (depending on where you live).

 

What to do with the cremation ashes after your cremation service?

TIME Magazine’s ‘Cremation: The New American Way of Death‘ highlights a very real issue that is a growing concern as more Americans choose cremation as a preferred disposition choice.  What do you do with the ashes?

The cremation rate is now at 42% and it is predicted that by 2017, one in every two Americans will be cremated.  A cremation service offers a simple and much more affordable funeral alternative.  A basic direct cremation service can be conducted in some cities in America for as little as $399*.  For those Americans choosing a cremation service  instead of burial, the decision about what to do with the cremated remains is now proving a growing dilemma.

There are basically 4 main options of what to do with your loved ones’ ashes –

  • Inter the ashes in a niche, columbarium or existing grave site.
  • Store the cremated remains in a cremation urn at home
  • Scatter the ashes in a ‘special’ place
  • Have something personalized done – cremation diamonds, cremation ammunition, or send the ashes to space or to the bottom of the ocean

cremation-urnCremation may be cheaper – but interring cremated remains is not cheap

Interring the ashes is not necessarily a cost friendly option.  It is widely accepted that many Americans are choosing cremation because it is so much cheaper than a traditional burial.  A cremation can cost a quarter of the cost of a traditional funeral.  By opting for cremation you eliminate the need for the expensive cemetery elements – such as a casket, grave liner, cemetery plot and headstone.   The cost to inter cremated remains can still seem expensive though, when it can run to a few hundred dollars, for that budget cremation service  that only cost a few hundred dollars itself!

The funeral industry reports that they have a growing issue with families NOT collecting cremated remains [especially after that quick and low cost direct cremation], and some funeral homes are storing hundreds of unclaimed cremated remains.

Cemeteries are also now dealing with the issue of families scattering remains over an existing grave, rather than pay the large cost to open the grave and inter the remains.

Keeping mortal remains on the mantle can seems gruesome for some!

There have been plenty of spoof movie scenes featuring some catastrophe happening with that ceramic cremation urn over the fireplace holding grandma’s remains.  Meet the Fockers always sticks in my mind – and quite clearly highlights how, culturally, we still find the idea of having the mortal remains of a dearly departed ‘invade’ our living space somewhat macabre.

I have heard stories from families where cremation urns have ended up as door-stops, or been stored away in the back of a cupboard for generations.  Cremation can detach us from the fixed notion of a ‘final resting place’ in the way that a traditional burial ritual did.

It seems that scattering ashes is becoming more popular alongside the trend towards cremation.

 Permits, prohibitions and ‘ash scattering’ police

The legalities of scattering cremated remains are a somewhat complex and as of yet relatively ‘un-policed’ matter.  Interestingly the TIME feature mentions ‘wildcat scattering’ – an activity where relatives scatter the remains of a loved one at a site of their choosing, without gaining any consent.  Apparently Disneyland has an issue with this.

I am quite sure we will see more ‘wildcat scattering’ as more folks choose cremation and decide to opt for a special final resting place for their cremated remains.

Personalized cremation artifacts

Memory-GlassIf money is no object, and you want something quirky and unusual, there are a whole host of possibilities today of what you can do with cremated remains.   With a spare $4,000 you can be turned into a memorial reef at the bottom of the ocean, or with around $3,000 you can be made into a cremation diamond.  If you want something less expensive, you can maybe opt for being made into a birdbath, glass goblets or tattoo!   This article on ash scattering explores quite a few possibilities.

There future of final resting places is certainly changing alongside the trend towards cremation.  In some ways it heralds a complete reinvention of what the notion of a cemetery is in the future.

* Direct cremation prices vary but a basic direct cremation can cost under $500 in areas such as Nevada, Florida and Washington.

Memorializing after the direct cremation

Understanding Direct Cremation Part 4 – Save on your memorialization costs

A direct cremation offers a family the opportunity to ‘simply’ employ the services of a funeral director and/or crematory to conduct the disposition of the deceased.  As mentioned in my earlier posts on Understanding Direct Cremation, it can help the family to arrange a direct cremation at a low cost, and then the family can arrange their own memorial service.

cremation-memorialOnce the direct cremation has been performed and the family have the ashes returned, a memorial service or life celebration service can be held.  This can be held anywhere and does not need to be in a funeral home.  Indeed it can be more befitting and uplifting to hold a memorial service somewhere that is special to the family or the deceased.  It can be held in a place of worship, a community center, a golf course clubhouse or outdoors in a garden or park.  The possibilities are endless!

Some in the funeral industry will have us believe that the ritual of memorialization is integral to how we grieve.  I believe that how everyone handles loss and grieving differs, and that a family are far better equipped to know and commemorate their loved one that has passed.

Some families need a funeral director, a minister or a Celebrant to help them conduct an appropriate and befitting tribute.  However, there is no ‘rule’ that says that this is right for every family.  If you feel you wish to conduct your own personalized memorial service, there are many resources and ideas online to help you.family-led-memorial-service

These days you can quite easily make your own memorial products such as memory tables or boards, memorial candles or balloons, memorial DVD tributes or a dedicated online memorial webpage.  If you are considering scattering some (or all) of your loved ones ashes, there are many creative ways to do so.

Part 6: Death away from home – a direct cremation & shipping cremated remains

[Sara Marsden] Google+

What you need to know to transport cremated remains

shipping-cremated-remainsAs cremation becomes more popular, there is a rising need for people to consider transporting cremated remains.  This can be the case either when someone has died in a different state or country, a cremation has been performed at the place of death, but the ashes need to be returned to the family.  Or in some cases people are opting to distribute the cremated remains between surviving family who may be located across the U.S.

Whatever the circumstances, when a family wish to transport cremated remains,  the questions can often arise as to how best and inexpensively can this be done.  We have outlined below the key information you need to know if you wish to ship cremated remains.

If you are shipping cremated remains through a service you will need to ensure that the correct documentation accompanies the shipment.  A copy of the death certificate and cremation certificate will be required, along with other authorization forms.

Shipping Cremated Remains by U.S. Postal Service

You can send cremated remains by the U.S. Postal service.  You should use register mail with a return receipt, ship by express mail, and ensure you mark the outside of the package as containing ‘cremated remains’.

The extract from the USPS Bulletin 52, governing shipment of cremated remains, states:

“452.2 Cremated Remains

Human ashes are permitted to be mailed provided they are packaged as required in 463b. The identity of the contents should be marked on the address side. Mailpieces must be sent registered mail with return receipt service.

453 Packaging and Marking

The following conditions apply:

….b. Powders. Dry materials that could cause damage, discomfort, destruction, or soiling upon escape (i.e., leakage) must be packed in siftproof containers or other containers that are sealed in durable siftproof outer containers.”

Shipping Cremated Remains with a Courier Service.

Unfortunately, DHL, FedEx and UPS do NOT transport cremated remains at all, so you cannot courier cremated remains to another destination in the U.S. or overseas.

international-shipping-cremated-remainsTransporting Cremated Remains by Air

You also have the option to transport ashes by an airline carrier.  Most airlines offer a freight or cargo service, so this is one option to consider.  You do need to check with the specific airline as regulations that govern the shipping of human remains differs between airlines.  Some airlines require 7 days notice, and of course, you will require certain documentation.  The shipment will need to be marked as “cremated remains”.

Many airlines do allow you to take cremated remains as carry-on luggage.  Again you need to carefully check the guidance with the airline you are traveling with.  The TSA guidelines specify that “passengers transport remains in temporary or permanent ‘security friendly’ containers constructed of light-weight materials such as plastic or wood. Temporary containers can also offer a security friendly means to travel by air with a crematory container.”  If a cremated remains container cannot pass through an x-ray machine with the contents visible, it will not pass the TSA security check.  The official TSA statement is:

“To maintain the highest level of security, TSA determined that documentation from a funeral home about the contents of a crematory container was no longer sufficient to allow the container through a security checkpoint and onto a plane. Since February of this year, all crematory containers must pass through an X-ray machine. If a container is made of a material that prevents screeners from clearly seeing what is inside, the container will not be allowed through the checkpoint. Out of respect for the deceased, screeners will not open a container, even if requested by the passenger.”

Shipping Cremated Remains Internationally

If you need to ship cremated remains internationally, you do just need to check with the embassy in the destination country.  Some countries have specific guidelines about receiving cremated remains and additional import documentation may need to be completed.  Also, some countries have different rules about receiving cremated remains, and a funeral director may be required to take receipt of the ashes before handing them over to a family member.

You should ensure that sufficient time is allowed for legal processes and documentation.  You probably need 2 weeks notice to arrange an international transportation of cremated remains.  A list of U.S. embassies around the world is available here.

Hopefully, this information has answered any questions you had about how to transport your loved ones ashes.  If you have any further questions, feel free to ask us the question.

Ship cremated remains from the United States to anywhere in: the UK, Europe, Mexico, Central America, South America, Middle East and Indian sub-continent.

[Sara Marsden] Google+

 

 

 

‘Holy Smoke’ – Final resting place on the Shooting Range

As cremation becomes more and more popular, new and quirky options for what to do with cremated remains emerge.  We are increasingly turning to innovative alternatives options for ash scattering, rather than interring or storing cremated remains.

If you are wondering what to do with your loved ones cremated remains – Here is one for all those gun-lovers out there.  Those guys and gals who lived for hunting and always preferred being outdoors….now you can have your cremated remains put into shotgun shells or pistol cartridges.  Then you can quite literally go up in ‘holy smoke’!  yeehaw…

I am sure this will appeal to many out there who are still cowboys at heart, however, it is not a budget option for what to do with cremated remains.

Prices start at $850 for a set of ammunition which depends on whether you are a rifle, shotgun or pistol shooter.   Still it could be great fun to gather family and friends together at the shooting range for a spectacular send-off!

Creating your own Memorial Tribute

With cremation becoming more popular these days, it is opening up more options for family to hold their own memorial service or ash scattering ceremony.  If you wish to save costs on the overall expense of a funeral, arranging your own memorial service can certainly help.

A cremation with service from a funeral home can cost you anything upwards of around $2,000  An alternative is to arrange for a simple direct cremation, which should cost around $800-$1000, and then conduct your own memorial service.

You can gather family and friends together at home, or at a special place to the deceased and hold a ‘life celebration’, where family members can share stories.  You can make it as simple, or elaborate as you desire.  Choosing to personalize it as a tribute to the loved one you lost.  Did he or she have a special interest, or quirky hobby, that you can theme your tribute around?

You can make your own ‘Memory Board’ or slideshow, make your own guest book/board for guests to leave a memorial tribute in.  Whether you decide to offer food and drink and go for a party style send-off, or just gather together quietly to pay last respects, YOU are completely in control.

There are so many wonderful ideas of how you can personalize a memorial, and if you do it yourself, then it truly IS personal.

INEXPENSIVE IDEAS FOR A PERSONALIZED MEMORIAL: 

Get everyone to bring something that reminds them of the deceased

Hand everyone some memory seeds to plant

Have a butterfly or Chinese lantern release

Record a memory movie and make copies for everyone gathered

Have a themed event related to the deceased’s life

Create a ‘Memory Tree’

Have a candle-lighting ceremony

Whether you choose to keep or scatter the cremated remains is entirely up to you.  Many people can scatter all the ashes and then regret that they have no ‘physical’ legacy of the deceased, so do no rush to scatter all the ashes unless you are very sure this is for you. (Or, of course, the request of the deceased)   There are a multitude of ideas for how you can inexpensively and imaginatively scatter ashes.

All-in-all, creating your own memorial service can cost you less and prove to be much more personalized.