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 Practical Information For Your Survivors
In addition to pre-planning your funeral, completing a personal information form and giving a copy to your estate trustee, spouse, and children will give you the peace of mind of knowing they will have all the information they need to properly handle your wishes and the details of your estate.
Keep this information safe but don’t put it in your safety deposit box, as these can remain sealed until after the funeral.
In this section, we’ve answered the most common questions we are asked about funeral options. If you require further information, please contact us at any time.
Cremation
Cremation is an alternative to earth burial or mausoleum entombment: it does not limit the funeral in any way. Should you choose cremation, you will still have the same options for memorialization that any other family has. Cremation can take place before or after the funeral service.
A few facts about cremation:
• Cremation cannot occur until there is a signed death certificate by a doctor.
• There is a 24-hour waiting period before cremation. This alleviates misidentification and allows time for the family to reconsider their choices.
• If you choose cremation for your loved one, you can still have a service.
• You have numerous options for the final resting place.
• You can place the cremated remains in a special urn to display at home.
• You can bury an urn in a cemetery, providing a permanent resting place where family and friends can visit.
• You can place a portion of cremated remains in an urn and a portion in a columbarium niche, providing a permanent location where you can pay your respects.
• You can scatter the cremated remains.
• You can keep the urn at home.
What is cremation?
Cremation is a process of reducing the body to bone fragments by applying intense heat for a period of two to three hours. The cremated remains are then removed from the cremation chamber and processed into finer fragments to be placed in a temporary container. They typically weigh between three and six pounds. An urn may be selected for the final disposition of the cremated remains.
Do we need to buy a casket?
Pennsylvania state law requires that at a minimum, the deceased must be placed into a rigid combustible container. Many options of caskets and containers are available to you.
Can we place personal mementos in the casket prior to cremation?
Many personal items may be placed in the casket; however, some items may need to be removed prior to the cremation process. All items left in the casket will be destroyed during the cremation. Your funeral director can advise you on which items may stay and which items must be removed from the casket.
Do we need to have a funeral if we select cremation?
Cremation does not limit the type of funeral service that may be chosen. The same options that apply to earth burial are available with cremation. Some of these choices include casket type, location of the service and visitation, music selection, open casket, and the display of personal mementos. Some families elect to have a complete service at the funeral home or place of worship. Others prefer to have a procession to the crematorium, similar to that often done to the cemetery for an earth burial.
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