Choosing a cremation service is a big decision to make. Before committing to a provider, you have the right to ask questions to ensure you’re loved one will be cared for and that you are receiving the best value within your price range.
Many families don’t understand the options they have when they select cremation, and may forget about important details like visitations, memorials, urns and other keepsakes. Some providers use this knowledge gap to their advantage to cut corners and hide costs. This can make families feel regretful at a time when they are already coping with grief.
To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, continue reading to learn the four most important questions you should ask before committing to a service.
Related Resource: Downloadable checklist, 13 Questions to Ask Your Cremation Provider.
1. What Services Are Included?
Not all cremation providers are the same when it comes to pricing and packages. Ask your provider to thoroughly explain how they price their services and what is included within each price range. The Funeral Rule is a law that requires funeral homes to offer clear pricing for consumers. Ask for a copy of their price list to see what you’re paying for.
You should also ask your provider if they have a remembrance center where you can browse urns, keepsakes, caskets and other personalization items for sale. Keep in mind that if you’re working with a stand-alone crematory, instead of a funeral home, your options will be limited.
2. How Will My Loved One Be Taken Care Of?
If you’re coordinating final arrangements through a funeral home, ask them if they have an on-site crematory. Most funeral homes work with third-party providers and temporarily transfer your loved ones into their care.
If the funeral home outsources their cremations, or if you’re working with a stand-alone crematory, you need to find out where your loved one will be transferred to and how they will be returned. In some cases, families have had their loved one’s cremated remains returned in a cardboard box.
You should also ask if you can tour the cremation facility to ensure it is clean and well maintained. Also, make sure the provider explains how your loved one will be identified to ensure the right cremains are returned.
3. What Are My Options For a Gathering?
Consider the type of gathering your family wants to have. The type of remembrance service you select affects your options during the cremation process.
If your loved one chooses to have a funeral service, ask about renting a casket. For a memorial service with cremated remains present, ask your provider if they have an area where you can hold a service after the cremation.
Even if your family selects a simple cremation with no memorial or visitation, ask if you can be present when the cremation takes place. Some providers offer a waiting room for families.
Consider what your loved one wants as their final resting place, and ask your provider what options they provide. Not all providers offer what you’re looking for, so asking questions up-front will help you make the right selection.
4. Do They Have Testimonials?
Reading testimonials will help you become more confident in your final decision. What other families say about their experience can give you some valuable insight.
Your provider should have printed materials or testimonials on their website. If not, perform a quick Google search for reviews on your cremation provider before making your final decision.
Asking these series of questions will help you find the best, most reputable provider in your area and budget. Remember that if your provider cannot answer these questions, they may not be the best option.
Don’t forget any important questions! Download our free checklist, 13 Questions to Ask Your Cremation Provider and take it with you when you meet with potential servicers. This will ensure you have peace of mind that loved one is in good care.
Image Credit: Death to the Stock Photo.