Delays in the Cremation Process

Handling funeral and cremation arrangements is a stressful process for families. Grieving family members must make important decisions with permanent consequences when the deceased has not already made arrangements. Even when the process goes smoothly, it is stressful for the bereaved. If there are delays, the funeral process can become a nightmare. Understanding frequent causes of delays in the cremation process helps families avoid these common issues and helps the cremation process proceed smoothly – reducing stress at a time when family members are already burdened with grief.

Some States Require a Waiting Period

Some states require a waiting period between the time of death and the time that cremation can occur. Texas, for example, has a 48-hour waiting period. Illinois has a waiting period of 24 hours. These waiting periods are typically based on the amount of time it takes to issue a death certificate or complete other required authorizations. Contact us to determine whether a state-mandated waiting period will delay cremation.

The crematorium needs the death certificate before cremation can occur, so the cremation facility must receive a signed and certified death certificate. It is not uncommon for death certificates to be delayed, thus delaying cremation. Follow up with the issuing doctor to expedite this process. Many states also have regulations governing or restricting the issuance of a death certificate if there is any question about cause of death, leading to delays in the issuing of a death certificate – and delays in cremation.

Next of Kin Must Sign Documents or Make Decisions

When cremation facilities wait for family members or next of kin to sign documents or make decisions, cremation is delayed. Next of kin must typically sign cremation authorization forms before a cremation can occur, and delays in reaching these individuals or receiving signed paperwork delays cremation. While grieving is difficult, family members and next of kin must ensure they’re reachable or give instructions to a trusted individual on how to reach them until all cremation paperwork is complete.

Delays in Transporting Remains Lead to Cremation Delays

Transport of remains causes delays in the cremation process. With a direct cremation, remains are transferred from the place of death or the coroner’s office to the crematorium. When a funeral or viewing takes place prior to cremation, the remains may be transported to multiple locations including the preparation site, the funeral home, and the cremation facility. Additionally, it’s not uncommon to encounter delays when remains must be transported across state lines. Any delays transporting the remains lead to cremation delays.

Delays in the cremation process add stress to an already emotional time. Families should do what they can to mitigate these common causes of cremation delays or work with a trusted cremation provider who helps guide the process, smooth delays, and reduce stress during this critical time.