Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Cremation

  • What is cremation?

Cremation is the combustion, vaporization and oxidation of a body back to basic elements.

  • Can you bury an urn in cemetery?

Yes. Contact the cemetery of your choosing to obtain the information needed for burial.

  • Are cremated remains sterile?

Yes. Any bacteria or microscopic organisms that were present in the body are destroyed during the cremation process.

  • Can you transport cremated remains by air?

Most airlines will allow you to transport cremated remains as carry-on. You should check with the airline to obtain their policies and procedures on traveling with cremated remains. Also, you will want to review TSA requirements. For international travel, each country has its own rules and regulations. Contact the Embassy or Consulate for each country you will be traveling to or from with the cremated remains. Working with a funeral home or company that specializes in the shipment of human remains is advisable. Arrive early in order to pass through security clearance and carry with you the certificate of cremation and any other relevant documents.

  • Can you ship cremated remains?

Yes. The only way you can legally ship cremated remains is through the United States Postal Service. For specific requirements, visit

  • Is DNA still retrievable from cremated remains?

No. Temperatures range from 1400-1800 degrees Fahrenheit in the cremation chamber and any of the organic compounds, which contain the nucleotides to derive viable strands of DNA necessary to perform the test, are destroyed.

  • Do cremated remains pose any kind of health hazard?

No. During the cremation process, cremated remains are purified and are essentially sterile in themselves.

  • Do laws regarding cremation vary from one state to another?

Yes. For a look at the cremation laws in Arizona, visit

  • Can two human cremations be done at the same time?

No. It is illegal to cremate more than one body at the same time in the same cremation chamber.

  • What are “cremains”?

This is another word for “cremated remains” or “ashes”.

  • How can I be sure I’ve received the correct cremated remains?

A set of operating procedures and policies known as the chain of custody are processes designed to reduce or eliminate human error while providing the client with the highest level of service. Call the funeral home to explain this process to you.

  • Can I take the cremated remains of my loved one home?

Yes. Cremated remains are placed in a plastic bag and may be transferred to another container or urn of your choice.

  • If I am cremated, can I be buried with my spouse even if he or she was in a casket?

Contact the cemetery for their policies on burying cremated remains.

  • Can extremely overweight people be cremated?

Yes. You will incur additional costs for the cremation which will run $100-$500 more than a standard cremation.

  • Can I watch the cremation?

Yes. Most providers will allow you to witness the cremation of your loved one for an additional fee. An appointment time to conduct the cremation will have to be scheduled.

  • Why is refrigeration of the remains necessary prior to cremation?

Refrigeration of the body is a temporary means of preventing it from decomposing until the cremation can take place.

  • What do “ashes” or cremated remains look like?

Cremated remains have the appearance and consistency of coarse sand and are whitish in color.

  • How long does it take to cremate a body?

It can take anywhere from one to three hours to completely cremate the human body. Weight, size, percentage of body fat to muscle mass, cremation container, and the efficiency, performance and temperature of the cremation equipment are all factors when cremating a human body.

  • How hot does the cremation chamber get?

The cremation chamber maintains temperatures between 1400 to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit during the cremation process.

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