Whether following the death of a loved one or making funeral arrangements ahead of time, it is natural to have a lot of questions regarding cremation. With the demand for cremation services currently on the rise, more and more families are inquiring about it. And they learn why cremation is so popular these days. Overall, cremation is cost-effective. But not only is it cheaper than purchasing a casket and paying for burial service, it is eco-friendly and safe for the environment too.
When choosing cremation, one of the most overlooked areas is paperwork. Experienced and attentive funeral directors will guide the bereaved through the process, aptly reminding and requesting all the necessary documents for cremation. There are several funeral home documents you will need to review and sign in which you agree to their services, but there are also a few legal documents needed for cremation as well. In fact, there are four: 1) Death Certificate, 2) Authorization for Cremation, 3) Medical Examiner’s Cremation Permit, and 4) Burial Transit Permit. Continue reading to learn more about these documents and where to retrieve them.
Generally, the funeral home you work with will obtain the original death certificate. Then they send it to the certifying physician for him to verify and sign. Once the medical examiner acquires and approves the doctor’s verification and signature, the certificate is then sent to the local vital statistics or registrar’s office where it is given a unique number and an official stamp. For a copy, you can visit your county’s registrar’s office and request a copy of the death certificate. Expect to pay a small fee (Usually between $10 and $40, but prices will vary) and provide identification. But most likely, your funeral home will obtain a copy of the death certificate for you.
Burial Transit Permit
After the death certificate is filled out and approved at the county registrar’s office, the funeral home will then apply for a burial transit permit. This permit legally allows a burial (or disposition) to take place for your loved one. It is applied for at the local registrar’s office, where it is reviewed, approved, and returned to the funeral director.
Medical Examiner’s Cremation Permit
In order for a funeral home to provide cremation service for your loved one, they will need a cremation permit, also called a cremation request permit. The funeral home purchases this permit from the medical examiner’s office and fills it out as needed. If the permit is accurate and complete, the medical examiner’s office signs it and returns it to the funeral home.
Authorization for Cremation
A signed Authorization for Cremation form is needed for a legal cremation, and it must be signed by the deceased’s next of kin. This person is the one responsible for “authorizing”, or giving permission to move forward with cremation. This form is also called a Declaration for Disposition of Cremated Remains form.