Frequently Asked Questions
- What options are available if I want to honor my loved one with a ceremony and I’ve chosen cremation?
- Can I have both a funeral service where the body is available for viewing and cremation services?
- How are the remains presented to my family?
- When is embalming required?
- Does the deceased person remain clothed?
- If my loved one had a medical device, such as a pacemaker, implanted what happens to it?
- Do I have to call a funeral home at the time of death if my loved one desires cremation?
- What Happens at the Crematory?
- What Steps are Involved in the Cremation Process?
- Who Has to Sign the Cremation Authorization?
- Does Cremation Require Any Legal Documents?
- How do I obtain Death Certificates?
- Why are more and more people choosing cremation – is it because it costs less than a funeral?
- Who notifies Social Security?
What options are available if I want to honor my loved one with a ceremony and I’ve chosen cremation?
With cremation, you can have a public or private visitation prior to the cremation. You might also hold a memorial service at a religious institution or at the cremation provider’s facility, and whether you use the remains after cremation is your choice. This service can be delayed indefinitely, which gives friends and family members the time to accommodate this change in their own lives. Sometimes, churches and retirement communities handle these situations without any assistance from the cremation service provider. Other options include graveside services at the cemetery or, for very personal situations, a scattering ceremony. Call Aria at 1-800-238-2742 to speak with a highly trained professional about planning and customizing a memorial service for your loved one.
Can I have both a funeral service where the body is available for viewing and cremation services?
This type of service can happen. In this case, the deceased individual is embalmed and put into a ceremonial casket. The full funeral can be held, and you don’t have to deal with the additional expense of purchasing a vault or casket.
How are the remains presented to my family?
The remains are presented to your family after they are placed in the urn of your choosing. Cremated remains fill the equivalent space as that of a large dictionary, or a 6x6x6-inch box. If your family does not choose an urn the remains will be returned in a simple black box. This container is temporary and is not recommended for permanent storage of the remains.
When is embalming required?
Legally speaking, the State of Texas never requires embalming. This practice is only used when a public viewing is held, or if a funeral service is held with the body present.
Does the deceased person remain clothed?
This is actually done at the discretion of the family. Some families choose to have their loved one cremated with special clothing, such as a military uniform or scholastic robe.
If my loved one had a medical device, such as a pacemaker, implanted what happens to it?
Prior to cremation, medical devices are separated from your loved one’s body, as they have the risk of exploding. Large fragments of metal are removed from your loved one’s ashes after cremation. These items are discarded.
Do I have to call a funeral home at the time of death if my loved one desires cremation?
You do need to call a funeral home. You can call Aria at 1-800-238-2742, and we will handle all of the details. We also have a secure server that you can login to so you can arrange the details of your loved one’s cremation from the comfort of your own home. You only have to leave your home if you choose a memorial or funeral service. We’ve spent months of time researching and customizing this process to be as easy for you as is possible.
What Happens at the Crematory?
We place the deceased individual in a combustible alternative container. He or she is kept in refrigerated storage until the time for cremation comes. After cremation, the remains go through a pulverization process and are placed in the appropriate storage container. We offer a number of different urns and keepsakes to give your loved one the honor and respect he or she deserves. The cremated remains can be delivered directly to your home, or they can be received at the funeral home.
What Steps are Involved in the Cremation Process?
After important statistical data is received from the family, a death certificate is signed and certified by the attending physician. After the document is signed, the medical examiner reviews the document, and then a cremation permit is issued. Both the cremation permit and the signed death certificate are presented to the local registrar, who then issues a burial transit permit. It typically takes 7 days or more to complete the entire process.
Who Has to Sign the Cremation Authorization?
- The deceased individual, who can issue such authorization through a will or written instrument they sign and acknowledge
- Any individual identified in an “Appointment of Agent of Remains” form that is also signed by the deceased person
- The surviving spouse of the deceased individual
- Surviving adult children of the deceased person
- The surviving parents of the deceased person
- The decedent’s surviving adult siblings
- Any adult who is in the next degree of kinship to be named by law to inherit the estate of the deceased individual
Does Cremation Require Any Legal Documents?
Yes, it requires the following documents:
- The next of kin must sign an “Authorization for Cremation” form
- Attending physician signs the death certificate
- The medical examiner must sign a “Cremation Permit”
- A local registrar signs the “Burial Transit Permit”
How do I obtain Death Certificates?
Our staff will assist you in obtaining any required Certified Copies of Death Certificates. Death Certificates are available through the Vital Statistics office of the county in which the death occurred. The original death certificate form originates in our office and is then sent to the certifying physician for completion. As soon as the death certificate is certified by the physician and approved by the Medical Examiner, it is delivered to the local Vital Statistics office where it is officially filed. After it is filed, the Vital Statistics office will provided certified copies of the death certificate. The state of Texas charges a $21 fee for the first certified death certificate and $4 for each additional certified death certificate. Normally, the certified copies that you request will be sent directly to ARIA from the Vital Statistics office and ARIA will release them to you.
Why are more and more people choosing cremation – is it because it costs less than a funeral?
Cremation does cost 20% less than the typical burial, but many surveys have shown people are choosing cremation services for other reasons, such as:
- The simplicity and dignity of the services
- Environmental factors
- Flexibility offered when it comes to planning the ceremony and the disposition of the remains
Who notifies Social Security?
We will send the initial death notification to Social Security. When a death occurs, Social Security must be notified. We will send the initial notification of death to the local SSA office (SSA Form 721) to inform them of the death. We then encourage the family to call Social Security at their earliest convenience to determine if benefits will need to be returned to Social Security and if the survivor qualifies for any Survivor Benefits from Social Security. For more information on this subject, you may wish to visit the Social Security Administration website.