Sponsored By: McAlister-Smith Funeral & Cremation
Between 2000 and 2015, the cremation rate in the U.S. almost doubled. The Cremation Association of North America projects the cremation rate will reach 54.3 percent by 2020 – up from 48.6 percent in 2015.
If you are considering cremation, it is important to get all the facts when you are planning ahead.
“Cremation still requires the same kind of planning and forethought as a traditional burial,” explains Dana Madanski, Director of Marketing at McAlister-Smith Funeral & Cremation.
“People will say to me, ‘I just want to be cremated.’ To me, that makes them sound less important than someone who chooses burial,” she says. “It is important to understand that the funeral home does not decrease the level of professional services provided when someone chooses cremation. Our staff delivers the same level of commitment to each family we serve, no matter which option they choose.”
When determining your wishes, keep your loved ones’ healing in mind. After all, the services you plan will play a critical part in their grief process.
Here are three questions to consider when working with your funeral home to plan a cremation for yourself or a loved one:
1. Can I still have a visitation service and a funeral?
Absolutely. You can choose to have a visitation and funeral before the cremation or after. If you’re choosing cremation for yourself, think about how important a funeral service will be to your loved ones. They may want an opportunity to celebrate your life with songs and treasured memories. Don’t assume that being cremated means you can’t give your family an opportunity to say good-bye.
When you choose cremation, you have the option to have a memorial service a few weeks or months later to accommodate family and friends who live out of state and cannot travel immediately.
2. Where will your final resting place be?
Cremation offers more options and flexibility. You may choose to have your remains returned to your family, scattered in the ocean, buried in a cemetery or turned into a piece of jewelry. It’s important to think about this in advance so you can share your wishes with your family members and add it to the plan you create with the funeral home.
Be sure to work closely with your funeral planner to ensure you’re complying with any regulations about scattering remains, especially in public locations like parks and beaches.
3. Can I authorize my cremation in the advance?
Rules vary from state to state, but in South Carolina, a person can sign an authorization form informing the funeral home and your family of your wishes to be cremated. The funeral director will keep this with your funeral plan.
“Signing this authorization form in advance can save your loved ones the effort of making that decision later on,” Madanski says. Without it, the funeral home may need to spend time locating family members to sign the authorization, causing undue stress and, sometimes, additional emotional distress.”
Therefore, it is important to talk with your family members in advance to share your wishes and why you selected cremation as an option. You don’t want them to be caught off guard, especially when they are grieving a loss.
McAlister-Smith Funeral & Cremation has been a trusted name in the Lowcountry for funeral and cremation services for more than a century. With a long history of caring, personalized services and a commitment to families, the team at McAlister-Smith honors tradition while embracing the industry changes. Stop by one of their four convenient, state-of-the-art locations to get a new perspective on what a funeral home can provide.
For more information about cremation services, visit McAlister-Smith.com or call (843) 722-8371.
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