Direct Cremate

How Cremains Are Identified

Will you receive the correct cremains? Find out what steps crematoriums take to make sure a family gets the cremains of their loved one.
How Cremains Are Identified
Man sitting and looking at funeral urn at home.

Families that have never used cremation before have many questions about how cremation works. Some families are genuinely concerned they may receive the wrong cremains. We’re here to ease your fears by providing some information on how crematoriums keep track of everything so that you don’t end up with a stranger’s cremains. 

Documentation for Identification

During your first conversation with the crematorium, the funeral director will discuss the documentation that’s required to perform a cremation. No crematorium will move forward with taking possession of a body without having certain paperwork in hand first because it is illegal. Part of the reason documentation is required upfront is to ensure a body is properly identified and the death is recorded.

The documents that are typically needed before a cremation can proceed include:

  • Death certificate that’s signed by a medical examiner, coroner or doctor (cause of death does not need to be noted).
  • Form of identification for the deceased.
  • Cremation authorization form signed by the next of kin.
  • Transportation authorization for the crematorium to take possession of the body.
  • Finalized funeral home contract that includes personal details about the deceased. 

The crematorium will also use chain of custody documents throughout the cremation process, which the family may receive along with the cremains. 

Verifying the Identity of the Individual

All of the information that’s gathered in the paperwork helps to identify the individual before transport to the crematorium. Using that information and a picture ID along with identification provided by the facility where the body is held, we are able to ensure it’s the correct person. Photo ID is also used just before cremation to make sure the right body is being cremated.

Tagging for Tracking Throughout the Cremation 

Once the identification has been verified the crematorium can take possession of the body. The first thing the crematorium representative will do is use a unique metal tag as a form of ID. The cremation ID tag, as it’s known, is a metal disc with an identifier on it. The identifier can be a unique number, name, date of birth, date of death or a combination of these. 

The cremation ID tag is attached to the body, and remains there all the way through the cremation. The tag remains intact and is kept with the cremains. The family should receive the cremation ID tag with the cremains to verify they are the correct cremains.

At Direct Cremate we take every precaution to ensure proper identification before taking possession of a body. Every step of the way identification is used so that you know you are receiving the correct cremains.