You’re probably already aware that you need a death certificate to prove a loved one has died. You may even know that a cremation authorization form must also be on record in order to cremate. But what about after the cremation is done? Is there documentation to note the completion of the cremation?
It turns out there is something called a cremation certificate to serve that purpose. It’s an important document that all families need to be aware of and make sure they receive.
What’s on a Cremation Certificate?
There’s a lot of documentation connected to a death. Each document serves a specific purpose, and the same is true for cremation certificates. A cremation certificate (certificate of cremation) serves to verify that the cremation occurred. It’s basically proof that the cremation authorization was carried out as expected.
The certificate of cremation will note:
- The deceased’s name
- Any unique ID that was used for identifying cremains
- The date of the cremation
- Information about the crematorium or funeral home
- The deceased’s next of kin
- Crematorium official’s signature
A cremation certificate provides the family with peace of mind because it serves as proof that the disposition occurred, and it was done correctly.
Are Funeral Homes Required to Provide Cremation Certificates?
You’ll need to check local and state regulations, but in almost all instances the funeral home is going to be required to produce a cremation certificate. It’s a part of the standard procedures for tracking cremation activity.
All of the information should be checked by the family to make sure it’s accurate. If not, the crematorium should be contacted immediately. Usually if a problem occurs it’s because the wrong cremation certificate and cremains were received or a certificate was paired with the wrong cremains. While this can be devastating and cause the family to question the process, it shouldn’t be an indicator that the cremation itself was done incorrectly. It’s most likely an honest mix up, and correcting it should be a simple matter of the crematorium sending along the right certificate of cremation and/or cremains.
Also, don’t confuse the death certificate with the cremation certificate. They are two different documents that are both required. The death certificate precedes everything else because it’s the first official documentation a person has died. The death certificate is needed to arrange services and get approval for the cremation. You can think of it like this: a death certificate starts the cremation process, and the cremation certificate is the last step that officially ends it.
There are also cremation certification programs that serve a very different purpose and shouldn’t be mistaken for a cremation certificate.
Have other questions about the documentation that’s required for cremation? We can fill you in on all of the forms that must be submitted and received for a cremation to be performed. Call or text us any time!