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Cremation Questions to Ask

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Whatever your motivation is in considering cremation, it is important that you are well informed regarding the cremation process so that your wishes and concerns are adequately represented now and in the future.

But many individuals are unclear about how to go about arranging cremation services. There is a lot of information available online from some reputable state and national associations. These are good places to start. But because not all funeral homes or crematories operate the same way, make sure you get clear answers to these seven questions once you are ready to sit down and discuss arranging cremation services.

1.) What happens with my loved one once they are taken into the care of the funeral home?
Upon arrival at the funeral home personal identification is placed with each deceased. This is done to assure that we take the correct remains to the crematory.

2.) Who owns the crematory?
The state of Michigan prohibits funeral homes from owning a crematory. Since 1993 The Schrader-Howell Funeral has trusted the Santeiu Family who owns and operates Southern Michigan Services, to provide all our cremations. We use Southern Michigan Services because they use extreme care and professionalism in their facility.

3.) Where will the cremation occur?
Southern Michigan Services is located Livonia, only a few miles from the funeral home.

4.) Does the funeral home witness the cremation process?
WE NEVER cremate anyone without first scheduling an appointment with the crematory. Unlike most funeral homes we will never "drop off' a decedent at the crematory, placing him or her in line with the rest to be cremated. Because all of our cremations are by appointment, as soon as we get the crematory, we present the crematory operators with the necessary authorizations, and then immediately help place the decedent into the retort door, and start the cremation process.

5.) Can a family member witness the cremation?
Families are welcome and encouraged to witness the cremation process. Southern Michigan Services offers a family witness room, which is designed and built as a comfortable setting for those families choosing to witness cremation. Witnessing and understanding cremation may help families through the grieving process while assisting in providing closure.

6.) When will my loved ones cremated remains be returned the funeral home?
Once the cremation is complete and the cremated remains have been properly processed at the crematory, we will personally retrieve your loved one's cremated remains from the crematory and bring them directly to the funeral home. We will not allow the crematory operators to put your loved one's cremated remains in a delivery van alongside many other sets of cremated remains as they make deliveries to various other funeral homes.

7.) How are the cremated remains returned to the next of kin?
Once your, loved one's cremated remains have been returned to the funeral home by a staff member, we will than contact the next of kin who has been appointed to receive the cremated remains. We will than ask that individual sign a form indicating that they have custody of the cremated remains. We can also hold the cremated remains at "no charge" at the funeral home until the family is ready to receive them.


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