When to Schedule a Cremation Service after Death

After the death of a loved one, it can be difficult to know where to begin when arranging their memorial service. You’ll be faced with questions about both their religious and personal wishes, the cost of services, and where to hold them. But one aspect of planning that is often forgotten is scheduling. When should you have a memorial service?

Holding a cremation service instead of a traditional burial service can make scheduling much easier by allowing for greater flexibility in choosing a date to memorialize a departed loved one.

Considering the Legal Issue of the Waiting Period in Massachusetts

If you are considering holding a cremation service for a recently deceased loved one, you must first make sure you are in compliance with your state and local laws. According to Massachusetts state law, the Medical Examiner’s office must approve of a cremation before it can occur. This is because cremation is irreversible and therefore could destroy vital evidence.

However, the Medical Examiner rarely does an autopsy—instead using a visual inspection—and will generally allow the body to be cremated after the minimum of 48 hours has passed after the individual’s death. Beyond that requirement, there is no required time frame in which you must hold your loved one’s services.

Cremation Can Allow for Flexible Arrangements and Services

After the cremation, you are under no obligation or time crunch to hold the memorial service, or scatter or bury the remains. A traditional burial will require you to strictly comply with local ordinances, meaning that the body must be embalmed and buried, in many cases, before you have the time and opportunity to arrange the service your loved one would have wanted.

With a cremation service, you have more time to consider the service on your own time, allowing you and your family to grieve and process your loss as well as plan a meaningful service. For example, if your loved one wanted their ashes scattered at a local park, the flexibility in scheduling a cremation service makes arranging with park authorities (whose permission you will most likely need) allows you to find a mutually agreeable date for the service.

In another example, if your loved one wished to have their ashes scattered at sea, a cremation service gives you the time to hire a suitable boat and select a day with good weather conditions, as well as obtaining permission from your local branch of the EPA.

A Cremation Service Can Be More Accommodating

While a burial often requires a prompt service soon after a loved one’s passing, a cremation service can accommodate family members and friends who might need to travel. This is especially important if people are traveling from across the country or from other countries altogether.

If you believe that the flexibility of a cremation service would honor the memory of your loved one best and would enable you to bring as many people together in memorial, contact Boston Cremation. We’ve proudly served the families of Massachusetts since 1910 and continue to provide worry-free, direct cremation services that are both affordable and easy to arrange. Call us today at 781-322-0909.

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