Frequently Asked Questions
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Cremation is a process that uses extreme heat to reduce the body to ashes and bone fragments.
Human populations have used cremation to care for their dead for centuries, and today's technological advances have made cremation a cleaner, more environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional burial.
Not to mention it's one-third or less, the cost of a traditional burial.
Cremation simplifies the choices a family would be required to make for a traditional funeral service at an already difficult time.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, cremation is a noun and means "the disposal of a dead person's body by burning it to ashes, typically after a funeral ceremony."
“Direct Cremation” is an industry term that often confuses consumers.
Even so, the concept of Direct Cremation is very simple.
Direct Cremation means cremation without a viewing or funeral service before cremation.
Of course, nothing is preventing a family from having a memorial service, celebration of life or funeral service before cremation, just without the deceased present.
So, when a funeral or cremation service provider tries to make it seem like they are doing something special or unusual by using the words “direct cremation”, call them out.
They are merely using a complicated term for cremation which is the simplest service provided.
Historically, an organized group of individuals who wanted to be cremated was known as a cremation society. The individuals pooled their financial resources in a cooperative that acted in the best interests of their members.
However, today the largest companies that call themselves a "cremation society" are nothing more than for-profit companies that exploit the word "society" to appear as membership organizations.
Do not be fooled…they aren't. The vast majority of cremation societies are simply corporate entities that pretend to be membership organizations.
A direct cremation is the least expensive cremation service you can opt for. Sunshine Cremation offers cremation packages you can choose from.
The term "direct cremation" refers to where there is no embalming, no ceremony, and no services offered by the funeral home or crematory.
Individual charges that make up the final cremation cost can include:
- Collection of deceased from the place of death
- Basic services of funeral director and staff to file necessary paperwork and permits
- Temporary storage
- An alternative cremation container
- Transportation of the deceased to the crematory
- Fees that may be charged by the crematory for the cremation process.
Other additional expenses could be:
- Collection from a residential address as opposed to a hospital, morgue, or nursing home.
- Barometric charges if the deceased is overweight.
- Selection of a cremation urn
No, you do not require a casket for cremation.
Most state laws stipulate that an 'alternative container' is required. This can be any rigid, combustible container.
Both have their pros and cons. The decision that you choose will come down to what's right for you and your family.
- One-third, or less, the cost of a traditional burial. There is no requirement for a casket purchase, embalming, burial plot, or other additional expenses.
- Environmentally friendly.
- Is portable. Cremains can be transported via an urn or other container which can be taken with you should you relocate.
- It provides more time for families to decide what to do with the ashes after cremation. Ideas include scattering land or sea, internment, and cremation jewelry, are just a few.
- Usually an acceptable option for a wide range of beliefs among family members.
- It provides a burial place for the family to visit.
- A graveside funeral can be very comforting and emotionally satisfying for family and friends.
Because cremation is irreversible, there are several safeguards in place to insure that a cremation is not performed prematurely.
The State of Florida requires a mandatory 48 hour waiting period from the time of death before cremation can be performed.
The Certifying Physician has 72 hours to complete, sign and return the medical certification to the funeral home.
The Medical Examiner then must review the medical certification. Once reviewed and signed off on, they will issue the cremation permit.
A certified death certificate is an official document which records the date and specific circumstances of a person's death.
Florida also has two formats for a Death Certificate:
- Long Form – Lists Cause of Death
- Short Form – Omits Cause of Death
Who will need a death certificate?
- Probating estates
- Insurance claims
- Social Security
- Veterans' benefits
- Retirement benefits
- Banks and other financial services companies
How many death certificates do I need?
- This will depend on your individual situation. It's a good idea to obtain at least two (2).
- Some organizations will not accept a photocopy: they will want an original document.
Sunshine Cremation staff will assist you in obtaining any requested certified copies of death certificates or you can order online via the Vital Check website.
Keep At Home
- Keep your loved ones with you. Sunshine Cremation provides a Free Premium Urn so you know your loved one is always safe.
- Incorporating the loved one's ashes in jewelry is comforting. It allows you to keep your loved one close to you even after their death.
Place In A Columbarium
- The remains can be placed in a columbarium niche, often located in a mausoleum within a cemetery.
Bury In A Cemetery
- You could choose earth burial in either a regular grave or in a special urn section is a cemetery.
- You can either choose to scatter on land or scatter at sea.
Notify Social Security
- You may be eligible to receive Social Security death benefits.
- Contact SSN by calling 1-800-772-1213, www.socialsecurity.gov or visit your local Social Security office.
Credit Reporting Agencies
- Minimize the chance of identify theft by providing copies of the death certificate to the three major firms as soon as possible. Ask for the account to be flagged as: "Deceased. Do Not Issue Credit."
- Equifax 1-888-548-7878
- Experian 1-888-397-3742
- TransUnion 1-800-916-8800
Terminate Insurance Policies
- Life Insurance
Close The Following
- Bank Accounts - will need to bring original copy of death certificate
- Safety Deposit Boxes - will need to bring original copy of death certificate
- Investment Accounts - will need to bring original copy of death certificate
- Credit Card Accounts - change or reestablish join accounts
- Cell Phone - turn off
- Internet / Cable - turn off or change account information
- DMV - change title to cars or other vehicles. Do the same for watercraft with the appropriate agency.
There is no deadline for ordering Death Certificates.
Death Certificates that do not contain the cause of death can be ordered by anyone and are a matter of public record. Death Certificates that contain the cause of death can only be ordered by certain close family members and professionals.
At Sunshine Cremation, the cost of the first two death certificates is $0 (assuming we are the cremation services provider) and $10 for each additional death certificate.
Sunshine Cremation believes in providing value to its customers.
We do not offer a cheap cremation but rather provide a range of services and value, at a cost that is unmatched by other Florida cremation providers.
The cremation process is straightforward. It takes approximately 7 to 10 days.
The majority of the time required is waiting for the state and county to authorize cremation. This authorization is provided directly to Sunshine Cremation and is in the form of a permit that we pay for.
It is important to note that a fundamental difference between Sunshine Cremation and virtually all of the other companies in South Florida is Sunshine Cremation pays for the cost of the required permits, often called the Medical Examiner Permit Fee, while other funeral homes and cremation providers pass the cost of this permit onto their families.
The actual cremation process takes place in a cremation chamber, also known as a retort. The deceased is placed in a cremation container, which is in turn inserted in the cremation chamber.
The cremation chamber is very hot and burns all of the carbon and water-based material. What remains after a few hours is bone, which is calcium-based and generally does not burn.
The cremains are placed in a machine and ground into fine material, i.e., the cremains are converted into a fine ash.
Cremains are then placed in an urn, and the urn is delivered to the family.
Cremation ashes for each individual are carefully handled and never mixed with other people's cremation ashes.
No. Sunshine Cremation Services does not offer or provide funeral services.
However, Sunshine Cremation Services has a funeral home sister company that provides funeral services and will honor any price quote offered by Sunshine Cremation Services. We can refer you to our sister company, which is a funeral home if you would like a funeral service followed by cremation.
The cost of cremation is much less than the cost of burial. At Sunshine Cremation, the cost is $1,295 for an at-need complete cremation plan (including all costs and fees, two death certificates, and the family's choice of a premium urn).
Our prepaid cremations start at $1,495.
These "all-in" charges compare favorably to the average cremation cost in Florida and the average cremation cost nearby.
The cost of cremation at Sunshine Cremation Services is a very affordable cremation service.