I must arrange cremation for elderly relative who passed. Any recommendations?

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My relative did not want any kind of service, and his niche in a chapel in a cemetery is bought and paid for. All that's required is transfer of his body, and cremation, death certificates etc. It's been suggested that sometimes it's less expensive to deal directly with a crematory rather than a funeral home. I would appreciate any advice, especially if anyone has dealt with crematories/funeral homes in the New York City area/ Manhattan. I assume everyone has to be paid up front and won't wait for insurance payments, so I am limited in what I can spend. What should I expect? Thank you.

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Yes, that's true. It all went much more smoothly (so far!) then I thought it would. Thanks for your post!
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Carebill I'm glad you got it arranged. My parents have both prepaid for cremation through a cremation society. When my dad died in skilled, nursing, they called the cremation society and the society (Neptune Society) handled everything. I got his ashes returned to me about a week later. I believe it was about $1,600 here in the Chicagoland area. There's a real peace of mind to know that someone else will handle all of the details when something so sad happens.
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Thank you so much for this detailed information. This afternoon I actually made arrangements and it's all costing less than a thousand dollars, thank goodness. But I do appreciate your taking the time to answer my question and provide so much information. Hopefully others can benefit from it as well. Thanks again.
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State laws rewarding cremation will make a difference in how & the sequencing for things to happen. There seems to be 2 tracks to getting cremation done:
- dealing directly with a crematory only group
- dealing with a FH that also does cremation. For my MIL, the local FH picked up the body and did cremation and BIL picked it up maybe 2 months later. Ran about $ 1,200. This in TX in 2010. Now my recent experience with this for my mom - also in TX - has been in changing her traditional preneed funeral policy and we just switched it to a cremation. Services of FH, funeral director & staff $ 1400 (this includes going to NH and retrieval of the body & taking it to the FH cremation facility); refrigeration of remains $ 300; alternative container (not a casket a specific fiberboard cremation box) $ 225; death certificates (for 12) $ 65 - FH will order them from the state; ME cremation permit $ 25. Remains come to family in a pretty nice heavy duty black & gold box with a TSA approved transportation letter. Urn charges vary - you do not have to buy an urn from the FH per se as you can get the remains in the FH provided box. The FH ones @ the FH well be using for my mom is lot's nicer than the cheap white paper box that MIL went in (like a milk carton).

For urns you can go and get one from Costco (Batesville & the exact same vendor as what FH uses) but you will have to funnel the remains into it on your own - the FH cannot accept outside containers for remains to go into. The FH provided box (at least for the FH we'll be using) is actually pretty nice but we're probably going to buy an container from our local abbey (St Joseph's Abbey in Covington, LA) who makes caskets. Haven't researched those costs yet but their caskets are about 40% less than FH ones & their work is especially beautiful woodwork.

FH gives you a document about what is NOT allowed for remains scattering under state law. There apparently is a metal tag in the remains that ID's it, so they can find you if the tag is found…..

Cremation can't happen till the ME signs off on acceptance of the death certificate that they get from MD (for us it will be mom's hospice MD) and only then does the ME issue the cremation permit. Cremation can take a few days or weeks to be done too if there is a glitch with the permit being issued. All this for TX.
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I've heard some crematories arrange transport, but I will be calling various places over the weekend. Since he died in the VA hospital I've also been given the number of someone to call there on Monday who have give me advice, but if anyone has had personal experience with this I'd love to hear from them. Thanks.
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Call the Funeral Director, because you can't just drive up to a crematory and offload a body. It's a little more complicated than that. You can't just call the paper and publish a death notice either. Same with the niche. You need an urn, you need inscriptions.
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