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When Will My Loved One’s Cremated Remains Be Ready?

If your family has chosen to cremate a loved one, you're probably wondering what the timeline will look like. Here's when their cremated remains will be ready.
Green Cremation Texas Cremation Process
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Are you planning a memorial service for your departed? Do you need to know when to pick up your loved one’s cremated remains?

If so, the cremation process can take up to two weeks. If you’re out of state, Texas requires a holding period before the cremation process takes place. 

Further, the doctor must submit the death certificate to the funeral home. After cremation, the funeral home processes the death certificate with the local county. The actual cremation will take less than a day, and you’ll receive the urn shortly thereafter.

This article will reveal how long it takes to cremate a body in Texas. Let’s explore. 

Texas Holding Period

From beginning to end, the cremation process can take anywhere from 3 to 15 days. However, the actual process depends on state guidelines. Texas requires some additional steps before you receive your loved one’s remains. 

  • Example: In Texas, your loved one cannot be cremated within 48 hours after death. In special cases, cremation can only take place if a Justice of the Peace or a medical examiner grants a waiver. Overall, at least 48 hours must pass before the cremation process can take place.

Texas imposes a waiting period due to the finality of the cremation process. However, the 48-hour waiting period isn’t the sole reason behind cremation delays. 

Shifting Paperwork

Doctors must complete the medical certification process before cremation occurs. Doctors typically have five days to complete the certificate. This process can be fraught with delays. 

In some cases, doctors may not move as swiftly as loved ones want them to. 

Moreover, all doctors must certify death certificates online in Texas. However, not all doctors adhere to the law. In this case, the doctor must sign the certificate in printed form.

Then, the document must go to the funeral home. After, the funeral home will submit the documentation to the County.

  • Note: Doctors often make mistakes on death certificates. Therefore, the County may reject any certificate containing errors, resulting in more delays. If this occurs, the doctor must correct the mistake and resubmit the certificate. 

If delays occur, rely on your funeral home to smooth out the situation.

The surviving next of kin must also sign a cremation acknowledgment. Texas law gives a person a “Right to Control Disposition.” This duty allows a person to make the final burial arrangements. 

A person will have this authority in the following order: 

  1. A person designated by the decedent in a written statement 
  2. The decedent’s surviving spouse
  3. The decedent’s surviving children
  4. The decedent’s surviving parent
  5. The decedent’s surviving siblings
  6. Administrators or executors of the decedent’s estate
  7. Any surviving kin set to inherit the estate

However, complications may arise if family members disagree over the disposition order. Additionally, some family members may disagree with cremation.

Arguments can cause extensive delays. Without delays, this phase can last anywhere from one to seven days. 

Steps Taken Before Cremation

Before cremation begins, the funeral home staff members will drive to the location of your loved one. The funeral home will then transport your departed to the funeral home. The transportation process will usually take one day.

The next step is the arrangement phase. The best funeral homes provide online permits and paperwork to expedite the process. In the meantime, the funeral home will hold your loved one until everyone completes the documentation.

This phase usually lasts between two to four days. 

The Cremation Process

The actual cremation process can take around a few hours. After officials filed the paperwork, the funeral home will commence the cremation. The paperwork is officially filed when funeral home workers move your loved one to a funeral home.

The preparation process requires removing all items from the deceased, including implants or pacemakers. The actual cremation process will take two hours.

In some cases, cremation can last until the heating chamber reduces the deceased to ashes. The following factors can prolong the process:

  • The weight of the deceased
  • Muscle-fat ratio
  • Cremation temperature
  • Cremation equipment

Then, officials allow the ashes to cool for around 30 minutes. From there, funeral home staff members usually inspect the ashes for metal fragments using a magnet.

Further, workers will place the ashes in a grinder that turns the larger bone fragments ashes into dust. Finally, funeral home operators will place the remains in a container for loved ones to pick up.

The funeral home will also provide urns for the cremated remains. After, the county will process the death certificate request from the funeral home. After this occurs, the funeral home will return the ashes. 

Avoiding Delays

Find a reputable funeral home to avoid delays. The best funeral homes have the following traits:

Also, reputable funeral homes offer quality cremation services without hidden costs along the way. Hidden costs will force you to come up with additional money that you may not have, causing more delays.

A trustworthy funeral home displays all costs upfront to hasten the process. Above all, choose a funeral home with the latest crematory equipment to cremate the body faster. 

When Can I Pick Up My Loved One’s Cremated Remains?

Many funeral homes deliver the cremated remains. In other cases, loved ones can pick up the urn. Many people must wait at least 15 days before receiving the remains.

Texas requires a 48-hour waiting period before cremation can begin. However, delays primarily stem from paperwork filing. After officials process the paperwork, you can receive the ashes within two to four days. 

Do you need cremation services? Click here to learn about planning a funeral home on a budget. 

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Marlaena Gonzales

Funeral Director
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