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Cremation 101

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With cremation, the body is incinerated shortly after death without embalming. .Cremation reduces a corpse to bone fragments using high heat and flames.

A casket is not required. All that is usually required by most states is that the body be incinerated in some kind of container. It can be made of wood or even cardboard which is burned with the body. In some states, no container is required.

Many funeral homes rent caskets for viewing and then transfer the body to an inexpensive container for cremation.

Cremation providers generally allow the family to be present when the body is placed into the cremation chamber. Cremation generally takes two to three hours.

Of the various types of funerals, cremation is the least expensive. 

When calling around for prices, ask for the funeral home's cost (which includes the cost of picking up and transporting the body) plus the "cash advance items" such as the cost of the crematory, permits and death certificates. The basic service is known as "Direct Cremation".

According to the Cremation Association of North America, the percentage of families choosing cremation over burial is expected to approach 60% by 2025.

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