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Common Questions


    Q: What type of urn do I need?

    A: Some of your Choices are:

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  •         Keep all of the ashes in a single urn? Most of standard urns are large enough to contain all of the ashes of a single adult up to about 200 to 240 pounds. Standard adult urns are 180 - 220 cubic inches in capacity. The rule of thumb is one cubic inch of urn capacity for each pound of body weight before cremation.  Specialized companion urns, or double urns are designed large enough for two adults.
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  •         Share some of the ashes with family or friends? Families choose urns of many types and sizes depending on the look or size they want. Some folks choose to share the ashes with friends and family. In this case, family members will usually choose their own "personal' keepsake or memorial that holds just a small amount of ash as a remembrance. Keepsake or memorial jewelry is popular for this purpose.
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  •         Scatter the ashes? There are specially designed containers used for the scattering.
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  •         Bury the urn? There are environmentally safe, biodegradable urns for burial at land or sea. There are also urn vaults that are air and water tight and designed to last almost forever. Some cremation urns such as bronze or stone may last for a very long time too.
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  •         Place the urn in a niche or columbarium? Columbariums and niches have their own requirements for type of urns and sizes. Check with the manager to make sure you know their requirements before purchasing a cremation urn.

    Q: What size urn do I need?

    A: Generally, the crematory or funeral home will give you the ashes in a plastic bag contained in a plastic or cardboard box. The amount of ashes you receive depend on the body weight and composition. You can estimate the amount of ashes with the rule of thumb of 1 cubic inch to 1 pound of body weight. This is a conservative number so the ashes will usually be less than this. To be precise you will have to ask the crematory to give you an exact answer. Most adult cremation urns are design to hold at least a 200 pound individual. Some are designed to hold much more. Pet urns and urns for children come in many sizes.

    When you receive the ashes from the funeral home they will usually be contained in a plastic bag inside a rectangular plastic or cardboard box. The most common dimensions for this type of container are approximately 8” tall 4 ?” deep x 6” wide, with a total volume capacity approximately 200 cubic inches. The volume of ashes you will receive from the funeral home will depend on the weight and height of the individual. The ashes of most adults will fit into this 200 cubic inch container. To estimate the precise size of the container you will need, ask the funeral home or open the box (or have a friend open the box if you are uncomfortable do it yourself) and see how much space remains in the box. For every inch of empty space, you can subtract 25 cubic inches from the total 200 cubic inch volume. As an example, say the box is full to within 1” of the top of the box. The total volume of ashes in this case would be 200 - 25 = 175 cubic inches. Typically infants and children 1 year old or younger will require less than 30 cubic inches of volume.

    Q: When can I get the cremation urn?

    A: The quickest you can get some non-personalized urns is overnight if ordered before 10am PST. Please call or email and talk to us about your situation. We will work very hard to satisfy your needs.

    If your ceremony is coming very soon, then a popular option is to purchase a silk urn for the service then have a family member, friend, or funeral home transfer the ashes to the permanent memorial urn. This give you the time choose the right urn and have it personalized. You can then use the silk urn for remembrances or keepsakes.

    Q: How do I get the ashes into the urn?

    A: Your funeral home will most likely do this for you for a small fee. Call them and ask for a quote. Some funeral homes may not perform the service if you did not buy the urn from them. However, it is illegal under federal law for a funeral home to decline a service just because you did not purchase everything from their business.  Personally, we feel this practice lacks dignity during an especially fragile time of need.

    It is common to ask a family member or close friend to help transfer the ashes. It is, after all,  a sacred moment that can be done with dignity and honor.

    Q: What is cremation?

    A: Cremation is a form of disposition. The casket is placed in a cremation chamber where, through a process of heat and evaporation, the body is reduced to bone fragments, not ashes.

    Q: With cremation, what type of funeral can we choose?

    A: You can have "direct cremation" where the service is held after the cremation, or you can have a traditional funeral with visitation, with the cremation taking place after the service.

    Q: Can cremated remains be scattered?

    A: Yes, you may normally scatter the cremated remains of your loved one on public property and privately owned property with the consent of the property owner. If you choose scattering, especially on public land or sea, be sure to check your local, state and federal laws.

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