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Funerals/Direct to Crematorium in Northern Flordia

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Question
Lisa,

My grandfather is very ill and expected to pass in the next couple of months.  They live in The Villages located in Lady Lake Florida.  At this time my grandfather is not receiving hospice care and is at home with my grandmother taking care of him.  He has stated he will no longer go to the hospital and at this time does not want hospice coming to the home. He is a very private person.  Upon his death my grandmother would like to have him immediately cremated, no embalming nothing to save on cost.  We will then have a small private family gathering in Indiana at a later date.  Our question is how do we go about finding a crematorium to work with?  We are doing this from out of state and would like to have the information ready for when he does pass.  It is our understanding that in Florida if we do not embalm the body, that cremation must take place with in 24 hours of the death.  It will take family from Indiana that long to get down to Florida.  Giving grandma a list of what needs to be done and who to contact before we are able to get down there would be best.  Everything I am finding seems to be linked with the funeral home, not "cardboard box, and direct to the crematorium".  We have never done anything like this before and any guidance you can provide would be very helpful.  

Thank you.

Answer
There are two nonprofit consumer groups not too far away, about 50 miles, that may have discounted funeral arrangements available for members. Since you are not holding any services at the funeral home, it doesn't matter if it's an out-of-town funeral home that your grandmother calls at the time of death.

Contact this one in Orange City -- http://www.funeralsocietyofmidflorida.com/
and this one in Orlando -- http://www.funeralsorlando.com/index.html

See what their prices are for a member for a "Direct Cremation." Then you or your grandmother should sign up your grandfather (and grandmother) as members. I think you will find the prices from a "cooperating funeral home" to be less than what you would get just calling the nearest funeral home. Of course, it wouldn't hurt at all to compare. ALL funeral homes offer the simple cremation option, so don't be put off if it is a funeral home you're dealing with.

In FL, the body must be embalmed OR refrigerated after 24 hours. How important will it be for Indiana folks to view the body? Any chance to visit before he dies? If not, the FH might be willing to hold the body in refrigeration until out-of-towners get there. But be sure to ask if that is important to you.

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Lisa Carlson

Expertise

Funeral Law. Having written a 512-page book on funeral law for consumers with state-by-state information, I am very conversant with consumer rights in this regard: What are the laws on disposition of cremated remains? Is embalming required? Do I have to use a funeral home? Can I have a home wake? Is it a state law to buy a vault? I prepaid for a funeral but changed my mind. They won`t give me all my money back. What can I do? . . . If you have an immediate need for information because a death has just occurred or is about to occur, you may call me at 802-482-6021.

Experience

I have monitored the funeral industry on behalf of consumers for over 20 years. I have been a guest speaker to funeral trade organizations, consumer workshops, and social service professionals. I am regularly consulted by lawyers and legislators as well as journalists.

Organizations
Funeral Ethics Organization (www.funeralethics.org) Funeral Consumers Alliance (www.funerals.org)

Publications
Caring for Your Own Dead (1987) Caring for the Dead: Your Final Act of Love (1998) I Died Laughing: Funeral Education with a Light Touch (2001) Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death (2011) with co-author Joshua Slocum

Education/Credentials
Masters degree in Administration and Special Education

Past/Present Clients
Available as an expert witness for funeral-related court cases.

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