If you know with absolute certainty that a loved one wanted to be cremated, at least that much of your funeral planning for him/her is resolved. Yet, if you did not have an in-depth discussion with the deceased on this particular topic, you may be faced with a lot more decisions that you previously thought. All of the following decisions have to be made in conjunction with cremation services.
View the Body or Not View the Body
Even when cremation is the chosen option of post-death internment, there is still the question of whether or not there will be a viewing of the body. You can choose to put the deceased's body in a coffin/casket so that others may pay their respects to the deceased prior to cremation, or you may elect not to put the body on viewing. If you choose the latter, then the body is cremated, the cremains are placed in an urn, and the urn with a picture of the deceased is on display instead.
Give Ashes to Each Family Member That Wants Them
This is a real option in most cremation services. The ashes of the deceased may be divided up among close family members who would like to keep a little bit of the ashes in their homes. Be sure to ask other family members if this is something they would like, and then you can tell the funeral director how to divide the ashes, if applicable. If nobody else wants some of the ashes, you can keep all of the ashes in one box or urn.
Intern the Ashes, or Disperse Them
There are many cemeteries that now offer ash internment "graves." These are large concrete pedestals that have special openings constructed within the concrete, made to fit ash boxes. You can purchase these ash internment spots in the same way you purchase burial plots. Additionally, if you have family mausoleums, the mausoleums have pedestals for urns and places within walls for the internment of ashes.
The alternative to interring ashes is to disperse them. This is a more common practice, especially if the deceased asked you to disperse his/her ashes in a special place. Talk to your funeral director to see if there are any laws that would prevent you from dispersing the ashes of the deceased in the manner that he/she requested. You may also disperse some ashes and inter the rest.