Cremated Remains Information Bureau

 FAQs

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No question is a silly one so please feel free to get in touch with our team, should your query not be answered below…


What are Ashes?

When the cremation is finished the unburnt remains are raked out of the cremator.  At this point any metals or medical prosthetics are removed and when cooled the remains, mainly bone, are put through a machine which reduces them to a finer size.  It is these remains that you will receive as 'ashes'.


What quantity of ash will there be?

This depends on the size of the person and can be up to 3.5 kilos.


Will I get the ashes back?

The person who lodges an application for a cremation and pays the undertakers bill, often a relative or executor, arranges to pick up the cremated remains from the crematorium or the funeral director.

The crematorium place them in a cardboard box or large plastic container which looks like an old fashioned sweet jar.

If you have purchased an urn from the undertaker the undertaker will collect the ashes from the crematorium and transfer them into your chosen urn, you will then be able to collect this from them.  Some funeral directors will not release the ashes until their bill is settled.


Will I get all of the ashes back?

There is an urban myth that states that you get a mixture of people's ashes back.  This is not true. The crematorium only cremate one body at a time and they strictly control the identity of every set of remains through the whole process.


What will they look like?

Be aware that cremated remains or ashes as most people call them can look like white aquarium gravel and can be very conspicuous if scattered in any concentration.


Do I have to dispose of the ashes?

If you do not want to receive the ashes the crematorium will arrange for them to be scattered, typically, in their garden of remembrance.


Can the ashes be divided up?

Yes, many people wish their ashes to be taken to more than one place or different family members may wish to do something different with their portion.


What can be done with Cremated Remains?

They can be:

  • Buried or scattered in a Natural Burial Ground or a cemetery.

  • Placed in a Columbarium or Niche wall.

  • Preserved in an Urn and kept at home or another favourite spot.

  • Scattered on private land, beach, river, sea or another significant place once permission has been sort.


I want to take the ashes abroad?

In general you are able to travel with cremated remains. However, some countries are more controlling than others.  Some treat cremated remains the same as a body. We recommend you contact the consulate of any country you intend to import ashes into to ensure you comply with any regulations and have the correct paperwork.  

If you are travelling with cremated remains we recommend that you carry the following:

  • A certified copy of the death certificate

  • A cremation certificate

  • Carry the cremated remains in a sealed, non-metallic urn allowing for ease through security.

  • Some airlines may wish to be informed that you are carrying ashes.


advice with repatriation?

There are companies that specialise in repatriation of bodies and cremated remains, we recommend that you find several companies on the internet and get a like for like quote. As with everything in the Funeral world - Shop Around!


If you question has not been answered here, please do get in touch with us so that we may be able to help you further.