Have you noticed that there are more and more news stories about funeral homes and cemeteries losing loved ones’ remains or burying people in the wrong plot? There are reports of family members discovering they have been duped, and left bereft with the realization that they have no idea the location of their loved ones remains. The police are called in and investigations are conducted, but little consolation is available. For families that have already been affected by this disgraceful negligence, the best remedy is to hire an attorney with experience in cremation fraud who can help you get justice for the damage you’ve suffered. But for those who have not been exposed to this type of behavior, the best way to protect yourself is to vet a crematory before surrendering a loved one’s remains. There are several proactive steps that you can take to ensure that you are working with professionals, and the attorneys at Bochetto & Lentz are here to provide you with that information.
According to the Cremation Association of North America, the most important thing that a family can do when looking for a reputable crematory is to ask a lot of questions. The first step is to make sure that any crematory you are considering using is included in the CANA Member Directory, as the organization specifically works to ensure that people who choose cremation are treated respectfully and that industry standards of practice and guidelines are followed. They group also suggests that you seek referrals from those you trust, including your clergy member, friends, and neighbors, looking for positive experiences over price.
Death is a highly personal experience, so you should take the time to consider exactly what type of service you want for your loved one. Some may simply choose cremation with no service while others prefer a full memorial service with the remains present. You should make this decision beforehand rather than allowing a crematory to guide you to a service you may not wish to have. There are also important questions you should ask your funeral home, including:
• Whether they own the crematory or are working with an outside firm?
• How often is the crematory inspected?
• Are the facility’s licenses and permits up to date?
• How long does the facility hold the body before cremation?
• Are family members permitted to be present to witness the cremation?
• Does the facility carry liability insurance?
Though you may be uncomfortable with asking these questions, facilities that are reputable and that operate with integrity will be happy to answer them: they are just as upset about disreputable, unethical practices as the public is.
If you and your family been the victim of shoddy crematory practices, including the loss or mistreatment of a loved ones’ remains, you may entitled to compensation for the damages that you’ve suffered. The cremation fraud attorneys at Bochetto & Lentz are compassionate, experienced lawyers who can provide you with the help and legal counsel that you need. Contact us today to set up a consultation.