$35 hand delivery of ashes to Southern California home or cemetery.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Even after looking at our entire website, we realize that you may still have questions. Below are the most common questions with an accompanying answer.
If your questions are still not answered then feel free to use the form below to send us an email with your question.
WHY CHOOSE CREMATION FOR YOUR LOVED ONE?
People choose cremation for a variety of religious, philosophic, economic, and environmental reasons. Many people simply feel that cremation options afford them a more comfortable pathway toward a closure harmonious with their lifestyle.
WHAT IS A CREMATION?
Cremation is the process of reducing human remains to its basic elements in the form of bone fragments through flame, heat and vaporization (usually 1800 - 2000 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours or more.) Cremation occurs at a crematory in a special kind of furnace called a cremation chamber or retort. The resulting bone fragments are further reduced in size through a mechanical process and are referred to as "cremated remains". (It may surprise many to learn that ashes are not the final result since cremated remains have neither the appearance nor the chemical properties of ashes.) After processing, the cremated remains are placed in an urn or other container suitable for memorialization, transport or interment. Depending upon the size of the deceased's skeletal makeup, there are normally four to eight pounds of cremated remains resulting.
IS A CASKET REQUIRED FOR CREMATION TO TAKE PLACE?
A casket is not required for a cremation to take place. In most states, all that is required is an alternative container which can be constructed of wood or fiberboard/cardboard, and is cremated along with the deceased. In an effort to keep our services as affordable as possible, the container we use is constructed of a strong, rigid cardboard.
IS EMBALMING REQUIRED FOR CREMATION?
Absolutely not. Public health law states that any human remains held 24 hours beyond death, and not yet cremated or interred at a cemetery, shall be either embalmed, or kept under refrigeration. Most reputable funeral establishments and crematories such as ours refrigerate immediately.
CAN A CREMATION BE WITNESSED BY THE FAMILY?
Yes, in most situations, the cremation provider will permit family members to be in attendance when the body is placed into the cremation chamber. Actually, a few religious groups include this as an integral part of their funeral practice. We offer families the opportunity to witness their loved one’s cremation at any of our crematories.
ARE THERE ANY RELIGIONS THAT DO NOT APPROVE OF CREMATION
Most major religions readily accept cremation, with the exception of Islam and Orthodox Judaism. Today, all of the Christian denominations allow cremation. The Catholic Church approves cremation, but advocates the interment of the cremated remains in a cemetery. Buddhists favor cremation, and for Hindus, cremation is the orthodox method of disposition.
CAN MORE THAN ONE CREMATION BE PERFORMED AT ONCE?
No. Not only is it a practical impossibility, but it is illegal to do so. The majority of modern cremation chambers are not of adequate size to house more than one adult. No reputable mortuary or crematory engages in practices such as this.
WHAT USUALLY HAPPENS AFTER THE CREMATION IS FINISHED?
All organic bone fragments and all non-consumed metal items are collected into a stainless steel cooling pan located in the lower front of the cremation chamber. All non-consumed items, such as metal from clothing, joint replacements, and dental bridgework, are divided from the cremated remains. This separation is accomplished through visual inspection as well as using a strong magnet for smaller and minute metallic objects. Items such as dental gold and silver are non-recoverable and may be commingled with the cremated remains. Remaining bone fragments are then processed in a machine to a consistent size, sealed in a plastic bag, and then placed into a cremated remains container/urn selected by the family.
WHAT DO CREMATED REMAINS LOOK LIKE?
Processed cremated remains are a mixture of powdery and granular substances, and are varying shades of gray to white in color. The remains of an average sized adult usually weigh between four to eight pounds.
ARE ALL CREMATED REMAINS RETURNED TO THE FAMILY?
With the exclusion of minuscule and microscopic particles, which are impossible to remove from the cremation chamber and processing machine, all of the cremated remains are returned to the family.
ARE URNS REQUIRED TO COLLECT THE CREMATED REMAINS?
There is no law requiring an urn. Nevertheless, the cremated remains must be held in some type of durable container. A more traditional urn may be desired if the cremated remains are to be memorialized at home, at a public memorial service, or the remains are to be interred at a cemetery. A family member may also supply a durable container or containers suitable for holding the cremated remains.
WHAT OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE WITH THE CREMATED REMAINS?
In California, after the cremation, the cremated remains may be returned to a designated family member or friend to be kept at home, scattered at sea (over 500 yards off the coast), scattered on private property with written permission, or released to a cemetery for burial or above-ground entombment. Cremated remains are often divided to satisfy various memorialization requests. There are smaller urns and even jewelry which hold "keepsake" portions of cremated remains. Cremation offers infinite possibilities to memorialize a loved one.
HOW CAN YOU BE CERTAIN THAT ALL REMAINS ARE KEPT SEPARATE AND YOU RECEIVE THE CORRECT REMAINS?
All responsible cremation providers have thorough operating policies and procedures in order to provide the highest level of service and reduce the possibility of human error. It is not only your right, but also your responsibility to gain a feeling of confidence in your cremation provider's facility, employees, policies, and procedures. Choosing your cremation provider is one of the most critical decisions you need to make. The policies and procedures we follow are well above the standards required by California law.
HOW WILL I KNOW MY PAPERWORK HAS BEEN RECEIVED?
Our fax and email receive 24 hours a day. You will receive confirmation from our staff of receipt by telephone during our normal business hours, seven days per week.
ARE MEDICAL EXAMINER/CORONER FEES INCLUDED IN YOUR PACKAGES?
No, medical examiner/coroner fees are in addition to our fees. While our paperwork shows you what the various county charges are, you are welcome to contact us or them directly to inquire about their fees.
ONCE MY LOVED ONE IS REMOVED FROM THE PLACE OF DEATH WHERE DO THEY GO?
Your loved one is transported to our holding facility or closest crematory.
HOW LONG WILL THIS PROCESS TAKE?
We must obtain a signed death certificate signed by the deceased's attending physician or the medical examiner prior to filing the cremation permit with the State of California. While some doctors are good at signing a death certificate immediately, others take several days. On average, the cremated remains should be ready for you to take back into your care in about 7 to 10 days.
HOW AM I SURE THE CREMATED REMAINS I RECEIVE ARE THOSE OF MY LOVED ONE?
Strict controls and monitoring are in place to ensure that every person in our care is tracked properly. From the removal from the place of death, to our holding facility, to our crematory, and then to the placement in the selected urn, our documentation is thorough and complete. We are very proud of the “best practices” policies and procedures we adhere to. Please do not hesitate to call us, our arrangement counselors will be able to explain every step and precaution we take.
HOW LONG CAN A HOSPITAL HOLD MY LOVED ONE'S BODY AFTER THEY HAVE DIED?
Most hospitals have the same sort of climate controlled facilities as a funeral home does, and they will take care of your loved one after passing until your family chooses a funeral home. Some smaller hospitals, however, do not have these sort of facilities. If the family does not choose a funeral home in a short time period after the passing, they may contact the county coroner or medical examiner. Some hospitals also partner with local funeral homes to use the funeral home’s climate controlled facilities. Your loved one may be transferred there after passing, and the cost of that transport is not paid by the family.
HOW DO I OBTAIN CERTIFIED COPIES OF THE DEATH CERTIFICATE?
Once the original death certificate is completed and filed with the State of California, certified copies may be obtained at the local registrar's office within the county of death, or directly through the State of California. We will notify you by email when we have completed the filing, along with sending you an order form for the county of death. Certified copies of death certificates are presently $21.00 per copy.
We have created this website to be as honest and transparent as possible. If there is any doubt in your mind regarding any of our literature, services or merchandise then feel free to use the form to the right to ask us any question or make a comment. We will answer your question as soon as possible and comments will be taken into serious consideration. You can also call, text, fax or write us to the contact information located at the bottom of this page.
If you prefer, you are welcome to submit your question or comment anonymously.
Mortuary Aid Co.
5800 S. Eastern Avenue #502
Commerce, California 90040
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No surprise fees.
Up to 300 lbs.
$99 unwitnessed scattering of ashes at sea.
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At Your Home.