Common Questions

We’ve provided a list of answers to questions we frequently receive regarding our services and other activities related to funerals. If you don't see the answer to your question here, feel free to contact us. We'd be happy to give you more information and clarify any of your concerns.


What is cremation?

Cremation is the process that reduces dead human remains to 3-7 pounds of organic and inorganic compounds and it accomplishes this by exposing the body to intense heat and flame for a 1.5 - 2 hour duration, at temperatures of approximately 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. After the cremation, the cremated remains are mechanically processed until they have the consistency of very course sand or gravel.

What is direct cremation?

A direct cremation is just that...a direct cremation. There are no services with the body present prior to the cremation, the body is not prepared in any way, and an alternative container is used instead of a casket.

Is a casket required for a direct cremation service?

No. If a cremation provider offers direct cremation, the cremation provider is obligated to offer an alternative container to the families they serve. Alternative containers can be constructed of cardboard, plywood, composite wood materials, or pouches made of plastic or cardboard. All alternative containers must be the construction requirements of the crematory.

Is embalming required for a direct cremation service?

No, embalming is not required for direct cremation.

Do I have to buy an urn for the ashes?

The cost of a direct cremation covers the cost of a standard urn however you can select other options on this website.

I live in New York and my brother lives in Los Angeles. I want to ship my mother's urn and ashes overnight via FedEx. Is this okay?

FedEx, UPS and DHL will not knowingly transport human cremated remains because they're uninsurable. These carriers will deliver an empty urn but not an urn containing cremated remains. Only the post office will transport cremated remains via their parcel post service.

Who can authorize a cremation?

If the spouse is deceased, then the children would step forward. If all the children are deceased grandchildren may authorize as next of kin. If you have any questions about cremation authorization, call Great Lakes Cremation Of Michigan at the number above.

What if I can’t afford a direct burial and have no other options?

Speak to a director at Great Lakes Cremation Of Michigan for some options.

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