What happens when you bury a deceased loved one and decide later that you’d rather have his or her body cremated? These situations are uncommon but not impossible. The first step is always consulting with your local funeral director to talk through some of the logistics.
First, there are legal concerns to take into account. The law changes from one state to the next, but generally, it’s required to have the approval of the deceased’s next of kin. You will also need to have permission from the person who owns the cemetery.
Once the right permissions are granted, the next step is disinterring the body—that is, physically digging up the grave plot and removing the casket and body. This is something that happens more often than you might think, usually for the purpose of moving a body from one cemetery to another.
Before actually cremating the body, a cremation permit must be obtained. Again, this will require signatures from the next of kin—surviving spouses or children. Additionally, you’ll need to file for an amendment to the death certificate. These are the kinds of logistic matters your funeral director can attend to on your behalf.
All in all, getting the necessary approvals may take a few weeks, but the actual cremation process will be straightforward. Again, your funeral director can keep you briefed on exactly what to expect.
This is not the kind of circumstance that arises often, but if it’s something you’ve considered, don’t hesitate to take it directly to a local funeral professional, who can help you get the process started.