Cremation Customers Required to Buy Niche or Grave?
By David Ring, President, Indiana Funeral Care
I was immediately greeted by Mike, the General Manager when I walked into my favourite local restaurant last evening. Mike said, “I have a question about cremation.” “Some regular customers of ours told me they recently made funeral pre-arrangements. They were told by the funeral home they had to buy a niche or a grave, that they have to arrange for somewhere to “put” the cremated remains. So they had to buy a niche. Is that true?”
Fortunately, that is not true, but most unfortunate that is what they were told…..and sold! I expressed concern that they had been misinformed and that they probably had used a funeral home that owns cemeteries.
While it is a good idea to decide and note in your file the preferred method and location of the final disposition of those cremated remains, it is not required by Indiana law. Cremated remains may be held at home or scattered in the event they don’t want to buy a grave or a crypt. In Indiana, cremated remains may be scattered in public waterways or a National Forest without a permit. Those remains may also be scattered on private property with the permission of the owner and it must be recorded on the deed. Compliance with this legal requirement is unknown, but most likely quite low.
As unpleasant as it is to make arrangements in advance, it is really smart. People that plan ahead, 1.) Make better decisions 2.) spend less money and 3.) the family is much more satisfied with the results. They know that is what you wanted. In addition, the difference in price (and advice) can vary by thousands of dollars between funeral homes, for the very same services! Had Mike’s friends and customers obtained a quote from another funeral home, they would have most likely received different advice and truthful information that buying a niche or a grave is NOT required. And….they would have spent much less money!
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