What Can Cause Delays in the Cremation Process?

Video Transcript

What can cause delays in a cremation process varies greatly depending on the city and state in which the person passes away, but it’s affected by things like the type of death that has occurred, whether a medical examiner is involved (any time there is a medical examiner involved it typically can take a little bit longer depending on the type of death that has occurred), not getting the paperwork completed in time, not having the doctor signing the death certificate in a timely manner, and also not having the family’s signatures to complete the cremation process and have the right authorizations. All these things can delay the process for cremation.


Answers from Other Funeral Directors Around the United States:

If the responsible physician does not sign the document promptly or if the death is being investigated by the medical examiner, then the necessary cremation permit can be delayed.

- Abby Schilling
Funeral Director in Richfield, MN


A delay in receiving a doctor’s signature on the death certificate, a medical examiner’s signature after an investigation, signed documents from the next of kin, and payment can delay the cremation process.

- Jessica Watts
Funeral Director in Jacksonville, FL


Common delays come from incomplete documents, waiting for a doctor’s signature on a death certificate, waiting on permits, and family disagreements.

- C. A. Bankston
Funeral Director in Fort Worth, TX


A doctor who does not or delays signing the death certificate, medical examiner interference, and not signing the state required authorizations can delay the process. In some states all or a majority of the surviving children are all required to sign some forms which can take some time. Scheduling conflicts with the crematory can cause delays as well.

- Michael Sollitto
Funeral Director in Charlotte, NC