The process from you notifying us to the time you get the remains and death certificates can range from a few days to a week.
Many factors dictate how quickly this process moves forward. We have ordered these in terms of which factors are most likely to cause a delay:
- Day of death. If the death occurs on a Friday and Elemental is notified after noon, the odds are that nothing other than picking up the body will happen before Monday. Doctors need to sign forms, counties need to issue permits, schedules at the crematory need to be coordinated – these factors require the right people to be available to do the work. Unfortunately, doctors and bureaucrats are just as eager to get out of the office Friday afternoon as the rest of society.
- Doctor’s signature. A doctor must sign the death certificate before it is filed for permits and they have 48 hours from when it lands on their desk to get it done. There are times where a signature takes even longer. The sad truth is, if a doctor doesn’t sign, nothing proceeds.
- Your paperwork. With all the best intentions, some families get overwhelmed with the number of balls they are juggling after a death. It can take days (even weeks) for some families to get their part of the paperwork back to us. Without that important information and authorization, we can’t do anything but wait.
- Funeral homes, ours included, don’t perform services until the invoice is paid-in-full. Even if everything is in order, sometimes families miss the payment part of the equation. It’s uncommon, but it does happen occasionally.
- Busy cremation schedule. Under most circumstances, our schedule is open enough that once we have all the permits, authorizations, and payment in order, it is only a couple of days before we have the remains and death certificates back to you. There are times however (cold and flu seasons) when cremation waits are a little bit longer.
It is possible for us to perform rush cremations (under 72 hours), but an additional fee is involved. These situations take all hands-on-deck to get these permits and paperwork in place. Moving to the top of the list can require herculean efforts when it comes to doctors, permits, and crematory schedules, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Check with us to see if rushing the cremation is something that can be done in your case.