why is it that people have to argue with us about everything? there are certain laws in place regarding cremation. so, to argue with us about it is going to get you nowhere! the next of kin MUST sign the cremation authorization!  SO, if the deceased is married, then the spouse must sign! if the deceased is NOT married, widowed, divorced, then the deceased children must sign, if there is more than one child then the “majority” of children over the age of 18 must sign! if no children and no spouse and the deceased parents are alive then they sign, and so on…..  SO, i had a man come in the other day to make arrangements for his son. well, his son was divorced. so we ask if he has any children over 18, and the man said yes, just one son. well, we tell him that the son has to sign the cremation authorization then is there anyway he can come to the funeral home and sign the authorization? the man was getting cocky and being a DICK! to begin with so this really set him into asshole mode. he kept rolling his eyes, making remarks…. whatever buddy! he then decided to say “well, i could have just lied to you and told you no, he had no children and i could have just signed it and we would be done with all of this and you would no none the wiser would you, so don’t tell me about rules”. JERK! so the Director who was doing the arrangements says “well, yes, you certainly could have, but if his son does not want cremation then you would be held responsible, since you signed the authorization, not us, we can only believe what you tell us and we hope that you would be honest with us since this is concerning your son, and it is not just a ‘rule’ it is the state law, not our rules”. the guys just shrugged his shoulders and said whatever….Well, the son of the deceased ended up coming to the funeral home a few hours later. no big deal. it was just one of those people who, whatever you said, he had a smart remark to go along with it. we are here to HELP you when someone passes away! not to be bashed for doing out jobs. YOU came to US, not the other way around. he complained that he had to sign the contract, with his social security number and address. he complained about the price, he complained about signing the cremation authorization. THEN! Then, they inform us that they want to try to apply fro state assistance. ohh, boy….alright, so we explain to him how that goes. we explain that it is up to HIM to go to the Department of Human Resources. That we had to give him paperwork to go. and that if  his son has any money anywhere that they will find it and deduct that from the amount that they will pay toward a direct cremation (which isn’t a whole lot anyway), and if he owned a home or a car, they will consider that an asset as well. So, he decided to bitch about how is he suppose to know if his son had money someplace he did not know about and what is he going to do about it and why won’t we just approve him for it already! So, apparently this guy thinks that “WE” are the ones who do the approving for state aid. SO, we have to explain to him that we have NOTHING to do with state aid. We ONLY give the family the appropriate paperwork to go apply. Then we have to tell him that if he does not get an approval right away, then he has to pay the bill and we will reimburse him once we receive payment from the state. of course, he isn’t happy about that! then we also tell him that he will have to pay the permit charge if the state does not approve him ! he wasn’t happy about that either. he was also really pissed off that we will not do the removal until the bill is paid in full or he pays his portion and we get a verbal approval from the state. anyway, i was talking to a friend over the weekend about how rude people can be and how people think they can just treat others with no respect and just be down and out jerks to others. i was telling my friend about people who come into the funeral home and how they are rude to me and my staff and think that they can treat us bad. well, my friend said, “well, you have to remember that they just lost someone, so they aren’t really thinking clearly”. As much as i want to agree with my friend, I DON’T! it does not excuse you from being a total ass hole to anyone! just because so and so died, does not give you the right to treat people like shit. i have lost several people in my life and i never treated the people who were trying to help me like shit! especially those at the funeral home. all i can remember is thanking them left and right for helping us during such a difficult time. i was never rude to them, never rolled my eyes at them…, i told my friend that and asked if they ever lost anyone before and if so did they treat the funeral home staff like shit? just because? and they said “of course not”. well…………..geee……..

4 Responses to “Cremation”

  1. parlor gal Says:

    RJB, very sorry about your father but you don’t have a funeral home problem, you have a surviving spouse problem—- whats up with her?????? So should the funeral home just ignore state laws????? But really now, who stays separated for 11 years?????? Ask about the waiver but don’t blame the funeral home !!!

    • thefuneralbizz Says:

      Exactly! Thank you parlor gal! We often get families that get very angry and upset with us because we are the bearer of bad news when it comes to situations like these. I always hear “well, so and so isn’t here to sign the cremation authorization, I don’t know where he/she is. He/she has not been a part of his/her life, I have taken care of him for X amount of years, I have power of attorney!” THEN……..when you say this to them “Power of Attorney ends at the time of death”. OH BOY, do they get pissed! Not my fault, not the funeral homes fault. You don’t like the fact that the NEXT OF KIN MUST sign the cremation authorization…….? Then take it up with the State! The Funeral Home is ONLY DOING THEIR JOB! It doesn’t necessarily mean that the next of kin HAS to physically come to the funeral home, we can fax the cremation authorizatin and they can fax it back to us! What I find most of the time is that the person making the arrangements is the person who really has the problem with the next of kin. Put your differences aside for a few minutes and just get it done! You can sit across from me and be a bitch or and asshole and tell me as much as you want about the next of kin not being around or you don’t talk to them, but it is NOT going to change the LAW! You really are just wasting your breath. Oh, and if the deceased has more than one child, well, then we need the “majority” of signatures. Back the the Power of Attorney thing. Yes, it does end at the time of death. Ask the attorney who drew up those papers for you! I always get families who think they know more than I do when it comes to this shit. I just sit back with a smile on my face.

  2. Well what happens when the spouse signs 2 authorization forms and then does not get them notorized. What is the family to do. This is after being seperated for the last 11 years. Now the family has to start legal action while our father lies in a freezer correct? So what funeral home do you work for? I will be sure to direct people some where else after reading this blog.

    • thefuneralbizz Says:

      i’m not sure what state your are in ,but where i am at (and i am not going to say where i am, not the name of the funeral home or the state), the cremation authorization does NOT need to be notarized. we have a standard cremation authorization that comes from the crematory and this is all the next of kin has to sign. there is also a waiver that can be signed just in those cases. i really can’t see having to take legal action…..? but again, each states laws differ.

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