How Long Does it Take to Get Ashes Back After Cremation?

How long does it take to get ashes back after cremation? This guide will give you timelines, tips, and things to remember when planning a cremation.

When coping with the loss of a loved one, you also need to juggle a lot — like planning a funeral, arranging a cremation, and informing loved ones.

Understanding the cremation process can help clarify planning and arrangements during this difficult time of loss. One question that often arises is, "How long does it take to get cremated remains back?"

We are here to provide a clear answer to that question. We’ll cover the cremation process and the timeframe for receiving your loved one's ashes.

How long does it take to get ashes back after cremation?

In general, you can expect to receive the ashes within one to two weeks after you begin the process. Once the cremation is done, you can usually pick up the ashes the following day, or have them sent to you.

The timeframe for receiving cremated remains can vary depending on several factors. Here’s what takes place:

  1. Getting the death certificate: After a death occurs, a physician or medical examiner will pronounce death and sign off on a death certificate. This document is required for obtaining cremation authorization. The death certificate process is typically handled by the funeral home and requires input from the family, physician and county. 
  1. Authorization for cremation: The funeral home will need to file the death certificate with the local authorities and obtain a permit for cremation. This process may vary depending on your location.
  1. Cremation scheduling: Once the cremation permit has been received, the funeral home will schedule the cremation. Crematories typically operate during regular business days, so weekends or holidays may affect scheduling.
  1. The cremation process: The cremation itself usually takes several hours, depending on the crematory's equipment. Following cremation, the cremated remains are processed into a fine powder known as ashes or cremains and packaged into an urn or alternative container.

What happens through the process?

The entire process from start to finish usually takes between 1-2 weeks. This timeframe allows for necessary paperwork, processing of the cremated remains, and the selection of an urn for your loved one's ashes.

Keep in mind these are general guidelines. To get a clearer picture of turnaround times, it's always best to consult directly with your chosen crematorium.

They can explain their specific procedures and how long you can expect to wait before receiving your loved one's ashes.

Some cremation service providers also offer expedited services for situations where a quicker timeframe is needed, perhaps due to religious traditions or a planned memorial service.

Why does it take so long to get ashes after cremation?

That’s a valid question. Several factors can influence how long it takes to receive your loved one's ashes:

State regulations and required waiting periods

Weekends, holidays, and crematorium policies

Death certificate issuance and cremation authorization

Death certificate issuance and cremation authorization

The answer to the question “how long does it take to get cremains back” also depends on any special arrangements or circumstances involved in your case.

If you have any special requests for the cremation, like following specific religious or cultural traditions, that might add some time as well.

The cremation service provider you choose will likely want to make sure everything is done exactly as you wish, and that might take some extra planning and coordination.

Any delays in getting any of these documents filled out and processed can add extra waiting time.

How to avoid unnecessary delays

Keep in mind there are ways to possibly speed up the process.

Navigating the cremation process with minimal delays involves a mix of proactive planning and understanding what documentation and requirements you need.

Here are some strategies and tips to help avoid unnecessary delays:

Find out about ‘Rush Cremation’ options

Be proactive with paperwork

Plan urn selection early

Communicate effectively

Avoid last-minute changes

Get professional guidance

Next steps

We hope this guide answered your questions about how long it takes to get ashes back after cremation.

At Meadow, we understand the weight of this moment. We offer a more compassionate and meaningful way to celebrate a life well-lived with affordable, all-inclusive cremation services and customized memorial planning services in the Los Angeles area. 

Our team of caring memorial planners partner with you in this tender time to create an occasion as remarkable as the life it honors.

With our licensed team, you can expect:

Explore our Personalized Memorial Services.