Today, the cremation rate in the United States is hovering around 50%. Our neighbors in Canada choose cremation for 70% of their death care options. So, with cremation becoming as common as burials—and in some states even more common—we can only assume more and more families are considering this option for the very first time.
Here at Chicagoland Cremation Options, our Evanston, IL, cremation staff are asked a lot of questions. And, one of the most frequently asked questions from individuals and families new to the cremation process has to do with how the identification process works. This is of no surprise; your loved one’s dignity and care are supremely important.
First thing’s first, though. The best way for you to be confident about the identification process for your loved one’s remains is to choose a licensed facility with a kind and professional team. Preferably, one which runs its own crematory and handles its own transportation service.
A Couple Helpful Suggestions for the Family
The following list is what death care professionals consider to be the best guidance for you, the consumer and grieving loved one:
  • Ask questions. There are no silly questions and no professional worth your time will make you feel otherwise. A compassionate and professional staff member knows cremation is a weighted decision and, further, an unfamiliar process for a grieving person to step into. If, during the vetting process, you find that a funeral director or cremation specialist is unable to explain in detail what the facility’s specific identification process is, this is cause for concern. The duty of any professional in the death care field is to reassure you of their care and attention to detail, as well as to outline a thorough process, so you understand and feel comfortable.
  • Explore various options and locations. This will help you to make decisions based on comparison: cost, location, facility/amenities, etc.
  • Trust your gut. If something feels off, do not be embarrassed—your gut is a good guiding force.


During the first stages of mourning, making the best decisions feels exceptionally tedious and burdensome. You want everything to be just right for your loved one, understandably. Asking the right questions is helpful. Here are the four questions we recommend you ask when meeting with a funeral director or cremation specialist:
  1. If I am not there when my loved one passes, or if they are transported to a morgue, how will they be properly identified?
  2. How do I know the cremated remains I receive are those of my loved one?
  3. What is your process from start to finish?
  4. If there is to be no viewing of the actual cremation, how do I know for sure it is my loved one you are cremating?
Again, if any of these questions are handled poorly or are not clearly answered, reconsider using the facility.
Our “9-Step ID Process:”
Once a loved one is in our care here at Chicagoland Cremation Options , our stringent internal process is followed closely to ensure proper identification is preserved throughout the process. Read below to review this process:
  1. Place wrist identification on deceased. If the family present, we will invite them to write the name on tag.
  2. Deceased is placed in cremation container. The person's name is written directly on this container.
  3. Family signs an authorization for cremation.
  4. The county medical examiner or coroner acknowledges awareness of the death and verifies the cause of death or requires an autopsy or investigation.
  5. The death certificate and medical examiners' permits are filed with the state.
  6. Crematory operator fills out a crematory control sheet, which requires two personnel to sign off on prior to the cremation being performed.
  7. The cremation is logged in the record book.
  8. Paperwork is prepared in the office while the cremation is taking place.
  9. The cremated remains are returned to the family.
Additional requests
If you are still feeling unsettled about the cremation process at any point, even after you’ve chosen a facility, there are three additional things you can consider requesting:
  1. A detailed account of the cremation process in writing
  2. That the crematory supervisor does a comparison of your loved one with a recent photograph you provide
  3. That the specialist does an identification check based on a birthmark or tattoo
Note: these are not odd requests. Experienced staff members handle requests like these all the time and will be empathetic to the concerns of the families involved. Of course, you want the best for your loved one and the desire to provide it and give you peace of mind should be the goal of anyone with whom you work.
If cremation in Evanston, IL is on the list of death care options for your loved one, or if cremation is something you’re considering as part of your personal preplan, please call us at (773) 631-0018 or come and see us at 9329 Byron St., Schiller Park, IL. The staff here at Chicagoland Cremation Options would be honored to serve you and your family!


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