FAQ

Q: Why do we need an obituary notice?
A: An obituary or death notice is a way to share the news of someone's death with the local community or extended family. While this is an important way to inform others of the family's loss, there is no legal requirement to have an obituary or death notice.
Q: Can I witness the cremation?
A: Yes, we are able to provide this service to families that find witnessing the cremation a valuable part of the grieving process or part of a religious / cultural ceremony.
Q: Is the cremation done individually?
A: Yes, only one set of human remains can be cremated at a time.
Q: Can I personalize my services and cremation?
A: Of course! We can help plan everything a traditional funeral home would take care of and we are happy to customize the arrangements to your specific needs. We can help you create ceremonies of substance and meaning with or without mentioning religious beliefs or the afterlife. You may choose to have a visitation or viewing prior to cremation, a graveside service at the final placement, or a memorial service anytime. You may also arrange to witness the cremation itself.
Q: Can I have a visitation period and funeral service if cremation is chosen?
A: Absolutely. We partner with many funeral homes in the Chicagoland area that can provide the space for whatever size your family needs.
Q: What should I do if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?
A: Call us. We are available 24/7 to assist.
Q: Can cremation services be planned, and if desired, paid for in advance?
A: Yes, they can, and many people choose to do this to remove some of the burden from their family. Doing so allows a family to grieve, rather than worry about aftercare details and costs.
Q: As a United States veteran, will the Veterans Administration pay for my cremation?
A: The VA does not cover the cost of cremation, but they do cover certain transportation costs and burial of cremated remains. We can help you navigate the benefits and coordinate burial with the national cemetery. We serve many veteran families and are very experienced with how the VA works.
Q: What is the difference between a funeral and a memorial service?
A: The body of the departed is present at a funeral service, whereas a memorial service takes place without the actual body present. A funeral service can refer to a graveside burial service or a service conducted in a chapel, and is usually within a week of the death occurring. A memorial service takes place after the death and disposition has occurred as a way to memorialize the life of the deceased.
Q: Why should I choose Chicagoland Cremation Options for cremation services?
A: We offer accurate, up front pricing. We clearly publish all of our prices so families know exactly what to expect. At Chicagoland Cremation Options, we operate our own facilities. Your loved one never leaves our care. As experienced and dedicated cremation service specialists, we are both humbled and honored by the sacred trust you place in us at a very vulnerable time. We take care and pride in helping families navigate the cremation process. As trusted advisors, we are proud to serve our families with the highest level of dignity and care.
Q: What can be done with cremated remains?
A: You can purchase an urn for display at home and eventual placement in a columbarium or burial in a cemetery. You can scatter on land or water in accordance with applicable laws. Keepsakes are not permanent placement, but are a wonderful option to divide cremated remains among family and friends and transform them into a memento. You have an incredible range of options for memorialization. It’s important to consider what is best for you and your family.
Q: How long does cremation take?
A: The actual cremation takes a few hours at most, but the process is really broken down into three parts. In preparation for cremation, we need to receive the human remains into our care, and enter the decedent’s information into the Illinois Vital Records database. A doctor needs to sign off on the death certificate, the coroner needs to issue the cremation permit, and the county clerk files with the state. We will then schedule the cremation within a day or two. The actual cremation lasts a few hours, then there is a cool down period after the cremation before we can process and package the cremated remains. The earliest cremated remains can be received back into a family’s care is approximately 24 hours after the cremation, although most families wait until we have the death certificates in hand before they come in for an appointment. The length of time to receive the death certificates depends on the county where the death occurred.
Q: What do I need if I want to bring/send cremated remains to another country?
A: Taking cremated remains into another country requires preparation, and a little patience since each country has its own requirements. You should start by:

  1. Contacting the Consulate(s) for the country you are taking cremated remains to or from; identify their specific rules and legal requirements. Note: you can often find this information on the website for the country... but it may also require a call.
  2. Some countries will have additional authorizations that are required. Your contact with the Embassy should be able to provide you with the forms, although you may need to involve a licensed funeral director or even legal counsel in order to complete the information required.
  3. Allow even more time for this process — two weeks at a minimum — as there can be a number of steps involved.
Most airlines will allow you to transport cremated remains, either as air cargo, or as carry-on or checked luggage (traveling with you). Whether shipping as air cargo or as carry-on/checked luggage, consider all of the following steps:

  1. Check with the airline to determine their exact policies on either shipping or handling as luggage. Some airlines will not accept cremated remains in checked luggage while others may only accept it as checked luggage. Some airlines require seven days notice before shipping if handled as air cargo. In all cases the contents should be identified as cremated human remains.
  2. Review the Transportation Security Administration requirements and additional guidelines which require that the container must be scannable (a container returning an opaque image will not be permitted through security, either for checked luggage or for carry-on luggage). See their related blog post here
  3. Arrive early to ensure adequate time for security clearance.
  4. Carry the Death certificate, Certificate of Cremation or other appropriate documentation with you (and consider attaching copies to the container), and
  5. Make sure to check with a licensed funeral director both at your origin of travel and destination to determine if there are local laws to be considered.