“The death of a loved one can be overwhelming,” says Dan Flynn, owner of Simply Remembered Cremation Care, a funeral home offering cremation services, home funerals, and green burials. “Planning for one should not be.”
When considering cremation services, it’s important to get the facts straight. Test your knowledge with this short True-or-False quiz.
1) The County of Santa Barbara regulates funeral homes and cemeteries.
False. They are regulated by The Cemetery and Funeral Bureau of the California Department of Consumer Affairs.
2) Embalming (preservation of a corpse from decay) is required by law.
False. Embalming is not required by law. The embalming trend was kicked off by the first celebrity embalming, Abraham Lincoln, said Flynn, explaining, “They stopped at every single town on their way to his final resting place.”
3) A deceased loved one’s body must be removed from the home within 72-hours.
False. There is not an amount of time by which a loved-one’s body must be removed from the home.
4) It is legal to hold a funeral in your home.
5) Ashes may not be scattered at sea in California.
False. Ashes may be scattered at sea, provided they are at least 500 yards from shore.
6) Ashes may not be scattered in a lake, pond, or river in California.
7) Ashes may be scattered on land in California.
True, provided you have permission from the landowner.
8) Cremation accounts for just 25 percent of all dispositions in the United States.
False. Cremation now accounts for 52 percent of all dispositions in the United States, 63 percent in California, and 90 percent in the Santa Barbara region.
9) Full-body burial at sea is not legal.
False. Full-body burial at sea is legal. The only requirements for full-body burial at sea are that the boat be a minimum of three miles offshore (federal waters) and in 600 feet of water. Due to the shallowness of the coastline in Santa Barbara, boats must go out eight miles to reach a depth of 600 feet.
10) A “green burial” means that no fossil fuels were used in the preparation of the body.
False. “Green burials,” which are legal provided the cemetery allows them, are when there is no embalming, no casket, and the body is wrapped in a cloth shroud and buried directly in the ground. There are currently no cemeteries in Santa Barbara that offer this option. A loved one’s ashes can also be planted in a “Bio Urn” that will grow a tree of your choosing.
11) “Water cremation” is illegal in California.
False. Effective July 1, 2020, California became the 14thth state to allow “water cremation,” also known as alkaline hydrolysis. This is literally a warm, soapy bath, where the high-alkaline solution dissolves the soft tissue over a couple of hours. What remains is only the skeleton, which is then processed to a fine white powder.
Simply Remembered Cremation Care: simplyremembered.com