Direct cremation is simple and inexpensive to arrange, but like other disposition options, some paperwork is required before it can be carried out in Florida. Most of these forms are easy to access and easy to fill out, but direct cremation services can make it even easier on families. They can help attain these forms and fill them out so there are no interruptions prior to cremation.
Here is a quick guide on the forms needed to complete before direct cremation can take place in Florida.
The Death Certificate Application Form
The death certificate is one of the most important forms you’ll need for direct cremation in Florida. It’s an official document and provided by the government on request.
In most cases, death certificates are used by surviving family members to access benefits or for estate settling purposes. The government may request a death certificate to determine a person’s cause of death, or for data tracking purposes.
For direct cremation purposes, a death certificate is required before cremation can proceed. Fortunately, this is something your direct cremation service can handle, as they can order one or more death certificates on your behalf. To do that, you may be asked to fill out information about the decedent. This information may be provided when scheduling direct cremation services, so there’s no delay during cremation.
The Cremation Authorization Form
The cremation authorization form is the other critical piece of paperwork you’ll need to submit before disposition can take place. This form protects the cremation service, as disposition is obviously irreversible. Before a direct cremator will provide services, it will need more than a verbal agreement to proceed – it needs something in writing. That’s what the cremation authorization form provides.
It’s a quick and easy form to fill out. You’ll need to provide the decedent’s name, your name, and a signature for authorizations purposes. The form also lists all the terms and conditions for cremation, so you’ll know what’s involved in the process. For example, if the decedent has certain types of prostheses, including dental prostheses, these may need to be removed prior to cremation. Pacemakers and other implantable medical devices will also require removal before cremation. The decedent’s family must indicate whether such a device is present in the decedent on the authorization form.
This is just one example of what may be included. You can think of the cremation authorization form as the official agreement between the direct cremation service and the family.
The Cremation Arrangement Form
Some direct cremation services require families to fill out a disposition arrangement form during their initial meeting with the client. This form may also be provided online, for quick access and submission.
While death certificates and cremation authorization forms are official legal documents, arrangement forms aren’t binding in the same way. They’re developed by the cremation service and aren’t legally standardized. Still, you may be required to fill one out for the cremator’s reference.
Most arrangement forms include fields for the decedent’s full name, social security number, date of birth, date of death, address, age, marital status, and whether they were an armed forces veteran. This information can help the cremation service put together other important forms, like a death certificate application.
The Payment Authorization Form and Goods Statement
Direct cremation services, like other disposition providers, are regulated by the Funeral Rule. Some of the Rule’s stipulations include complete fee transparency. Further, direct cremation services must make it easy for families to select only what they need for the process. However, it’s common for families to add extra goods or services for their loved one. An urn to store ashes in, for example, or a casket to hold the deceased during the cremation process.
These regulations offer much-needed consumer protection to families. And given the tight regulations involved, direct cremation services may require a payment and goods authorization form before cremation can proceed.
This form includes an itemized list of all services and items included in the agreed-upon price. It also includes the name and address of the person responsible for all listed costs. That person, termed the buyer, must provide their signature and acknowledge that their rights under the Funeral Rule were observed.
What do those consumer rights include? The direct cremator must provide a full price list of all services and goods. The cremator must also inform the client that embalming is not necessary for cremation, except in special circumstances. Cremation services are also disallowed from making claims about the container’s (or casket’s) protective features, unless they are listed by the manufacturer.
VA Benefits Form and Other VA Applications
Veterans who served on active duty and were honorably discharged may be eligible for cremation benefits through Veterans’ Affairs (VA). Officially termed Form 21P-530, this piece of paperwork is an application for disposition benefits, whether burial or cremation.
When filling out the form, the decedent’s service information (service number, dates and rank) must be included. Information regarding the place of cremation, the costs associated with disposition and to what extent those costs have been paid – this must also be included on the form.
Additional VA forms include applications for a burial flag or military headstone. Your direct cremation provider can help you put these forms together if you’re unsure about the process.
A Direct Cremation Service Provider Can Help Your Family Gather, Complete and Submit all Necessary Forms
In the past, arranging a disposition was a difficult, time-consuming process. One that includes a significant amount of paperwork.
Florida direct cremation services have greatly simplified this, especially if you’re working with an experienced, reputable service provider. All necessary forms are typically available on the cremation provider’s website, so you can download and send them back in minutes. This approach ensures there are no delays in carrying out your loved one’s final wishes.