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Frequently Asked Questions

Here at Avalon, we are not only committed to treating your loved one with care - we are here to answer your questions to ensure that the process is as easy as we can possibly make it. Your peace of mind is of utmost importance. 

How does Avalon Cremation work?

We should be notified at the time of death at our toll-free number (888) 830-0300. The decedent is then transferred into our care. Then after the release authorization, the Illinois death certificate worksheet is approved, identification of remains secured, cremation authorization is signed by the next of kin, the death certificate is certified by the attending doctor, medical examiner, or coroner, legal permits are secured, and the body is prepared for cremation and cremated.

How do I join?

There is nothing to join. We are not a cremation society, so we have eliminated confusing membership fees, and there is no need to pre-register for our services. We provide our services to every family.

Exactly what happens at the crematory?

The decedent is placed in a simple fiberboard container, which is required by law and crematory regulation, and then placed intact in the cremation retort. After cremation, the remains are processed by pulverization and placed in the desired container. Families may receive the cremated remains or send to another designated place.

Does the body have to be embalmed?

Embalming is a practical necessity only if there is a public viewing or funeral with the body present. Illinois does not require embalming for direct cremations.

How do we know that we get the right cremated remains back?

Every decedent is identified the moment they are placed in our protected care. Throughout the cremation process, this identification card accompanies the decedent. After cremation, the remains are placed in a labeled temporary container or urn. The cremated remains are then given to your family to be buried, scattered, or kept.

Am I required to purchase an urn or scattering services?​

No, but an urn or urn/burial vault may be required depending on the final disposition requirements.

If I do not purchase an urn, how will I receive the remains?

We will return your loved one’s cremated remains in a temporary container suitable for shipment but, in some cemeteries, not suitable for burial. You do not need an urn unless you desire one or it is required for final disposition.

If my family knows I want cremation, is that all they need to know in advance?​

No. Just stating your wishes will not necessarily ensure they will be honored. To ensure your wishes will be honored and to prevent your survivors from having to make decisions and arrangements at the time of your death, you should pre-arrange your cremation. The cremation provider can keep the personal data required for your death certificate so that your survivors will not have to be asked for this information.

My family may be willing to accept my cremation plans, but they may wish to have a funeral service with the decedent present. Is this possible?

Yes, though we at Avalon Cremation Care do not offer these services, we can refer you to a full-service funeral home (Parkside Chapels & Cremation Services), and the deceased can be embalmed and placed in a cremation casket.

If I don’t have a funeral with the body present, I would still like to have a ceremony so that family, friends, and associates can gather for a meaningful event. What are my choices?

Cremation offers a wide array of ceremonies to choose from. A Life Celebration or memorial service can be held in a place of worship or a chapel, with or without the cremated remains present. Avalon Cremation Care is also associated with a funeral home (Parkside Chapels & Cremation Services) located on the southwest side of Chicago (close to Midway Airport and the I-55 expressway) and offers a most traditional setting. This can be delayed as long as necessary after death to allow family and friends to gather from distant locations. Other possibilities include services at the cemetery or columbarium. A scattering ceremony offers a personal touch that only cremation can provide.

What happens if the death occurs while on vacation outside Illinois?

Call us first! Our organization will assist your survivors in making all of the arrangements in the state where death occurs; some additional fees may be charged at the discretion of the cremation provider.

What about newspaper notices and death certificates?​

Avalon Cremation Care can assist your family in placing any newspaper, death, or obituary notices and secure additional certified copies of the death certificates at $20.00 per copy. You will be charged the cost (if any) by the newspaper.

What other assistance do you offer my survivors after death?​

Our Licensed Cremation Specialists are available to help your survivors arrange Life Celebrations, Memorial Services, and or gatherings, write a death notice, prepare memorial cards, obtain additional certified copies of the death certificate, arrange cemetery services, select a permanent memorial urn, notify Social Security and file for Veteran’s Benefits. These services require additional fees.

For any questions not covered in our FAQs, please give us a call.

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