When a loved one passes away, friends or family may not know how to respond. With so many questions, it may be difficult to discern what to do and when to do it. This guide is provided to help make the process clearer for those creating or fulfilling a cremation plan.
Step 1: Notifying Neptune Society
After a loved one passes, an authority will notify Neptune Society so we can respond. This authority can be a nurse at a hospital, a deputy sheriff at a home, a caretaker at a hospice, or anyone else who is considered a person of authority in their environment.
Surviving loved ones who know their loved one was a Neptune Society member should tell this authority to make sure they contact Neptune Society. If there is no cremation plan in place, the authority may contact Neptune Society as well. If survivors are unsure whether or not there is a Neptune Society cremation plan in place, a quick call during business hours can sort it out.
Step 2: Taking the loved one into our care
Neptune Society immediately sends a call team out to wherever the death took place. Then Neptune Society then takes the loved one into the care of our professional staff. An appointment with surviving loved ones will be scheduled at this time to ensure all paperwork and remaining fees are handled correctly and efficiently.
“We always treat everyone in our care as one of our own family members,” Jessica Watts, Service Manager of Neptune Society of Jacksonville, FL said.
Step 3: Attending the appointment.
Appointments can be made in person at a local office, over the phone, or by sending documents through the postal service. Watts recommends an in-person appointment, as sending documents back and forth through the mail or email can create delays.
Note that this appointment can only happen during business hours which vary based on location but are approximately Monday-Friday from 9am – 5pm. If a death occurs over the weekend or at night, Neptune Society will still take the loved one into our care and will schedule the appointment as soon as is convenient for surviving loved ones.
Also note that there can be fees and forms even if the one who passed away had a Neptune Society plan. There are some forms and fees that cannot be legally handled until after death occurs. However, preplanning a cremation takes care of the majority of the fees, forms, and complexities and simplifies the process at the time of need.
A preplanned cremation also allows people to make their own decisions, provide their own information and permission for cremation, and reduces emotional stress and financial burdens on surviving loved ones.
“Honestly, that’s the best gift they can give to their family,” Watts said.
For those without a cremation plan, Neptune Society can still walk surviving loved ones through the process of collecting all necessary information in a quick and efficient manner.
This part of the process is where one is most likely to experience a rare delay with receiving signed forms from doctors, surviving loved ones, or other authorities before the cremation process can formally begin.
Step 4: Completing the cremation
Loved ones in our care are taken to a local crematorium owned by Neptune Society to complete cremation as planned. Any other services before the cremation can take place at this time including visitations, viewings, and witnessing. Mention during your appointment if services like these are desired.
Step 5: Returning the loved one to the family
Once the cremation process is complete and the loved one is back at the regional office, Neptune Society will contact the family. Once the release form is signed, the family may take their loved one home. The ashes are kept in a temporary container when given to the family to be transferred to a permanent or scattering urn at a later time. At this time family and friends may have a memorial service and place their loved one in their final home.
The entire cremation process may take up to 15 business days depending on any possible delays, and Neptune Society is committed to providing the highest level of care and compassion through it all. If you wish to plan a cremation for yourself or a loved one please complete this form or contact a local office for more information.
If a loved one has recently passed away, Neptune Society gives our condolences for your loss. Please contact us immediately to answer any questions you may have.
Special thanks to Jessica Watts, service manager of our Neptune Society Jacksonville office, for her support and contributions to this post.