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Guest Column

When death occurs, families often ask … Why can’t cremation be done the same day?

By Lou Bravo

There are three basic legal requirements that must be met before a cremation can be performed in Florida. First, at least 48 hours must elapse between the time of death and the time of the cremation (1). Second, a legally authorized individual such as the spouse or next of kin must give permission for the cremation in writing. Third, the county Medical Examiner must approve the cremation. This follows after the County Medical Examiner reviews a completed death certificate signed by a physician. Physicians in have seventy-two (72) hours to sign a death certificate. After all of the necessary authorizations have been completed and filed, a funeral director will schedule the cremation. Cremation will be completed using the crematory facility situated on our premises.

Florida law requires that the body be embalmed or held in refrigeration following 24 hours after death. Embalming is required when a traditional Hindu funeral ceremony involves an open casket with a public viewing.

Additionally, Florida law requires a licensed funeral director for the following: for any type of funeral service ceremony, for viewing of the body, and for final disposition to cremate the remains. As required by the Hindu faith, a funeral director will allow a family member to initiate the cremation process by pressing the start button.

Funeral directors are caregivers and administrators. They make the arrangements for transportation of the deceased human remains, complete all necessary paperwork, including death certificates, and implement the choices made by the family regarding the service and final disposition of the human remains.

  1. THE FLORIDA STATUTES: TITLE XLVI, CHAPTER 872872.03 Cremating human bodies; limitation. (1) It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to cremate any dead human body prior to the expiration of 48 hours after the death of such human body.

Lou Bravo is a licensed senior family advisor at Trinity Memorial Gardens in Trinity and can be reached at (727) 376-7824.

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