Cremation Ashes FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About Cremation Ashes

The journey of handling cremation ashes involves emotional considerations, legal aspects, and practical decisions. In this guide, we address frequently asked questions surrounding cremation ashes, offering insights to help individuals navigate this process.

Can You Keep Ashes in Your Home?

Yes, you can keep cremation ashes in your home if you wish. Many people choose to keep the ashes of their loved ones in an urn, creating a meaningful and personal space within their homes. 

Can You Take Ashes Abroad?

Yes, you can take cremation ashes abroad, but it's essential to check the regulations of both the departure and destination countries beforehand. Some countries may have specific requirements or restrictions on transporting ashes across international borders, so it's crucial to research and plan accordingly.

Is It Wrong to Split Ashes?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question, as it ultimately depends on the wishes of the deceased and their loved ones. Some families choose to split ashes among multiple relatives or locations. Others may prefer to keep ashes intact as a symbol of unity.

Who Legally Owns Cremation Ashes?

The legal ownership of cremation ashes can vary depending on local laws and regulations. Cremated remains are generally considered the property of the deceased person's next of kin, typically the surviving spouse or adult children. In many cases, the executor of the deceased's estate is considered the legal owner of the ashes and has the authority to make decisions regarding their disposition. It's essential to consult with legal experts or authorities to clarify ownership rights in specific situations.

Do Ashes Go to Next of Kin?

In many cases, cremation ashes are typically entrusted to the deceased's next of kin, such as a spouse, child, or parent, unless other arrangements or instructions have been made. However, the distribution of ashes may vary depending on the deceased's wishes, family dynamics, or legal considerations.

Can You Stipulate What Happens to My Cremation Ashes?

Yes, you can stipulate your wishes for the disposition of your cremation ashes in advance through legal documents such as a will, advance directive, or funeral pre-planning arrangements. By clearly expressing your preferences for how you want your ashes to be handled, you can help ensure that your wishes are followed after your passing.

Can You Mix Cremation Ashes?

Yes, it is possible to mix cremation ashes, and some families choose to do so as a way to commemorate more than one loved one or create unique keepsakes. Mixing ashes can be a meaningful way to symbolize unity and connection. However, it's essential to handle and store mixed ashes respectfully and according to local regulations.

Where Can You Scatter Cremation Ashes?

The regulations regarding where you can scatter cremation ashes vary depending on your location. In general, you can scatter ashes on private property with the owner's permission, in designated scattering areas in public parks or natural areas, or at sea. Be sure to check local laws and regulations before scattering ashes in any location.

Can You Bury Cremation Ashes?

Yes, you can bury cremation ashes in a variety of locations, including traditional cemeteries, pet cemeteries, private property (with permission), or in designated natural burial grounds. Some people also choose to bury ashes in biodegradable urns or containers in eco-friendly burial sites.

How Long After Cremation Should Ashes Be Scattered?

There is no set timeline for scattering cremation ashes, and the decision is entirely up to the individual or family. Some choose to scatter ashes shortly after receiving them, while others may wait weeks, months, or even years before scattering them in a meaningful way.

How Soon Do You Get Ashes Following Cremation?

The timeframe for receiving cremation ashes can vary depending on the crematorium's policies and procedures, as well as any additional services or arrangements requested. In general, ashes are typically available for pickup or delivery within a few days to a week after the cremation process is complete.

Is It OK to Touch Cremation Ashes? 

Yes, it is perfectly safe to touch cremation ashes. Cremated remains are sterile and pose no health risks to those handling them. However, some people may prefer to wear gloves or use a small scoop or spoon when handling ashes out of personal preference or cultural beliefs.

Is There DNA in Cremated Ashes?

While some DNA may remain in cremated ashes, the intense heat of the cremation process typically destroys most genetic material. As a result, the amount of DNA present in cremated remains is minimal and may not be suitable for genetic testing or analysis.


Navigating the journey of cremation ashes is a deeply personal experience, and understanding the various aspects involved can provide comfort and guidance. We hope this comprehensive guide has shed light on the many questions that may arise during this emotional process.

If you have further questions or concerns about cremation, don't hesitate to reach out to a trusted crematorium for guidance and support.

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