Who can authorize a cremation?

Advance directives given by the deceased before death are legally paramount. Anyone 18 or older may decide whether or not his or her body will be cremated after death. Those wishes should be put in writing and the signature witnessed.

When there is no advance directive, the decision regarding disposition falls to the next of kin. All close relatives should be consulted. The funeral director can help answer any questions that may come up.

Maryland law also specifies that cremation may not occur within twelve hours of death, or until the body has been identified. In addition, the crematory requires that any pacemaker or other mechanical or radioactive device or implant be removed prior to cremation.

Is cremation less expensive?

Yes, cremation is normally the least expensive alternative for disposition of the body (other than donation to a medical school), because the crematory fee is much lower than those charged by cemeteries for burial or entombment. The cost of mortuary services before or after a cremation depends on the choices of the family. If your choice of establishment is RAPP, you may obtain services at prices lower than those of traditional funeral homes.

Does RAPP return all the cremation remains to the survivors?

Yes. All cremations are performed individually. And our crematory uses metal identification tags to preserve a careful chain of custody of the remains. All recoverable cremated remains, commonly called “ashes,” will be placed in the container of your choice. The family is called to pick up the filled container at RAPP at their convenience. Or, for an additional charge, it may be delivered to them or to the final resting place.

Do you handle pet cremations?

Yes, through our affiliated company, Chesapeake Pet Crematory. Rates are competitive. Urns, pick-up, and delivery are available. Pet cremations are done individually, using equipment designed specifically for pets, not the equipment used for humans. For more information, visit www.chesapeakepetcrematory.com.