Is Embalming Necessary for Cremation?

Video Transcript

Is embalming required for cremation? The answer is simply no. Embalming may be required depending on the type of service or celebration of life that the family would choose for their loved one. An example of that would be if you choose to have a visitation where the public would be coming into a funeral home and having an open viewing or an open casket. Then the funeral home requirement would be that the body would be embalmed. For the cremation process itself there is no requirement for embalming, nor is it a state law. It only becomes a requirement if you’re going to have a public visitation or a public viewing, and that requirement is usually by the funeral home establishment.

Answers from Other Funeral Directors Around the United States:

No, unless you want to have a public viewing of the deceased prior to the cremation process. If the family is not having a public viewing and only wants cremation, it is referred to as a “direct cremation.”

- Abby Schilling
Funeral Director in Richfield, MN

No, embalming is never necessary nor legally required for cremation.

- Michael Sollitto
Funeral Director in Charlotte, NC

No! Embalming is not necessary for a cremation or for a service taking place after the cremation is complete. However, embalming is required if the service will take place with the body present before the cremation. A lot of families get confused on this. They get mislead by incorrect information. For example, a family is planning a viewing for their loved one with 60 members from the community planning to attend before the cremation. The funeral home may require this body to be embalmed for the safety of the community as well as itself.

- Dorsey Thomas
Funeral Director in Atlanta, GA