One thing to keep in mind when “preplanning” a funeral with cremation is to make sure you know what kind of urn you might be preordering. When I was a family service counselor, I worked with a few families who made a “preneed” plan for cremation. The families would bring in the plan that included a brass urn. In their heads the urn might be a beautiful Grecian-like urn, one with elegant lines. In reality the urn in the plan was this rectangular box made of thin brass. I have no idea what was really sold to these families. It could have been this very basic box. The point is that no one could ever prove one way or the other what was said initially to the family. Sometimes the product goes out of production and the cemetery or funeral home has to provide something similar to the product prepurchased. These are some aspects of the preneed sales, which do not make sense to me for the families. You could think you are purchasing one thing and in the end, your family shows up and they are given something else. It feels a little too imprecise for me.
When the funeral director or the crematorium returns the cremains to the family, the cremains can be returned in a basic box. It’s usually quite functional. No one should make you feel that you need that Grecian Urn or anything else. You can hold onto the cremains until you have made a decision as to what kind of urn or to scatter the cremains. If the family has decided to go the cremation route, take your time in making the decision on what kind of urn is most appropriate. Keep in mind the standards of the cemetery you are using. They may or may not require a cremation vault. Keep in mind how you will be using the cremains. Make sure the urn is up to your standards. Consider the price point you might need to stay at. If you know someone who makes beautiful boxes or lovely ceramic urns, you can choose this. Some people divide the cremains among the family and will require several smaller containers. You and your family need to decide. You have a right to purchase anywhere you wish. You can even make your own. The choice is yours.