You may not be sure about what to do with your loved one’s ashes after a cremation. There is a process that takes place at the crematorium before the ashes are stored away pending collection. It’s important to know that if you don’t collect the cremated remains or ashes within a reasonable amount of time then you will receive a letter notifying you that the ashes will be disposed of in 14 days notice if they’re not collected.
How and where can ashes be scattered
Once you have the ashes you’ll be pleased to know that there are no public health risks associated with their disposal or retention. In New South Wales, you are entitled to dispose of your ashes by burial or placed in a niche wall at a cemetery. You can place them in an urn and keep them at home if you wish. A scattering ashes ceremony can take place in a public place like a beach; in the sea; by a river or in a parkland area but you should contact the relevant local council with responsibility for those locations to make sure you are not contravening the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.
When you scatter ashes you should consider the likelihood of change to a locations purpose or function. If you scatter your loved ones ashes at home you may choose to sell that home sometime down the track. And public spaces can become either the subject of development or for some other reason they may become inaccessible. That can be heart wrenching if you take solace in the significance of those locations.
If you wish to scatter ashes into the sea you need to get permission from either the master or the owner of a vessel. It is possible to charter a vessel specifically for the purpose of scattering ashes. Make sure you consider the wind direction and it’s best to drill holes in the top of the receptacle so the ashes disperse slowly.
Taking ashes to be scattered overseas
Don’t just assume that you can get on a plane and pass through the customs of another country with an urn containing your loved one’s ashes. Make sure you contact the consulate for the country you are visiting and comply with their requirements exactly.
The airline will also want to stipulate how they travel and will no-doubt inspect their container. Make sure you have a copy of the death certificate and a statement from the crematorium confirming the date of the cremation.
If you need more advice on how to scatter ashes at the beach or your obligations when scattering ashes at any public or private location, you should talk to the staff at Southern Cross Funeral Directors. We are one of the largest independent funeral directors in Sydney. We are committed to providing great service and supporting people at the time in their lives when they need it the most. We have offices throughout Sydney, Central Coast, Wollongong and Western Sydney. Contact us for an obligation free conversation.