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What happens with cremated ashes at Minehead's funeral home with Amanda-Louise Funeral Services

Amanda-Louise Funeral Services
June 28, 2024

Can I trust a funeral director with my loved one's cremated ashes?

In light of recent distressing events in the news, bereaved families throughout the UK are understandably anxious about the accuracy of the cremated remains they have received. The Good Funeral Guide recently produced an article on this very topic where they reference The Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM) of points to note about the cremation process and correct identification is an essential element.

Here at Amanda-Louise Funeral Director Services with our funeral home in Blenheim Road, Minehead, we believe it's important to provide clear public information on what individuals should anticipate when arranging a cremation and requesting the return of the cremated remains. So in this blog we talk about how we safeguard your loved one and what to expect when you place your trust in us:-

From Death to Ashes Back With the Family

During the planning process, we will also ask you what you would like to happen with the cremated ashes - one of those choices is if you would like us to collect them on your behalf (this is the most popular choice we find), alternatively you can personally collect them yourselves from the Crematorium's office. On the legal paperwork we complete on your behalf, we state clearly to the crematorium your wishes, so they know who will be collecting them.

When we are completing all the funeral paperwork on your behalf, we always ensure that all the information contained in the documents we receive from all parties (such as coroner, hospital or GP, registrar) all correspond together, then when we complete the application to apply for a cremation, that information correlates too. That way, when the crematorium receives the complete paperwork, the checks they do their end is then approved.

From the moment we collect the person who has died, we check their identification. For example in a hospital we are ensuring the information we have matches to their wrist id band. If we have collected the person from their own home, again we never assume, and we also ensure that the death has been verified by a medical professional. Everyone who comes into our care, we place our identification band on their wrist and ankle, which remains. We complete our own paperwork to evidence when and where we have collected the person, and this identification is also shown in our mortuary facilities to know exactly who is who. Every record is also kept on our comprehensive IT management system, which is fully tracked and audited - our records show not only details of travel and whereabouts of your loved one, personal information, plans for funeral, but also our support and care of the body for example, details of the funeral and if cremation records about the remains too - this system, similar to those used in hospitals, allows us to record each stage of care and which member of staff delivered it instantly. So you can be confident that your loved one is in safe hands, and that they have been returned safely to you after the cremation.

Our mortuary facilities are secure and only authorised people are allowed access. Similarly all our data information is securely kept.

How Do I Know That's My Mother's Ashes?

When we prepare the coffin, we will ensure the name plate has accurate information displayed, and this is checked by the crematoria when we arrive before we proceed into the chapel, so that it correlates with the paperwork we have submitted to them previously. We typically use Sedgemoor, Taunton and Yeovil Crematoriums more so but are able to use others further afield. Once we have placed the coffin onto the catafalque in the chapel, then responsibility of the coffin moves over to the crematorium, and they have their own audit process to ensure the correct identification.

At the crematoriums, their cremation chamber can only accept one adult coffin at a time, so each cremation is entirely individual, and carefully monitored throughout. Every coffin is scanned or paperwork checked when accepted for cremation, scanned or manually checked again before being placed in the cremation chamber, and then typically during the handling and processing of the ashes. (Families do have opportunity to witness the crematoria' staff place the coffin into the creation chamber, if that's important to them, and will have been requested in advance)

Once the cremation has taken place, the ashes are placed into a bag and a label is attached to this bag showing the identification of the body's ashes (their name, age and who the funeral director is) and the bag is placed in a cardboard box (again has id on it). Inside the box is also the certificate of cremation. When we return to the crematorium, we have to sign crematorium's paperwork to evidence we are taking custody of those ashes (if this is whats been agreed) and we check that the label in and on the box of ashes matches, along with the certificate. We either then deliver the ashes to our client's home, or we take the ashes back to our funeral home for safe keeping - these are kept in a locked cabinet within a locked room, until the family collect the ashes from us. We ask the family to sign our form to say they have collected the ashes from us.

For some families, rather than having the cremated ashes collected, they can opt to have the crematoria strewn or bury the ashes in the garden of remembrance, and we will have indicated this instruction on the application to the chosen crematorium.

Cremated Ashes for Collection by Minehead's Amanda-Louise Funeral Directors, to demonstrate the provenance of cremated remains is fully traceable by Amanda-Louise and her team, to put families minds at rest after the distressing news in the UK of another funeral directors poor practice.

Amanda-Louise Funeral Directors Fresh Approach to Funerals

As a female led funeral directors and undertakers, our mission has always been to set new standards as a fresh approach in funerals. We prefer not to hide behind rigid customs or lack of transparency, wanting to provide what people want and need and to know where their loved one is and also importantly we prefer to only use local crematoriums. We have a set of governance and compliance where our policies and procedures (shown on our website) underpin all what we do, and abide by codes set in the funeral industry. We pride ourselves on being ethical and are not complacent, so we continually look to learn, adapt and improve.

So many funeral homes we find are full of gloom, but our mission is to bring warmth, sincerity and smiles to bring comfort to a sad time,so we have moved away from the old style funeral parlour. In such a short period of time since our move to larger premises from 5a to 3 Blenheim Road, Minehead, our funeral home has been turned into a welcoming modern designed space with onsite mortuary, kitchen facilities for funeral reception hospitality and designed space for ceremonies with tv to show those photo slideshows. And we treat your loved one with upmost tenderness as you would do with a member of your dearest family.

Our carefully designed funeral home at Amanda-Louise Funeral Services has been carefully arranged to be a welcoming space

Family and friends can feel at ease spending time with their loved one before the funeral in our beautiful space, where music can be played, candles lit and even space to create art if that's important. Our lounge areas have been carefully designed with a feeling of tranquility with a balance of modern wooden slats on the walls coupled with blue tones. Our new clean modern mortuary space has been installed, and we welcome family and friends to visit to see how we expertly and compassionately care for your loved one, and you are welcome to help us wash them, dress them, put on their favourite nail polish or aftershave, or bring their favourite blanket or items to place with them, if you ask us. We are happy to explain what happens in a mortuary, so expect us to be sensitively open and transparent, gently caring for both the dead and for those they’ve left behind.

Information is key with us. We know death is natural, its normal, but we recognise caring for the people who have died is often surrounded by secrecy. We maintain the highest level of hygiene, and audit trail to show evidence of where your loved one is on every step of their journey. We are proud of what makes us different, because how we treat the living and the departed really matters to us.

See For Yourself

We hope that this information will provide reassurance and complete confidence that the ashes you receive are indeed those of the special loved one you have entrusted to our care.

If you would like to find more information about our fresh approach to funerals, or a tour of our funeral home, please contact Amanda-Louise on 01643 800335 or email

Amanda-Louise Funeral Services
Amanda-Louise Funeral Directors 3 Blenheim Road, Minehead, Somerset, TA24 5PY (by appointment only)
‍Blog Disclaimer - the article is opinion based by the author only, the content is for information purposes only, and as such is not guaranteed. Whilst is intended to be accurate there may be some unintentional errors, mistakes or omissions and therefore may be subject of updating. In accordance with advice articles should the reader wish to rely on this information, they do so at their own risk. Any prices quoted are accurate at time of writing content.

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