Should You Divide Your Loved One’s Ashes? 5 Important Tips

Will your deceased loved one be cremated? Undoubtedly you have many decisions to make right now, and one of these is whether or not to divide the ashes after cremation. Many surviving family members aren't sure how to approach this idea, but it can actually make things easier for everyone. Here are a few key things to know about dividing ashes.

1. Respect Their Wishes

Look through the person's estate planning documents or will to see if they left instructions about the status of their ashes. If so, these wishes should be respected first and foremost. Their person is the final and most intimate thing anyone should have control over after their passing. Respecting their wishes can be challenging if the family does not agree, but it must take precedent. 

2. Ask About Religious Views

Check on the person's religious affiliations before deciding on division or not. While most religions view this as a personal choice, some have stronger opinions about it. Your loved one's religion may not approve of scattering ashes dividing the body in this form. As with the deceased personal wishes, their religious beliefs should be adhered to. 

3. Learn About Size Requirements

For family and friends, keeping or spreading the ashes of their loved one honors the person who died and provides a way for family to say goodbye in a way they would have wanted. But most memorials don't require all the ashes be kept in one place — or even a majority of the ashes. Many loving memorial actions can be done with a very small amount of ashes. This opens up more opportunities through thoughtful division. 

4. Consider Division to Reduce Conflict

If your loved one didn't have clear wishes on the matter, division of ashes can be a good solution to a variety of family conflicts. If family members want to do something particular as a memorial, and can't agree on where to place ashes or object to the deceased's memorial wish, some division can stop conflicts from growing into bigger family drama. 

5. Personalize Memorial Choices

Modern memorials come in many shapes and sizes, ranging from small to quite large. As such, look to honor your loved one in ways that bring mourners comfort and reflect the person's interests. The division of ashes allows you to choose multiple memorials, such as ones that are transient and others that are permanent. 

Want to know more about the division of cremated remains? Start by meeting with a funeral home. Together, you can respect the deceased's wishes while finding the best ways to honor them and provide help for loved ones who remain. Contact a funeral home for more information regarding cremation services