Bereaved families often have many questions about what to expect with regard to collecting the ashes of a deceased loved one. While most funeral directors and crematoria follow fairly similar protocols, this article will help you understand the process and timelines at Sussex Funeral Services a little bit better.

How long does it take to collect the ashes after cremation?

At Sussex Funeral Services, we strive to have the ashes of your loved one ready for collection at our office in Hove as soon as possible. Under normal circumstances, this means that you’ll be able to pick them up 48-72 hours after the funeral, however, we will gladly do whatever we can to expedite this process at your request.

In some cases, families have chosen to collect the ashes directly from the crematorium, located in East Brighton.

Collecting the ashes after cremation

We offer our clients a range of urns for collecting the ashes of a loved one. We have pewter urns that will last for centuries, even without polishing or upkeep, as well as a range of biodegradable urns better suited to the dispersal of ashes. These include urns made from bamboo, willow, sea grass, paper, and even natural rock salt. When placed in water, these urns will float for a while, giving you time for a final remembrance, before sinking and dissolving over a period of a few hours.

Most of the coffins, caskets, and urns available at Sussex Funeral Services are sourced from suppliers who, like us, believe in ethical trading and use environmentally friendly materials and manufacturing techniques.

You can learn more about our selection of coffins, caskets, and urns here.

How long do funeral directors keep ashes?

While different funeral directors could have their own answers to this question, Sussex Funeral Services will keep the ashes, free of charge, for a period of up to 3 months. After that, we charge a daily holding fee of £1 to encourage collection.

In cases where the families simply do not show up to collect the ashes, and we have made official attempts to contact them through all available channels, we will return the ashes to the crematorium, where the ashes will be scattered in a garden of remembrance. Rest assured that we have strict protocols in place to ensure that this only happens after every effort has been made to trace and contact the family.