CREMATION SOCIETY OF THE QUAD CITIES™
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a cremation society?
A cremation society has members with a common desire to have simple cremation without ceremony upon their deaths. We have established the Cremation Society of the Quad Cities™ to allow our members to make their own self-directed cremation arrangements in advance. Because members complete required forms and authorizations in advance, often online, we can offer substantial savings to them. Upon death, only limited professional services are needed to complete the member’s recorded instructions.
The Cremation Society of the Quad Cities™ offers only a restricted selection of cremation services designed to meet the needs of those who want simple cremation with limited options. We are not a funeral home and do not provide embalming services or caskets.
What are the requirements for membership?
Membership in the Cremation Society of the Quad Cities™ is open to any individual who wishes to record his or her desire for a simple, self-arranged cremation. Membership is obtained by paying a one-time, non-refundable membership fee of $49, completing a vital record form with information required for the death certificate, and signing a form authorizing your cremation and naming an authorizing agent to be in charge upon your death.
To receive member pricing, all forms must be completed at least 48 hours prior to death.
Why do the forms need to be completed 48 hours in advance of death?
The Cremation Society of the Quad Cities™ offers a value-priced simple cremation by limiting the professional services to be provided by a licensed funeral director. Members provide information and instructions in advance, which, after death, allows our funeral directors and cremation specialists to have all certificates and documents prepared in an efficient manner. Lead-time of 48 hours is required to have all information entered into our system for processing.
How much does Cremation cost?
Our most economical direct cremation costs $1,596 for members and $1,896 for non-members. That cost includes transferring the deceased from the place of death to our on-site climate controlled facility, obtaining all required cremation authorizations, and performing the cremation. Many families will select a cremation that includes viewing of the deceased in our Reflection Room or a memorial service, which are added services available to you at additional cost.
Why are Cremation Society of the Quad Cities™ prices so much lower than those of traditional funeral homes?
Since our members make self-directed arrangements and complete all forms in advance, our cremation specialists spend less time with the authorizing agent at the time of death. We are not for everyone, but we are an ideal choice for those who desire only a simple cremation and don’t want or need more service. In-person meetings are limited to the sole purpose of completing required documents and wuthorizations. In addition, unlike many funeral homes, we own and operate our own on-site crematory and do not have to pay third-party crematory fees.
What if my family wants to have a memorial gathering, service, or luncheon?
While the Cremation Society of the Quad Cities™ does not offer many additional services, a wide range of memorial options are available from our sister company, Trimble Funeral Home & Crematory. The members’ savings of $300 can be transferred from the cremation society to the funeral home at the time of death if your family wishes.
What are the benefits of becoming a member?
Simply put, the main benefit of membership is the significant savings in cost compared to the direct cremation charges of local funeral homes. Our charge for “Only Cremation” is $785 below the average cost of direct cremation of the fifteen funeral homes in Scott and Rock Island Counties.
Another benefit is that you can choose the cremation services you want and record your wishes in advance. This information will be kept on file until it is needed. Often, survivors do not know information needed, such as someone’s mother’s maiden name, or place of birth. By having that information on hand, arrangements will go more smoothly for your survivors.
Membership allows an individual to sign and authorize his or her own future cremation. In cases where the deceased does not have a next of kin, or has multiple next of kin with differing ideas, having their own signature can be the only way to assure that his or her wishes to be cremated will be followed.
How do I become a member?
There are several ways to become a member.
- You can complete the forms online at our website, which is the easiest and recommended way.
- A membership form can be printed from our website. Complete the forms and mail them to our office, 701 12th Street, Moline, IL 61265, with a check for the membership fee and any other items you have chosen.
- You can request a membership packet to be mailed to you, and return the completed form to our office .
- Our staff can fill out a membership form for you over the phone. The membership fee can be paid by credit card at that time, and completed documents will be mailed to you for your signature.
The membership fee is not refundable and covers the cost for setting up your account and maintaining your records. It also assures your right to receive member pricing on all services selected.
If my parents, or husband or wife, are members, does that make me also a member?
No. Each person must complete a membership form with their own information to be considered a member. An individual’s membership form may be completed by a spouse, a child, or a person acting as power of attorney.
What happens if a member dies away from the Quad Cities?
If we are notified of the death of a member before another funeral home or cremation provider is contacted, we can make all arrangements for the cremation at the place of death. Additional costs are the responsibility of the family, but in many instances we are able to minimize those or even arrange the cremation without additional costs.
We offer “away from home” insurance which will pay those costs, or, if desired, will pay to have the deceased individual returned to the Quad Cities for family viewing prior to cremation in our own crematory.
In either instance, it is necessary that we are notified of the death first so that we may select the cremation provider at the place of death.
When is payment due, and what types of payment are accepted?
Unless payment has been made on a preneed basis, payment must be made prior to cremation. We accept all major credit cards, checks or cash. We also accept verifiable preneed trusts or insurance policies transferred from another funeral home, and will refund any excess proceeds to the family to the extent allowed by law.
Can I prepay for my or someone else’s cremation?
Yes. We accept all major credit cards, or we can take cash or a check for prepayment.
How does the prepayment process work?
For your protection, all payments we receive prior to death are placed in an insurance policy or annuity within 30 days. When you decide to prepay for your cremation, you will send in a completed membership form, along with a check payable to the Cremation Society of the Quad Cities. Our staff and preneed specialists will mail you a packet of information and membership cards. They will also send a simple agreement and application form that will need to be signed and mailed back to us in the enclosed envelope.
Once received in our offices, the signed application and payment will be sent to National Guardian Life Insurance Company. A certificate of insurance will be sent to you by the insurance company in 2-3 weeks.
The member’s funds sit in the insurance policy until the death occurs, at which time the proceeds of the policy are released to us to pay for the services selected. Unless specified as irrevocable, the policy can be canceled at any time with a written request. Canceling the policy prior to death will result in the return of the current cash value which may be less than the amount originally paid.
What does a “guaranteed prepaid cremation” mean?
A guaranteed prepaid cremation means someone has paid in full for their cremation and no more money will be due at the time of death for the services specified. When someone prepays in full at today’s cost, their funds are placed into an insurance policy, as described above. The Cremation Society of the Quad Cities™ will mail the member an agreement certifying the guarantee. Over the course of time, the prepaid account will generate interest. The interest stays within the policy and is used to make up the difference in the future cost. All funeral and cremation providers must be licensed to receive payments prior to death, and are required to place the funds in a trust or insurance policy in the same manner.
Can I prepay for other items? Such as death certificates, an urn, obituary, rental of a room for a gathering, food for a luncheon, or flowers?
Yes. You can prepay for nearly any final expense item. Charges for items we provide are considered “guaranteed” items and are treated the same way as the cremation charges in the future. Other items that are not our charges are not guaranteed and may cost more in the future.
Is there a payment plan?
Yes. Premiums for the pre-need insurance policy can be paid monthly if desired.
Can my existing life insurance policy be used for payment of funeral services?
No. Due to the value price of our services, we require payment before the cremation. We will obtain certified copies of the death certificate for the beneficiary’s use in filing a death claim.
What is Cremation?
Cremation is performed to prepare the remains of the decedent for final disposition. It is carried out by placing the decedent’s remains in a casket or alternative container, which is then placed into a cremation chamber or retort where they are subjected to intense heat and flame, usually at 1400 to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours or more. All cremations are performed individually. The resulting bone fragments are further reduced in size through a mechanical process and are referred to as “cremated remains”. After processing, the cremated remains are placed in an urn or other container suitable for memorialization, transport or interment. Depending upon the size of the deceased’s skeletal makeup, cremated remains normally weigh four to eight pounds.
How long is the wait from the time of death before the cremation can take place?
By law, cremation may not take place until 24 hours after death, nor until the attending doctor signs the death certificate and authorizations are obtained from the next of kin or responsible party, the county coroner or medical examiner, and the county registrar. Having an individual’s vital information and cremation authorization on file can speed the process greatly.
How am I sure the cremated remains I receive are those of my loved one?
As an important part of our “Worry Free Cremation Protocol,” we require identification of the individual by the next of kin or responsible party prior to cremation. This can be done when we assume custody of their loved one at the place of death, or in our Reflection Room later. Upon identification, we place on the individual an anklet or bracelet which has a non-combustable tag embossed with a unique serial number. This permanent identifier stays on the individual prior prior to and during the cremation process, and is placed with the cremated remains following processing.
A family member or the authorizing agent can also choose to witness the cremation.
What is a private family viewing?
With our “Time to Say Good-bye” or “Worry Free Cremation” packages, immediate family members may spend time with their loved one in our Reflection Room prior to cremation. We provide limited preparation of the deceased for viewing purposes, but there in no embalming or cosmetic care performed. The individual is dressed in a hospital gown or in clothing provided by the family and placed in the cremation container specified. This type of viewing is not considered a wake or public visitation, simply time for immediate family members to say their final good-bye.
What is cremation witnessing?
A witnessed cremation is one where the cremation is scheduled to allow a family member or authorizing agent to view the start of the cremation process. Witnessing takes place through a viewing window from our Reflection Room. Once the cremation starts, most witnesses will leave and return later that day or a following day to pick up the remains, although some may choose to stay for the duration of the cremation.
What is the deceased wearing for the cremation?
Most deceased people are cremated in the clothing in which they pass away or in a hospital gown. If a family wishes, we can drape the deceased in clothing or a family blanket. If a family wishes for the deceased to be dressed, there is a preparation fee.
Can other items be given to be placed with the deceased and cremated with them?
Yes. With the written permission of the authorizing agent, almost any combustable item can be cremated with the deceased. Batteries, glass or large items can’t be cremated with the deceased. The most common items that get cremated are pictures, letters, favorite clothing, blankets, stuffed animals, etc. None of these are recoverable after the cremation because the only thing left after the cremation are cremated human remains.
What do cremated remains look like?
Processed cremated remains are a mixture of powdery and granular substances, and are varying shades of gray to white in color. It may surprise many to learn that ashes are not the final result since cremated remains have neither the appearance nor the chemical properties of ashes.
Are all cremated remains returned to the family?
Yes, with the exception of minuscule and microscopic particles or dust which are impossible to remove from the cremation chamber and processing machine. After each cremation is performed a thorough gathering of all remains is done and the remains returned to the family.
Can cremated remains be divided up?
Yes. With written authorization from the authorizing agent, we can separate the cremated remains for placement in individual keepsake urns designed for that purpose.
Is an urn required in which to place the cremated remains?
There is no law requiring a permanent urn. Since the cremated remains must be returned to the family in a container of some sort, a temporary urn of either cardboard or plastic is included in our cremation packages. This container is suitable for burial in many cemeteries, although some cemeteries require a permanent recoverable urn for burial. We display a large variety of permanent and scattering urns for your selection. Should a family have their own urn or container, we will be glad to transfer the remains for you. The smallest container should be no smaller than 3 inches by 9 inches by 6 inches.
The deceased was receiving only Social Security, and the survivors do not have enough funds to pay for the cremation, what happens?
Because of the savings we offer, we require payment prior to the cremation. This is why prepayment is so important. Otherwise It is up to the family to pay for their loved ones final expenses. Many people who are on disability or other types of state or county public assistance may qualify for reimbursement of a portion of the costs of cremation. It is the family’s responsibility to contact the state or county to provide them the required information and documents. If a deceased person doesn’t qualify for assistance, it is because they have an asset that exceeds the amount of the assistance needed. Talking to a credit card company or your bank may be the quickest and best option – they may be able to help with a short term loan to cover the basic costs needed, and can use the asset of the deceased as collateral until the loan is paid off.