How long before I can collect someone’s ashes?

Written By

Paul Fisher

Using knowledge gained from over 15 years of direct experience from within the funeral industry and from his formative years watching and learning from his grandfather who was also a funeral director, Paul Fisher answers some of the most frequestly asked questions posed to him and the team. If you have a question you would like to ask you can contact us here, send us a tweet @_ivanfisher or call us direct.

If we have agreed that we will return to the crematorium to collect someone’s ashes on your behalf, they will usually be ready for you to collect from us 2-3 days after the cremation has taken place.

We won’t call you to advise when they are with us unless you particularly request that we do so. We find most families prefer to contact us to discuss this when they are ready and unless we have arranged for them to be placed into an alternative casket, ashes are returned to us in a small cardboard box.

There is no rush to collect the ashes from us. We have been known to keep hold of ashes for many years, however we do encourage people to collect ashes or make the arrangements for them to be interred within 6 months from the date of the funeral.

There is no charge for us to hold the ashes.

Please ensure you bring a valid form of photo ID when you come to collect the ashes. We’re very good at remembering all of our client families but it’s possible that you might meet someone from the team who you hadn’t met during the funeral arrangements and we need to make sure the person collecting them is authorised to do so.

We will only hand over ashes to our named client so if you plan on letting someone else from your family call in to collect them on your behalf, you will need to let us know in advance.

Please don’t be offended if we find ourselves in a position where we can’t hand over the ashes because we haven’t been given the correct authorisation. We have to be very careful when it comes to these matters to ensure we remain neutral in any possible family conflict.

You may have arranged to collect the ashes directly from the crematorium. You will need an appointment to do so. Please contact the crematorium in advance and take photo ID with you when you attend. Ashes will be ready to collect usually from the next working day after the funeral.


As funeral directors, we are regulary asked lots of questions about our profession. We are very happy to answer any questions you might have and no matter how strange they may seem, it’s very likely that we’ve been asked it before! Fill in the form below with your question and one of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

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