We’ve provided a list of answers to questions we frequently receive regarding our services and other activities related to funerals. If you don’t see the answer to your question here, feel free to contact us for more information.
Q: Why Choose Florida Mortuary?
A: We are the only funeral home in Tampa to operate an on-site crematory. All other funeral homes offer cremation, but most do not actually perform or even witness the cremation itself. With Florida Mortuary, your loved one never leaves our care. We maintain the highest level of service and assure the integrity of the cremated remains.
Additionally, we provide simple and affordable cremation and funeral planning in the comfort of your home, in advance or at the time of need.
Q: Don’t all funeral homes have a crematory?
A: No, they don’t. Many funeral homes subcontract cremations with third-party providers, transporting the remains to a crematory in an industrial area or a facility not even in the same county. When you choose Florida Mortuary, your loved one never leaves the care of our professional staff, because we own and operate our own crematory right on site.
Q: How can I be certain that all of my loved one’s remains are returned to me?
A: First, your loved one never leaves our care. The complete process is overseen from beginning to end by on-site, highly trained staff. From the moment your loved one enters our care, they will receive the same level of dignified expert care we would provide our own family.
Q: Is cremation witnessing permitted?
A: Absolutely. Our facility was designed with the family in mind. We have the only funeral home in Tampa that can accommodate family members on-site who want to be present for the cremation process.
Q: Do you cremate only one body at a time?
A: Not only is it our standard to do so, but it is the law. Our crematory is open for inspection. Just give us a call to schedule a tour.
Q: Do you also cremate pets?
A: No, we do not. Our single cremation unit is designated for cremating human remains only. We can provide referrals to reputable crematories offering this service.
Q: Do I need to identify my loved one’s body?
A: Many families wish to positively identify their loved one at the funeral home before the burial or cremation. This process offers a sense of comfort and reassurance. The opportunity is available but not required; other means of identifying the deceased are authorized.
Q: What do I do if a death occurs at night or on the weekend?
A: Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Call us at any time for assistance.
Q: What do I do if a death occurs at home? Who do I contact?
A: That depends. If the death was expected and hospice is present, the hospice representative will make the proper phone calls. If hospice is involved but not present at the time of death, call hospice.
If hospice is not involved, call non-emergency local law enforcement. They will be the first to arrive and then follow the proper protocol from there. They will advise when Florida Mortuary can be called for removal.
Q: Is embalming necessary?
A: No, it is not, nor is it required by Florida law. However, the body should be refrigerated or embalmed within 24 hours of being deceased. We require embalming when planning a public viewing.
Q: Am I required to purchase a casket?
A: No, you are not required to purchase a casket. You may choose an Alternative Container for the cremation. Also, unlike many funeral homes, Florida Mortuary offers rental caskets for private or public viewings so that a casket does not have to be purchased for this purpose.
Q: What is the cremation timeline?
A: In Florida, every deceased to be cremated must be referred to the Medical Examiner and a mandated 48-hour waiting period is required. Florida Mortuary will take care of getting the death certificate signed by a doctor, and will then forward it to the Medical Examiner for approval of the cremation process. Next of kin must also provide a signed cremation authorization form. Cremation is an irreversible process and, to protect everyone’s interests, clear intentions must be stated and documented. Once these are completed, the cremation may take place.
Q: Is cremation “greener”?
A: Cremation is a more environmentally-friendly option to traditional casket burial. Not only is it simple and practical, it’s also much more affordable. Cremations can save families money, time, and complexity—all while saving the environment.
Q: I’m Catholic. Can I be cremated?
A: Yes! Because traditional funeral rites are intended to honor the body of the deceased, it is still preferred by the Catholic Church that the physical body be present during Mass. After the traditional rites of the service have been performed, cremation is carried out. If the cremation has been completed, then the urn with the cremated remains inside must be present for the Mass.
Q: Should we hold a viewing?
A: We recommend it. A private or public visitation and viewing of a passed loved one can be a healthy step in the grieving process. Each family member may have a different perspective about this and, by presenting the option of visitation or viewing, you will ensure each family member’s unique emotional needs are fulfilled.
Q: Can we have a memorial service or funeral with a cremation?
A: Of course. Service options are completely up to you. You are invited to tour our location at 4601 North Nebraska Avenue in Tampa and consult our funeral directors. Our facility accommodates many types of services, is handicap accessible, and has ample parking. We will also help facilitate a service at your church or any other special location.
Q: Can we personalize cremation memorial services?
A: Absolutely. Regardless of the size or type of service—whether it’s a traditional burial, cremation, church or chapel service—we will help you add these personal touches to create a truly meaningful experience.
No matter what type of burial service you choose, our expert staff will provide professional guidance and resources designed to encourage your family and friends to celebrate your loved one’s life in a truly meaningful, memorable way. All of our licensed funeral directors are certified Celebrants, so they are trained to be able to make your service unique to you.
Q: What options are available for final disposition of cremated remains?
A: The options are virtually endless. We offer a number of final disposition options for cremated remains, including customized urns, scatterings, burials and more. More and more families are opting for special mementos, so that more than one family member may have a part of their loved one. These keepsakes include small urns, jewelry, glass globes, and other items; a small portion of the ashes are stored inside.
Many people also like the idea of having their remains scattered in a special place. Families can scatter their loved one’s remains practically anywhere—on land, in the ocean or even in the air. Florida Mortuary can assist with any of these options.
Q: Where may we scatter cremated remains?
A: You may have a scattering ceremony in a place that is meaningful to you and your loved one. The scattering may take place nearly anywhere, as long as you have the permission of the property owner.
Q: Can we travel on a plane with the ashes?
A: Yes. Some airlines provide the option of checking the remains just like you would with luggage. Others required them to be sent via cargo. International flights may have more requirements than domestic. You may need to bring the Cremation Certificate and/or Death Certificate. Contact the specific airline for their policy in advance to ensure everything is in order and you know what to expect. In any case, make sure to pack the container properly so everything arrives safely and intact.
Q: What Veteran honors does Florida Mortuary offer?
A: We are committed to honoring the dedicated veterans and service men and women who risk their lives for our country. We are proud to offer a range of special services for them, including, assistance with getting benefits, burial in a National Cemetery, grave markers, perpetual care, burial flags, and Presidential Memorial Certificates, and also arranging for the honor Guard to perform military honors.
We also coordinate a flag retirement program. When requested by the family, we will drape an unusable flag to be cremated with the veteran. The family will receive a certificate stating the last deed of service for that flag was to drape their veteran during the cremation process.
Unusable United States flags may be donated to Florida Mortuary’s flag retirement program any time.
Q: Can pre-arrangements be made for cremation?
A: Yes. Pre-planning ensures your family won’t be left to plan and pay for your final expenses. By deciding the details now, you will save your family stress and heartache later. Plus, you’ll take comfort knowing your wishes will be followed down to the smallest detail. Pre-planning also allows you to lock in services and merchandise at today’s prices.
Q: Can I make pre-arrangements for someone else?
A: Yes. If it will be up to you to plan the funeral of your parent or another loved one, it’s a wise choice to start planning now. It ensures you won’t be left to hastily plan a funeral, guessing at what he or she would have wanted.
Q: How can I make pre-arrangements?
A: To schedule a free pre-planning consultation, call us at (813) 237-2900, or get started today with our Online Pre-Arrangement Form.
Q: Who owns Florida Mortuary? Isn’t it some big conglomerate?
A: Florida Mortuary is family owned and operated, as it has been since it was founded in 1987 John Loyless, a licensed funeral director, owns and operates the business. He grew up in Brandon and lives in New Tampa. He assists families every day and attends many services himself. His wife, Starr, works for the business as the company’s bookkeeper and his daughter Brittni is enrolled in mortuary school.