Frequently Asked Questions

We own and operate our own crematory locally. From the time your loved one enters into our care, through the cremation process and is returned to you, our documentation is very thorough and complete.

We want to help you through this difficult time so we offer several options for making cremation arrangements. We can meet you at any of our sister facilities throughout San Diego County, come to your home, or make arrangements by phone, fax and email.

California state law requires that the deceased must either be embalmed or refrigerated within 24 hours of death. With simple cremation the deceased will be transferred to our secure, climate-controlled facility.

Yes, you may have a variety of services with cremation. If you prefer to have more services than a simple cremation, our mortuary group has facilities and staff to accommodate all needs. Please contact us.

We must obtain a death certificate signed by the deceased’s attending physician or the medical examiner prior to filing the cremation permit with the State of California. Once a death certificate has been signed, we will obtain a cremation permit with the State of California. After the permit is secured, the cremation process will begin.

No. The fee, if required, is payable to the medical examiner.

You may obtain a certified copy of the death certificate from the County Health Department where the death occurred. If you let us know how many you will need, we can obtain the certified copies for you. There is a fee for each certified copy ordered.

All funeral home activities are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission. The Funeral Rule was revised July 19, 1994 and continues to require the industry to provide information and disclosures that help consumers when shopping and purchasing funeral goods and services.

Abbey Cremation and Funeral Service is licensed through the State of California – License # FD-2109. The Cemetery & Funeral Bureau licenses and regulates our industry.

You must apply in order to receive benefits. You may apply at any Social Security office or, if you wish, you may apply by telephone. Just dial the toll-free number 1-800-772-1213 and the operator will schedule an appointment for you or arrange for the local Social Security office to take your claim by telephone. You may also visit their website –

Veterans benefits vary depending on many factors. You may contact the Veterans Affairs Office to determine what benefits can be claimed. The national, toll-free number for the Veterans Affairs Office is (800) 827-1000.


What Is cremation?

Cremation is the process of reducing human remains to its basic elements in the form of bone fragments through flame, heat and vaporization (usually 1800 – 2000 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours or more). Cremation occurs at a crematory in a special kind of furnace called a cremation chamber or retort. 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.

Is a casket required for cremation to take place?

A casket is not required for a cremation to take place. In most states, all that is required is an alternative container which can be constructed of wood or fiberboard/cardboard, and is cremated along with the deceased.

Is embalming required for cremation?

No. California state law states that any human remains held 24 hours beyond death, and not yet cremated or interred at a cemetery, shall be either embalmed, or kept under refrigeration.

Can a cremation be witnessed by the family?

Yes, in most situations. Our crematory is set up to accommodate witness cremations, but additional fees may apply.

Can more than one cremation be performed at once?

No. Our crematory has strict guidelines to perform only one cremation at a time.

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.

Are all cremated remains returned to the family?

With the exclusion of minuscule and microscopic particles, which are impossible to remove from the cremation chamber and processing machine, all of the cremated remains are returned to the family.

Are urns required to collect the cremated remains?

The cremated remains will be placed in a temporary urn.  We offer a wide selection of traditional urns.