What Does a Funeral Home Do to Unclaimed Ashes?

Ashes from a deceased loved one can be a powerful and poignant reminder of their legacy, but unfortunately, many times, the remains are not claimed by family members or loved ones. This leaves funeral homes with the difficult task of deciding what to do with them.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the process of how funeral homes handle unclaimed ashes and learn about the unique ways that some organizations are providing respectful final resting places for these forgotten souls.

Unclaimed Ashes

What Are Unclaimed Ashes?

Unclaimed ashes are those of individuals who have passed away and whose remains have yet to be collected by their next of kin or claimants. 

This can happen in numerous scenarios – a person might die without any surviving relatives in the area, or family members might decide not to claim the ashes due to personal reasons. Whatever the case, it’s up to funeral homes to manage unclaimed ashes.

What Happens To Unclaimed Ashes?

The process of handling unclaimed ashes varies from state to state and country to country. 

Generally, most funeral homes choose either cremation or burial for unclaimed remains. In some cases, they may donate these ashes to scientific research as part of medical studies.

Cremated Ashes

In many cases, cremated ashes are placed in an urn before being spread at sea or scattered in a cemetery plot chosen specifically for them. 

For example, some cemeteries offer plots that honor military veterans with no known descendants, so their graves don’t go unmarked. 

Additionally, some funeral homes will create memorials for unclaimed cremated remains and display them at their locations so that visitors can pay their respects if they wish.

Burial Ashes

Regarding burial options for unclaimed ashes, most funeral homes will choose mass graves or special burial plots reserved solely for this purpose. Some cities have even dedicated certain parks as memorial gardens where such burials occur frequently. 

There are even nonprofits devoted solely to helping families find restful final resting places for those with no next of kin who were left behind after death.

Unique Final Resting Places

There are also unique solutions available today that cater specifically towards honoring unclaimed remains from individuals of all backgrounds and walks of life, such as building tiny houses with backyards or guest rooms filled with special keepsakes brought in by volunteers which provide comfort and solace during moments of grief and loss—allowing loved ones’ memories to continue living on long after they’re gone.


Unclaimed ashes pose a difficult challenge for funeral visitation centres tasked with finding appropriate resting places for those without family members who are able or willing to claim them after death. 

Fortunately, though there is no easy solution to finding meaningful final resting places for these forgotten souls, there are still plenty of creative solutions available so that everyone can receive a dignified farewell regardless of their circumstances before passing on into eternal peace and slumber.

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