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How soon after death must a person be buried or cremated?

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In general, the deceased must be buried, embalmed or cremated within 24 hours of death, or held in such a manner that it is not a nuisance to public health. (Refrigeration is the most common manner of holding a body that has not been embalmed.) It is customary to have a funeral service two or three days after the time of death. Many factors can come into play when deciding the actual day of the service. The travel time for out-of-town relatives, avoiding specific birthdays or anniversaries, holidays and weekends may be some of the considerations when planning a service. Our professional counselor will be happy to work with you on scheduling. With cremation, there can be more leeway in setting the service time. The actual process of cremation will generally occur within 2 to 4 days after the proper permits are obtained from the San Diego County Health Department. However, a permit is not required to have public viewing of the deceased or to have the body present at the funeral service.
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