In most states, if a body will not be buried or cremated within 24 or 48 hours (depending on state laws), it must be properly preserved.
The main methods of doing this are embalming and refrigeration, which the funeral home will be able to provide.
How long can a body stay in a mortuary?
In many countries, the family of the deceased must make the burial within 72 hours (three days) of death, but in some other countries it is usual that burial takes place some weeks or months after the death. This is why some corpses are kept as long as one or two years at a hospital or in a funeral home.
Does a body get drained before cremation?
In most cases, the body does not have to be embalmed. For instance, if there will be a direct cremation, the body is taken straight to the crematorium and cremated right away. With direct cremation, there is no funeral or memorial service. It is quite common for the body to be cremated before any memorial service.
Can a funeral home hold a body for payment?
No, they can’t. Some funeral directors choose to hold ashes until the family pay the bill, but they are not allowed to. And non-payment does happen, funeral costs are substantial and families will often wish to show their respects by arranging a fitting send-off.
How long can a body be kept without embalming?
A body presents little threat to public health in the first day following the death. However, after 24 hours the body will need some level of embalming. A mortuary will be able to preserve the body for approximately a week. Regardless of the embalming, decomposition will begin after one week.