Capturing a DNA Sample Before a Cremation

Securing your DNA: A wise step to take before cremation!

I was first introduced to the concept of securing DNA by a funeral director earlier this year. DNA has become a household word these days, one that we generally think of in terms of genealogy, genetics or paternity. This was the first time I considered the concept of how we are radically re-shaping the death care sector by the permanent eradication of a person’s DNA by the cremation process.

As a funeral consumer, whether you are considering burial or cremation for yourself or loved one, there are facts that you must know:

  1. Cremation is an irreversible process. Unlike burial, once the disposition takes place, it is final.
  2. All genealogical and medical DNA is destroyed by the cremation process.
  3. After burial, disinterment is costly; both financially and emotionally.

Secure your DNA before you die

Collecting your own DNA while you are alive or collecting DNA from your deceased loved one prior to final disposition is an important decision. Why? DNA provides your family important genetic information that can be used to trace, diagnose and may assist in future prevention of diseases. Additionally, DNA can reveal the road map to where you came from and who is in your lineage. If you travel, are a first responder, or if you are a member of the armed forces, securing and banking your DNA may prove valuable in cases of disaster. In the event you are in the unfortunate position to make the decision of DNA collection for your loved one, doing so prior to final disposition will prove invaluable.

Cremation is now fast-becoming the preferred disposition choice for families in the USA, yet many people do not take into account that a cremation eliminates all trace of DNA and no DNA sample can be obtained from cremated remains.

Even if you opt for burial, obtaining a DNA sample prior to interment can eliminate any need to consider how a DNA sample could be obtained from a deceased relative at a later date. Exhuming a body is expensive and unpleasant!

Why secure your DNA?

Medical advancements are changing how we understand genetic conditions. Securing your DNA can help your surviving family unlock the mystery of our DNA heritage to assist future generations.

How can you secure your DNA?

The process is so simple. The service offered by PreventionGenetics does no testing on the sample, merely retains a sample in the event you should wish to test it in the future. A swab sample is taken and the DNA extracted and sealed with silicone.

How much does it cost to obtain a DNA sample for legacy purposes?

There are various options available. PreventionGenetics charge a one-time fee of $169 to bank an individual’s DNA, providing a relatively inexpensive way to protect your family’s legacy and ensure future generations will always have access to important DNA data should they need it. Other companies, such as SaveMyGenes, offer other options including storing a DNA sample within a piece of custom-made jewelry and at a greater cost.


Written by

Sara is the Editor in Chief for US Funerals Online and has been researching and writing about the death care industry in the US for the last 15 years.