Andy Murfitt, funeral director at Douglas Mercer and Son, told the BBC why so many sets of ashes may never be collected; ""People could move, it could too painful, people could pass away themselves and leave no instructions."
There are no regulations regarding how long ashes are retained, but the National Association of Funeral Directors advises its members should be looked after for at least five years, although many directors keep them for far longer. If, despite all efforts to trace relatives, none come forward, the ashes will be scattered, interred or returned to a crematorium.
We think it's a comforting thought that even decades after someone had died, and those who mourned them moved on, that funeral directors still take the time to respect their remains and give them a final resting place.
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