Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the online cremation option and the funeral director-assisted option?»

Our online cremation option is for families who want the least expensive direct cremation with the assistance of a telephone cremation counselor and do not need expedited cremation services. Funeral director-assisted cremation services offer direct cremation with the additional assistance of a face-to face meeting with a funeral professional for additional services that may be requested such as the planning of services, identification or viewing, writing and placing obituaries, scheduling veteran’s services and expediting the cremation and the death certificates.

Why choose Rio Grande Crematory on the Riverside?»

We operate our own crematory and your loved one is never out of our care. This is vitally important because many other cremation providers contract or broker all or most of their services including transportation of the remains and the cremation to third party providers. Also, Rio Grande Crematory on the Riverside is proud to be locally owned (since 1933) and family operated in a day and age when many funeral homes and cremation providers are part of corporate owned conglomerates.

How do you differ from out-of-town low-cost cremation services?»

Your loved one will be brought into our care in a timely manner by our compassionate staff that will treat your loved at all times with dignity, gentleness and respect. You will not have to wait the many hours it customarily takes for out of town operators to respond. Because we have serviced our community since 1933 you will have the assurance of dealing with a reputable locally crematory operator. You will not have to deal with strangers. Finally, we guarantee that compared to any other funeral home or cremation provider we offer more service at the most affordable cost.

Do I need to complete all the paperwork before my loved one will be transferred from the place of death?»

It is not necessary to complete all the paperwork before the transfer can take place. In some cases it may take several days before some families can finalize the paperwork online or by fax.

What if I do not have access to a computer?»

As an alternative, online arrangements can also be made by telephone or fax.

How long will it take for me to get my loved ones cremated remains?»

Cremated remains can either be picked up at one of the Rivera Funeral Home locations or they can be they can be mailed by certified US Mail 14 working days after all the paperwork has been completed by the next of kin and/or authorizing agent and the crematory. The necessary completed paperwork includes the death certificate, the cremation authorization and the issuance of the cremation permit from the Office of the Medical Examiner.

Are there any laws governing cremation?»

In New Mexico the “legal next of kin” must sign the cremation authorization and this might involve multiple family members. Please call our office at for any questions on who has authority to arrange a cremation.

What is the cremation process and how long does it take?»

It depends on the weight of the person. Cremation is the process of reducing the body by direct flame and high heat between 1500 and 2000ºF. Usually it takes several hours with a cool down period that lasts another several hours. Cremation is not the final disposition of the body. Rather, final disposition takes place when the cremated remains are buried, inurned or scattered.

What do cremated remains look like?»

Cremated remains are actually the bone of the body and after being processed look like coarse sand or gravel. They are grey or white in color and for an average size adult weigh between five and eight pounds.

Are all the cremated remains returned?»

With the exception of minute and microscopic particles, which are impossible to completely remove from the cremation chamber and processing machine, all of the cremated remains are returned to the family.