Burial or Cremation? Making the Difficult Decisions

Burial or Cremation? Making the Difficult DecisionsIn the past, funeral planning was almost entirely done with traditional burial in mind. This time-honored approach to saying goodbye has long been a staple of the funeral industry in the United States, taking precedence over all other forms of interment.

These days, cremation is growing in popularity. In fact, in some states, there are more cremations than burials—and the trend is only increasing. If you’re not sure which option is right for you, consider a few of these key advantages and disadvantages of burial versus cremation.

iMortuary’s team includes funeral professionals to help you outline your wishes and understand prices and your financial options.  Simply complete our brief online form to begin this no-obligation conversation.  After you talk with us, we assist you with finalizing pre-payments or filing your arrangements with a funeral home.

Pros and Cons of Burial

Burial—whether you opt for direct burial or a more traditional ceremony—is the most socially accepted form of funeral planning in the United States. For many people, there is a large amount of comfort to be derived from these traditions, especially when it comes to religious views. Some of the major advantages include:

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  • Following religious or family traditions
  • Providing a physical location for visiting the deceased
  • Providing a place for a permanent memorial (either a headstone or something more elaborate)
  • Adhering to personal values (especially for older generations)
  • Being buried in a family plot near loved ones

Despite these advantages, burial isn’t for everyone. Whether due to considerations of cost or personal preferences, some of the drawbacks of burial include:

  • Higher overall costs, potentially
  • Being required to adhere to cemetery rules and regulations
  • Body permanence (meaning you can’t change the place of burial without enormous costs and hassle)

Pros and Cons of Cremation

Cremation frequently provides a lower overall cost alternative to burial, which makes it appealing to younger generations and those who want to say goodbye without the heavy burden of traditional burial costs. There is also more flexibility with cremation, in that you can take your time figuring out how to dispose of the ashes or having a formal memorial service. Other advantages include:

  • More ecologically friendly
  • The ability to plan a memorial service at a later date
  • Portable remains (an urn can be carried across state lines or shared between siblings)
  • Lower overall costs, potentially
  • The potential to be buried in a traditional burial space

Some people have a hard time considering cremation because of religious ideals or simply because it seems like a less accepted way to dispose of a loved one’s remains. Other issues to look out for include:

  • Leaving family members without a formal place to mourn
  • Lack of closure
  • Goes against personal/religious preferences
  • Not available everywhere
  • Harder for a family to agree upon

If you have strong preferences one way or the other, it’s best to put your wishes in writing or to pre-plan a funeral that locks in the costs and details you desire. If, however, you are still unsure which is the right option, be sure and talk to other family members, friends, members of the clergy, and funeral directors in your area.

iMortuary’s team includes funeral professionals to help you outline your wishes and understand prices and your financial options.  Simply complete our brief online form to begin this no-obligation conversation.  After you talk with us, we assist you with finalizing pre-payments or filing your arrangements with a funeral home.

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