What Can I Expect from Direct Cremation?
One way in which families are saving on costs during the funeral planning process is to consider direct cremation. This process, which entails cremating the deceased without a funeral service, embalming, or body viewing, is the most streamlined option currently offered by the funeral industry. Although there is a lack of ceremony about it that puts many people off, direct cremation is ideal in situations in which no funeral pre-plans were made or the deceased wished for little fanfare.
How Much Does Direct Cremation Cost?
Funeral costs vary depending on location and your specific circumstances. For example, same day cremation services will typically add to the overall price tag, and larger cities tend to have higher rates than what you’ll find in rural areas and small towns. In most cases, you should expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $2,500 for direct cremation.
What is the Direct Cremation Process?
Again, every funeral provider and crematorium operates differently, so there is no set standard for direct cremation. However, you can typically expect some version of the following to occur:
• Talk with the funeral provider. Once you have chosen which funeral home or crematorium you’d like to go through for the cremation, you will talk with one of their representatives. You may be required to give verbal or written permission for the funeral home to transfer the body of the deceased from the place of death or hospital to the cremation location.
• Meet with the funeral provider. You will need to sign contracts before the cremation can take place. You will most likely need to visit the funeral home in person to go over all the arrangements and make the necessary payments. You will also be advised to talk with an attorney, accountant, or financial adviser regarding the deceased’s estate.
• Ask questions and get answers. By law, the funeral home is required to provide you with burial package plans and the prices of each one. This is a great time to ask any questions you might have or to raise concerns about the direct cremation option.
• Consider burial and cremation receptacles. Although the purpose of direct cremation is to lower the overall costs of burial, some people do choose caskets for the cremation and urns for the remains at this time. This is a personal choice that only you and other family members can make.
• Retrieve and drop off personal effects. Depending on your situation, you may need to retrieve personal items (such as jewelry or clothing items) from the deceased. You might also wish to drop off certain items (photographs, letters, books, clothes) that you wish to be cremated with the deceased. Items like pacemakers and other implanted devices will need to be removed prior to the cremation.
• Schedule the cremation. Depending on the crematorium, visitors may or may not be allowed in the building at the time of the cremation. In most cases, you will simply make an appointment about a week ahead of time to claim the cremated remains. You will be asked to sign a release before you can leave the facility with the remains.
What Happens Next?
Once the cremated remains are in your possession, the direct cremation process is through. You may choose to dispose of the remains in a manner in keeping with local laws, and you might consider any of the options in urns, ash burial, or scattering of cremains.
You are also free to have a personal memorial at any time. Although the formal funeral service doesn’t occur in the direct cremation process, you can make your own funeral plans that include having family and friends over, performing a religious ceremony, or saying goodbye in any other way the deceased may have wished for.