Over the last 50 years, more and more Britons have opted for cremation rather than burial in the event of their death. Diminishing availability of burial plots, the rising costs that have come hand-in-hand with that scarcity and the decrease in popularity of religion have all contributed to making cremation the preferred option among UK citizens.
In fact, according to a YouGov survey from August 2016, 58% of Britons would favour cremation when they die, with only 17% choosing a traditional burial. Presumably, the added expense of a burial is one reason for that decision, but what exactly is the cost of a cremation? Which factors go into its formulation?
Cremation costs breakdown
The 2017 National Funeral Cost Index showed that the average cost for a cremation last year was £3,311. In comparison to the average cost of a burial (£4,257), that’s a significant saving. Obviously, there is less need to purchase a burial plot and finance interment of the remains with cremation, but which other factors go into final cost?
- Type of service. A traditional cremation will involve an elaborate service (normally in a church or crematorium), preparation and transportation of the body and any other accoutrements, such as flowers, catering and the coffin. A Direct Cremation, on the other hand, dispenses with all of those extras and simply provides a no-frills cremating of the body, without an attendant funeral service. This can often be less than half the cost of a traditional cremation.
- Funeral director fees. With both cremations and burials, much of the financial outlay will go on the fees charged by the funeral director, who is in charge of organising and overseeing the whole process. While funeral directors are generally caring and sympathetic individuals who want to do the best they can for you and your family, it’s important to remember that not all will charge the same price for their services. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to shop around when searching for a funeral director to take charge of your arrangements.
- Storage and transportation of the body. In most cases, the funeral (be it cremation or burial) will take place one or two weeks after death; in special circumstances (be they religious or judicial), there may be an extra delay. This can all contribute to inflated prices of storing the body in a controlled and responsible setting. Meanwhile, the hire of a hearse or other vehicle to transport the body, as well as appointed pall bearers, can increase the price, as well.
- Final resting place of the ashes. The aforementioned YouGov survey found that 79% of those who wished to be cremated would like their ashes scattered, which obviously represents a more economic and perhaps personal option than burial. However, whether you choose to scatter, bury or keep your ashes, the receptacle in which they are stored will also add expense to the total price – but it won’t cost as much as a traditional headstone.
When budgeting for the cremation of a loved one (or for your own future cremation), it’s important to keep all of these factors in mind and come up with a practical yet appropriate approach that suits you. For free, impartial advice on how best to proceed, get in touch with us today on 01983 754 387.