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With funeral costs set to rise over the next few years and more people taking an interest in keep-ing their funeral as simple as possible, cremation without a funeral service is becoming more pop-ular. Learn more about direct cremation below and see if it’s the right choice for you or for a loved one.

What is a direct cremation?

A direct cremation is a cremation without a funeral service. It’s a type of unattended funeral. This means that the person who’s passed away is taken straight to the crematorium. And there’s no formal ceremony before the cremation and no one attends. This makes direct cremation a more affordable option when compared with a traditional funeral service which can include a hearse, limousines, a celebrant, and other optional extras like flowers.

How does direct cremation work?

After the person passes away they’ll be collected by a funeral director and go straight to the crematorium. There’s no need for an elaborate coffin because there’s typically no viewing. So just a simple coffin is used. There’s no formal funeral service before a direct cremation and no guests attend. So the date and time of the cremation are typically chosen by the funeral director.

Do you get ashes with a direct cremation?

Yes, you do. After the cremation you can collect the ashes. You can choose to scatter the ashes somewhere important to the person who passed away. Or you could hold your own memorial service with the ashes in a special urn afterwards if you want to. But it’s not essential if the person who passed away didn’t want a fuss. It’s completely up to you.

Can you attend a direct cremation?

Most direct cremations are unattended. This means that no one will go to the crematorium because there’s typically no service. But some crematoriums will allow some family members to attend a direct cremation. If you want to look into this in more detail, contact a funeral director to see what your options are.

What is included in direct cremation?

Typically, when you ask a funeral director to carry out a direct cremation their services include:

  • Helping with all the necessary paperwork needed for a cremation
  • Collecting and taking care of the person who died
  • Providing a simple coffin
  • An unattended cremation
  • Collection and delivery of ashes to the family

How do you arrange a direct cremation?

You can arrange a direct cremation in the same way you arrange any other type of funeral. You can get in touch with a funeral director or direct cremation provider and talk to them about what they offer. They’ll help you with any paperwork that’s needed and transporting the coffin to the crematorium. And they’ll also answer any questions you might have.

How much is a direct cremation?

According to SunLife’s latest research the average cost of a direct cremation is £1,647. That’s the cheapest option when compared with the average cost of a cremation with a funeral service (£3,765) and a burial with a funeral service (£4,927).

Direct cremation costs less because there’s no service. That means you’re spending less on things like flowers and a venue. But if the person who passed away didn’t really want a lot of fuss it’s a good option to consider. And if you need to stick to a strict budget it’s a good choice too. Even though there’s less fuss, the funeral director won’t treat the person any differently. They’ll be treated with the utmost respect. So if you’re worried about costs, a direct cremation may be the right choice for you.

What’s the difference between cremation and direct cremation?

If you’re weighing up your options and thinking about whether cremation or direct cremation is right for you, use the table to below to help you decide. It’ll give you the main differences between the two so you can compare side by side.

Cremation Direct cremation
‍Average cost in the UK is £3,765. Average cost in the UK is £1,647.
‍You can hold a funeral service before the cremation. ‍There’s no funeral service so it keeps things simple and fuss-free.
You can have a viewing of the person who died at a chapel of rest. There’s no viewing before the cremation.
‍You’ll have a choice of coffin materials and styles, for different prices. ‍The coffin used is simple as it won’t be viewed by anyone.
‍You can choose a time and date for the funeral service/cremation to take place (based on availability). ‍The funeral director or crematorium will usually choose a time for the direct cremation.
‍Once the date of the funeral is booked you’ll need to organise the parts of the service and wake that you’d like to fit around it. ‍After a direct cremation you could organise a small get-together or memorial service once the ashes have been returned to you. It can be as big or small as you’d like. And it can be at a time that suits you.

Can you prepay for a direct cremation?

Yes. Many funeral directors offer direct cremation plans that you can organise and pay for in advance. It’ll work in much the same way as a funeral plan. You can use our directory to find funeral directors that offer direct cremation near you. Make sure you chat to them about what you want and if there are any limitations to their plans. It’s best to know exactly what you’re getting from your plan, just in case family members need to pick up extra costs later on.

Is direct cremation a good idea?

Direct cremation is a simple way of saying goodbye to a loved one, and it costs less than traditional funeral services. But it really comes down to personal preference. To weigh up your options and help you decide if cremation without a funeral service is the right option for you read our article: Why are people choosing direct cremation?

Whether you choose a direct cremation or another type of funeral, the important thing is that you do what’s right for you. If you’re still researching your options and would like to speak to a funeral director near you who specialises in cremation without a funeral service, you can use our directory. You can narrow down your options to those who offer direct cremation and see their costs and services all in one place.

Image by Tea Geitel from Pixabay.