Like many families across the UK, we have all experienced the loss of a loved one.
Seemingly, the increase in funeral arrangement costs over recent years has raised valid questions of the value of traditional funeral formats, and people are now exploring other alternatives for themselves or their loved ones.
When organising the passing of a loved one, what families or family members often find is that, unfortunately, there are a lot of unanswered questions.
What do I need to plan? What does each option entail?
How much does a traditional funeral cost, compared to how much does a direct cremation cost?
In this article, we are looking at direct cremations in the UK: what they involve, the costs of a direct cremation, and why you might choose one for your loved one so that you are fully informed on what you should expect.
What Is A Direct Cremation?
Direct cremation is the funeral industry term for a basic cremation with minimal cost outlay.
There is no hearse or limousine, and it uses a very basic coffin. A direct cremation can also include:
- Organising a doctor to complete the necessary paperwork
- Collection of your loved one from the place of death
- Simple care until the day of the funeral
- Booking the cremation
- Help with paperwork (Service Contract, Application for Cremation and Notice of Cremation)
- Transportation to the crematorium
- Cremation fees
- The safe return of the ashes if requested, or scattering of the ashes in a garden of remembrance
Although direct cremation services can seem stripped back or too minimalist for the celebration that our loved ones deserve, the respect, quality, and care taken during these services are no lesser than traditional burials.
It is important, if possible, to have discussions about how your loved ones wish to be sent off. When looking into direction cremations as an option, it is essential to ask if this is what your loved one wants.
If their main priority is to ensure they are not leaving you with any debt or are open to alternative services with the same level of professionalism and care, this would be a viable option.
Why Choose Direct Cremation?
There are many reasons why you would opt for direct cremation – the significant accessibility of these services, cost-wise, aside.
Allow For Different Faiths
One of the reasons is that it allows people of a different faith to come together without compromising beliefs. Many celebrities have opted for this too because it best aligns with their beliefs, most recently, David Bowie.
It is a great option for many circumstances. Often, direct cremation services are not as beholden to the varying steps involved in sending off a loved one who ascribes to a particular faith.
Gives Families More Time To Organise A Celebration Of Life
Traditional burials or cremations can be seen as somewhat morbid to some people, so this allows the opportunity for when the family is emotionally ready to celebrate someone’s life rather than a last goodbye.
As well as this, it allows the family to set a date where everyone can attend.
A respectful, simple cremation also takes away the stress. How do you invite someone to a funeral, or let them know when it is, it gives you control of who can attend.
The Difference In Costs
The most significant advantage is financial control. Direct cremation costs are one of the most cost-efficient ways to be cremated. Opting for this allows family members to split the overall cost and support a related cause or charity if wished.
Other advantages are:
- Invest more in the farewell event – such as organising those little details, good food, good drink, that make the difference
- Take more time to arrange a memorial or celebration of life ceremony that truly reflects your loved one’s values, beliefs, and relationships
- Find the perfect date and time for everyone to attend – including evenings and weekends
- Involve more people in the farewell
- Choose a venue or location with personal significance
- Leave a gift or legacy with the money saved
What Are The Costs Of A Direct Cremation
Standard cremation fees are less expensive than burial plots, with an average cost of £776 across the UK (ranging between £400 – £1,070 depending on venue), in 2020/21.
Of course, you need to add the funeral director’s professional fees to this to get a funeral’s total cost.
Direct cremation providers can deliver a complete service for around £1,000, which would include at the least the following:
- Cremation fees
- Any doctors’ fees that apply for the completion of legally required certificates
- A simple coffin
- Collection and care of the deceased.
A growing number of cremation providers offer direct cremation, but they are not all the same. When choosing a cremation provider, you do your research and sure that your beliefs best align with their practices.
Do your research beforehand, and ensure you have a list of questions about the things you wish to be covered for your loved one.