When a loved one passes one of the first decisions you’ll have to make is whether or not they should be buried or cremated. Unfortunately the costs can significantly influence your final choice. Nowadays most people choose cremations over traditional burials in order to avoid excessive burial fees and headstone costs. However, cremation fees can heavily vary according to the deceased’s religion, your chosen service, the type of urn you wish to have.
In the United Kingdom the average burial costs roughly 1,750 pounds, while the average cremation costs around 660 pounds. That said, there are also various other associated fees. These are known as disbursement costs.
Before a cremation is legally allowed to take place a cremation certificate must be signed by two doctors. Each death certificate costs 80 pounds, bringing the total fee to 160 pounds. These two documents must be given to the crematorium prior to the service.
A direct cremation is a no ceremony, no minister funeral. They are designed for people who wish to bypass the stresses and strains of organising a traditional ceremony – hearse, coffin, limousines, etc. Direct cremations are often available for less than 1,000 pounds and are without a doubt the cheapest option.
With a direct cremation the body is not embalmed and there is no viewing. This reduces the cost of hair and makeup application. In addition, there will be no need for an expensive casket. You can instead choose to place the body in a special cardboard box called an “alternative container”. Some funeral homes may also perform the cremation themselves, which will reduce costly transportation fees.
Reduced After Costs
The funeral isn’t the only expense that you must take into account. There are also a number of other after-costs, such as headstone fees and plot maintenance. Placing an urn in a cemetery memorial garden is significantly cheaper and will provide an equally dignified tribute to the deceased.
The typical price of a headstone is between 1,200 and 2,000 pounds; however, there will also be a burial ground fee and possibly even a grave digging cost – although this will depend on the local parish. Most urns cost around 200 pounds. Small slant markers or memorial benches are often preferred by those who would like a physical space to honour the dead, rather than spreading ashes.
It’s often misunderstood that Catholics forbid cremation; however, this rule was overturned in 1963. Most Catholic churchyards now have a dedicated space for urn placement. That said, the body of the deceased must be present at the church funeral service; therefore, the costs are generally closer to a traditional burial.
Funeral directors and firms can be used to organise cremations. This can be highly beneficial if you don’t want to make the arrangements yourself. Sorting out all of the legal aspects and logistics of a ceremony can be somewhat confusing and overwhelming; therefore, funeral directors can take on the job to ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible. Their fees usually equate to around 1,000 pounds; however, this doesn’t include all of the service and disbursement costs.
Fundamentally, it’s up to you to decide whether or not cremation would serve as the most appropriate tribute. While the deceased may have had specific wishes, you are under no obligation to follow them. If the thought of a burial upsets you – even if the deceased wanted to be buried – a headstone with an urn fixture is an appropriate middle ground that will provide a physical space for mourning and remembrance.