Direct cremation frequently asked questions


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Direct Cremation – What is it?

What does direct cremation mean?

Direct cremation is a simple cremation without a funeral ceremony. The deceased is taken directly to the crematorium where the cremation takes place without any mourners present.

What is the difference between direct cremation and a traditional funeral?

The difference between direct cremation and a traditional funeral is the service. With a traditional funeral, a service takes place usually in a church or at the crematorium which mourners can attend. With a direct cremation, there is no funeral service, so no family or friends are in attendance.

Can I attend a direct cremation?

It is possible to attend a direct cremation. It will typically cost more to attend and the number of attendees are usually restricted to between 10 and 12.

What is meant by ‘Pure Cremation’?

Pure Cremation is one of several companies that offer direct cremation services throughout the UK. Other leading providers can be found in our list of FCA authorised UK direct cremation plan providers.

What is a simple cremation?

A simple cremation usually refers to a direct cremation, which is a simple unattended cremation without a funeral service.

Direct cremation – How does it work?

What happens with direct cremation?

With a direct cremation, the deceased is collected and cared for either by the funeral director or specialist direct cremation service provider. Once the paperwork is complete, they are taken to the crematorium where the cremation takes place. The ashes are then either scattered in the garden of remembrance or returned to family.

Where does the cremation take place?

The cremation takes place at a crematorium chosen by the service provider. Some companies use their own crematoriums whereas others use crematoriums located throughout the UK.

How long does a direct cremation take?

The cremation will usually take between 1 and 3 hours.

Can I use a local crematorium?

You may be able to use a local crematorium however it will depend on the company you choose and whether you opt for a specialist direct cremation service provider or a local funeral director.

Do you need a coffin for a direct cremation?

A coffin is used in a direct cremation, but it is usually a simple one.

Are the ashes returned?

Once the direct cremation has taken place, the ashes can either be returned to family or scattered in the garden of remembrance at the crematorium.

What are the benefits and drawbacks to direct cremation?

One of the main benefits of a direct cremation is the cost, as it’s around 60% cheaper than a traditional funeral. The other benefit is the freedom it gives family, letting them say goodbye when and how they choose. The drawback for some families is its simplicity and lack of a funeral service.

Direct cremation guide

Direct cremation – What does it cost?

How much does a direct cremation cost in the UK?

Direct cremation costs start from £995, although the average cost of a direct cremation throughout the UK is £1,647*. Prices vary depending on the services required such as where and what time the deceased is collected and whether the ashes are returned to family.

What is the cheapest direct cremation?

The cheapest direct cremation in the UK currently costs around £1,000. Typically, this would include collection from the hospital, the cremation and the ashes scattered on the garden of remembrance.

Can you prepay for a direct cremation?

You can arrange and pay for a direct cremation in advance with a prepaid funeral plan. The cost of a prepaid plan is based on today’s prices, therefore avoiding future inflation.

How can you pay for direct cremation funeral plan?

You can pay for a direct cremation funeral plan in one go or by instalments over several years.

Direct Cremation – Is it popular?

Why do people have a direct cremation?

The main reasons people choose direct cremation are to save money, to give their family the flexibility to say goodbye ‘their way’ or because they prefer a simple cremation that avoids the ceremony of a traditional funeral service.

How popular is direct cremation?

Direct cremation has grown in popularity and now accounts for around 18% of funerals*. A huge increase compared to only 3% in 2019. This increase is party attributed to the restriction on funeral services during Covid, but the pandemic also raised awareness of direct cremation as an alternative fuss free option. So, its popularity looks set to continue.

Direct cremation guide

Direct cremation – How do I arrange it?

How do you arrange a direct cremation?

You can arrange a direct cremation for someone who has just died either direct with a local funeral director or through a specialist company like Distinct Cremations, Simplicity or Pure Cremations. These nationwide companies will talk you through the process over the phone, explaining all the costs upfront, so you can decide if it’s the right option for you.

Can you arrange a direct cremation in advance?

You can arrange a direct cremation in advance with a prepaid direct cremation plan.

Pre-arranging your services this way means you choose the funeral you want and pay at today’s prices. The services included in the plan are guaranteed and as all plans are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (from 29/7/22), you can be certain your money is safe

What is a direct cremation prepaid funeral plan?

A direct cremation prepaid funeral plan lets you arrange and pay for your direct cremation in advance. You choose the services you want and pay at today’s prices, removing the emotional and financial worry from your family when the time comes.

Take a look at prepaid plans in more detail

*Based on the Sunlife cost of dying report 2021



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