Direct Cremation is a relatively new type of funeral but one that is growing in popularity. Although it will probably not become the norm as the majority of the UK still hold firm with wanting a more traditional funeral service, a direct cremation does offer an alternative for those who want to cut funeral costs or just want to keep things simple.
What is Direct Cremation?
Direct cremation or direct funeral as it is also known, is a simple cremation but without a funeral service. The person who has died is picked up and taken for cremation without a funeral service or any friends or family members in attendance. The ashes can then be returned to the family upon request for them to keep, scatter or bury.
Therefore direct cremation is probably the most simple cremation you can get. There is no viewing of the deceased or mourners present; no expensive coffin as the coffin used is typically a basic one and no expense for limousines or a hearse. This is why the typical cost of a direct cremation prepaid plan is around £1,600 compared to the £3,000 to £4,000 plus you would expect to pay for a more traditional funeral plan.
What happens during a Direct Cremation?
As previously mentioned, a direct cremation is a cremation without the funeral service however there are still procedures that need to be undertaken in order for this to take place, i.e. the relevant documentation must be submitted to the crematorium at least 48 hours before the simple cremation takes place.
More specifically at the time of need, the company arranging the direct cremation will arrange for the person who has died to be transported to their premises. An application for the cremation and ashes instruction form must be completed and signed by the next of kin or executor and the death must be registered. Currently a doctors certificate or coroners form 6 is also required so the whole process can take around 5 days.
The actual cremation process usually takes around one and a half hours and the ashes are made available for collection within 3 to 7 days.
Why choose Direct Cremation?
Although the idea of a simple cremation with no one in attendance may seem a little bleak, some view the option of direct cremation as quite liberating. Let’s face it, funerals are not happy occasions as such, although the chance for family to meet and reminisce does bond people together which helps at such an upsetting time.
Let’s face it though, how often have you heard people say ‘I’m dreading the funeral’ – even if it isn’t a close relative or friend, a funeral is an upsetting time for everyone. This is why an increasing number of people across the UK are choosing a direct cremation; doing away with what they view as the painful process of the funeral service, saving their family from further upset and grief.
Quite simply a direct cremation gives families the opportunity to do what they want, without being restricted by tradition. Some may choose to hold a ‘celebration of life’ or memorial service at a later date that friends and family can attend without the coffin taking centre stage – others may choose to have a small family affair when it comes to scattering the ashes.
So in addition to cutting funeral costs, people are turning to direct cremation for a number of reasons:
- To avoid the upset of a funeral service – be it religious or non religious
- So the family can focus on the positive and hold a celebration of life service without the coffin being there
- There are too few people to attend a funeral service
- Family feuds mean a funeral service would be difficult
- Difficult to get everyone together in time for a funeral
- Would prefer to leave money for family than pay for a tradition funeral service
So a direct cremation plan has now become a positive option, giving people more choice over what happens when they die.
How do I buy a direct cremation plan?
An increasing number of companies and existing funeral plan providers are now offering direct cremation style plans. You should expect a direct cremation plan to include:
- Transportation of the deceased – there may be some limitation on mileage and radius depending on the direct cremation provider you choose
- Help with the relevant documentation
- A simple coffin
- Cremation fees (there may be an allowance included in the plan based on current cremation fees)
- Transportation to the crematorium – this may be a crematorium that is chosen by the direct cremation provider so not necessarily local to you
- Return of the ashes
The direct cremation provider we work with is Pure Cremation. Owned by funeral directors with more than 50 years in the business, Pure Cremation is the only wholly dedicated direct cremation provider in the UK. They operate throughout England and Wales with no extra cost for transportation fees apart from ferry charges if they apply.
Their service also includes a pine eco coffin and ashes are hand delivered to the family or spread in the garden of remembrance.
So is a direct cremation funeral a good idea?
That depends on what you want, not forgetting that a funeral is for your family and friends to say goodbye to you; so if you are happy and importantly they are happy with making separate arrangements to celebrate your life, then a direct cremation funeral could be a very good idea.