Understanding ‘Direct Cremation’
Direct cremation is an option that many families may consider because it is quick, affordable and there is no funeral needed — so gatherings can be held at a later time when family members can come together, or loved ones can grieve together online.
So just what is a direct cremation?
In a direct cremation, the body is cremated directly, that is, shortly after death, no embalming is used and there’s normally no viewing or visitation.
Unlike a funeral (which happens with a body present), a direct cremation is generally followed later by a memorial or “Celebration of Life” after the remains have been returned to “the home, buried, or placed in a crypt or niche in a cemetery, or buried or scattered in a favorite spot.” Solace will mail or deliver remains to your home and you can choose what to do next.
Direct Cremation is one of the least expensive options for families making arrangements. While the national median cost of a funeral with burial is $7,640 according to the NFDA’s 2019 survey, a cremation (with funeral) is $5,150, nearly $2,500 less. A direct cremation should cost significantly less. Solace Cremation’s price for direct cremation is $995 with no additional charges for shipping or special requests.
Though Solace offers an inclusive price for direct cremation, some funeral homes may charge for various parts of the process. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides a “shopping and saving” section of its website so consumers can be savvy about add-on costs. The FTC Funeral Rule gives you the right to know what you are paying for and what your options are, among other things.
And a recent survey of prices in California found that those funeral homes who were most transparent about pricing, provided the least expensive direct cremation services. Those companies identified as “price hiders” had costs 31 percent higher than “price posters.”
Direct cremation is a great option for those families who need a timely and affordable option and choose to meet later to memorialize their loved one.
For more information:
Funeral Consumers Alliance: FAQ
AARP: How to Avoid Funeral Home Scams
NYT: What to Know When Choosing Cremation
Photo by Erico Marcelino