Why Does a Cremation Cost Less Than a Burial?

If you have to organise a funeral, then you have to decide whether to go with a traditional burial or a cremation. If the person who died didn't express their wishes here, then you have to make this decision.

While you want to pay a respectful farewell to the deceased, budget is often an issue at this time. Funerals can be expensive. However, cremations are a less costly option than burials. Why do these two options have significant cost differences?

Why Are Burials Expensive?                                       

While your basic funeral director costs are typically similar for both burials and cremations, burials come with more costs, some of which can be significant. For example, you might want to buy a more expensive coffin if it will be the final resting place of the deceased. While you don't have to embalm the body before burial, this is also sometimes necessary.

A lot of your budget will go to the deceased's final resting place. You will have to pay for a plot in a cemetery. For example, you might have to pay a fee for the right to use a plot. The cemetery will also probably charge you for opening the grave and then closing it after the funeral. Some of this cost might also go towards long-term maintenance.

In some cases, cemeteries also charge a fee for a grave liner. They have to install liners when the grave is dug to hold the earth in place.

Finally, you have to decide how to mark the gravesite. While small marker stones are the most cost-effective solution here, you might want to go for a larger or more ornate headstone. Size, materials and complexity all add to your costs at this stage of the process.

Why Are Cremations Cheaper?                                 

Cremations have fewer costs than burials. Apart from standard funeral director costs, you only pay for the coffin and for crematorium fees. Given that the coffin will be cremated with the body, you might not feel the need to spend as much on this as you would for a burial. You shouldn't need to embalm the body before cremation.

You also don't have any of the associated burial costs here. You don't have to pay for a plot or a headstone. You might want to buy an urn or small casket if you want to keep the deceased's ashes after the service or take them away to scatter them, but these containers are reasonably priced.

To find out more, contact funeral directors and ask about the cremation process. They can help you plan a respectful and dignified funeral. 

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Non-denominational funeral services ideas

These days funeral services are less about religion and more about a persons life. When we are planning funeral services for someone who is not religious, it's not that we don't use any religious text as inspiration but more that we draw from a range of sources instead of one. It's common to use thoughts from Buddhism alongside quotes from Native American leaders and poetry from a range of sources to create a beautiful service. This website has some inspiration from a range of belief systems and literature which you can use to help plan and write memorial and funeral services.