One idea to consider, that will help to reduce the cost of a funeral service is cremation as an alternative to burial. The savings is the result of the body not needing to be prepared for the funeral service. Often, embalming can be skipped too, as long as the cremation will take place within 48 hours after death.
One of the large expenses of any funeral service is for the casket, and you won’t need to pay for one. Another cost that is saved is on the cemetery burial plot. This can be pricey too, depending upon the chosen location. Finally, you will have the savings of the headstone that is also a large expense.
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All three of these items removed from the equation can result in thousands of dollars being saved. So, on the face of it, it appears the Cremation vs. Burial question leans heavily on the cost saving side of the discussion.
There are also costs associated with the burial that many people don’t even think about. For example, opening up (excavation of) the location for the casket to be placed costs money. Setting up chairs and an awning for the service if it is graveside costs extra. Then there are the additional costs involved with closing up (backfilling) the burial location properly.
The process of cremation involves the body being incinerated. What remains are ashes. This process doesn’t devalue the life of the individual or the memories that a person will have of them. It is optional to have the body embalmed, dressed, and displayed in a casket for viewing before the cremation takes place. That is something that many families want to have available.
The funeral pyre is an outdoor cremation that is a custom of Hindus and Buddhists, among others. It is not unheard of in the U.S. but isn’t mainstream yet.
If you are accepting of the cremation process, make sure your family is well aware of it. That way they can go this route for your burial if you don’t have pre-planning in place. Typically, the ashes are placed into an urn after cremation takes place. You can purchase one that the funeral home has or you can buy your own.
If the ashes will be transported by airplane or ship after cremation, there are certain guidelines for the containers that must be followed. The funeral home can assist you with making sure that those guidelines are followed for safe transport.
Cremation vs Burial
Unless a large funeral insurance plan was in place (perhaps even if it is), to economize in these days of tight budgets, cremation is a viable, respectable alternative to save some of the family’s money for those necessities required of the living.
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Cremation vs. Burial