The funerals market is said to be worth more than £2bn a year, which is hardly surprising reading with the cost of a funeral in the UK costing roughly £4,000.
When my Nan died several years ago, while our funeral director was supportive in our hour of need, there was no getting away from the fact their they were there to make a profit.
She was a keen gardener when she was healthy so we selected a wicker coffin, not only was this a environmentally friendly option it was a budget friendly option, but that still didn’t stop the cost of the funeral and wake costing a little over £3,500.
It’s easy to see how this cost can quickly escalate if you factor in other associated costs, such as extra cars for family to the service, the coffin you choose, flowers and the wake.
What is a direct cremation
Simply, a few days following your death your body is cremated without a funeral service.
Depending on the company that you arranged the direct cremation with your loved ones can have your ashes delivered to them or they might choose to collect them.
They are nothing new but unsurprisingly they are not publicised as they are offer a cheaper alternative.
If you choose to have a direct cremation you’re in good company, David Bowie, who left an estate said to be in excess of $230m, is said to have opted for one and not a traditional funeral service, so they aren’t just for those on a budget.
After the usual red tape of organising a cremation, your loved ones could have your ashes back in around a week.
Reasons to have a direct cremation
- They are cheaper
- They allow your family and friends to celebrate in a way more befitting to the way that you lived your life
- The opportunity for your family to grieve without the need to arrange a funeral
- They leave more money in your estate to leave to beneficiaries
- Inclusive to those that might not want to attend a church ceremony
How much do they cost?
The average cost of a direct cremation is £1,600, though like anything this will depend on the provider, so expect prices to vary.
This will include other third party charges such as crematorium fees and doctors certification, but make sure you confirm this with the provider.
Who offers the service?
Unsurprisingly not all funeral directors offer direct cremations so you’re going to have to shop around.
Some companies offering the service include
So why opt for a traditional service?
We are creatures of habit and having a funeral is probably something that some people feel that we have do do. The same as getting married or christened in a church.
A traditional service might also be something that your family feel they might need to be able to say their last farewells in their own way.
It can sometimes feel that we judge how much we loved someone in their lifetime by the amount that we spend on the funeral and the celebration of their life after the funeral service.
So would you consider a direct cremation?
I didn’t get married in a church, so having a traditional funeral service wouldn’t make a lot of sense. My wife and I haven’t discussed our funeral arrangements, but I’m sure that whatever we choose we will respect each others wishes.