Using cremation as a burial technique has been used for thousands of years, but has gained popularity in the United State. For thousands of years people refused cremation citing religious reasons, but cremation has almost doubled in the last 15 years, from 24% to almost 47%. If you are trying to decide if you should choose cremation or a traditional burial, there are some options you should consider.
How it Works
One reason cremation is becoming more popular is more knowledge of the process, but there are several misconceptions about the cremation process that deter many families away.
To begin, there are several legal documents that have to be completed before the cremation process can begin. The cremation process begins with removing any metal or medical devices from the body (i.e. pacemakers). These devices could become dangerous during the cremation process. After the body is prepared, it is then placed in a container that is designed to burn with the body, usually made from cardboard or wood. These containers are similar to a traditional burial casket but do not contain any of the metal fasteners.
Once the body has been placed inside of the cremation chamber, the process can take anywhere from 2 to 3 hours. After the remains have cooled down, they are then reduced further into the powder like substance.
After the remains are in an urn or other container, some families decide to hold a memorial service for the deceased. These memorial services are typically like a memorial service for a burial that allows friends and extended family members to say goodbyes.
There are several options on cremations and what you do with the remains. There are an endless amount of options for storage of the ashes and what you do with the urn. The most common method is to spread the ashes in a place that was special to the deceased, like a park or beach. If you choose, there are services that can take you out on a boat or on a personal airplane to scatter your loved one’s ashes. Before you scatter the ashes anywhere, review your state laws.
Some people decide to still bury the urn; others display the urn at home (which is convenient if family members decide to move homes) or a mausoleum. There are several new and less traditional methods for displaying your loved one’s ashes. There are options to have the ashes mixed with tattoo ink, mixed into fireworks, placed into a teddy bear, compressed into a manufactured diamond, or even sent into space.
Cost vs. Burial
One of the biggest reasons that cremation is becoming more popular is the rising cost of a traditional burial. The average funeral will cost $10,000, this big price tag includes several factors: headstones, caskets, burial and filling. This is a drastic difference from the average cost of a cremation: $3,000, but can be as low as $1,000.
Just like with a burial, there are several factors that contribute to the cost of cremation. The cost will depend on the fees of transferring the body, storing the body, and the fees of cremating the body. Neither option is free, but cremation can save thousands of dollars depending on preferences.
If you’re concerned with affording either one, having burial insurance can alleviate the high price tag. Despite its nickname, funeral insurance will also cover the cost of cremation and the associated fees.
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to the burial decisions. There are advantages and disadvantages to both decisions, like cost and convenience, but ultimately you should discuss which way you prefer with your loved ones. You can include your burial wishes in a legal document.