What Is Direct Cremation?

As society is slowly becoming less religious and leaning more toward agnosticism, the West is becoming more open to the idea of cremation over a traditional burial. There are 5 cremation services you can choose from, but the most popular is direct cremation.

It is rising in demand because funeral costs are increasing yearly while the economy continues to sink into a recession with no end in sight. People are concerned and need a low-cost cremation option because they don’t want to pass away and leave their loved ones in debt.

But you won’t hear this advice from a funeral director because they can profit more from burying you than offering you a cremation service. They will do anything they can to upsell you and manipulate you into thinking that you never loved the deceased if all you are thinking about is saving money.

You can avoid this scenario entirely if you choose a direct cremation and stay away from a traditional funeral home.

In this thorough guide, we will hold you by the hand and share all the information necessary to understand the step-by-step process of a direct cremation. We’ll include the expenses, your rights according to the present laws, and any other questions you may have.

What Is Direct Cremation?

The Cremation Association of North America (CANA) defines cremation on its website as a thermal, mechanical, or similar disintegration method that diminishes your body to nothing but bone pieces. 

The second step of the process is to take the bone fragments and pulverize them with a gadget that uses blades until there is only dust.

Direct Cremation

Direct cremation is simple and not unnecessarily complicated, unlike traditional funeral services. Even the other cremation options come with add-on services that are not needed. Some basic features that a direct cremation ceremony excludes are the following:

  • Traditional Ceremony – Family members and friends come to pay their respect at a viewing, but with a direct cremation, this is unnecessary because there is nothing to see but ashes, and there is no burial.
  • Embalming – The body does not need to be preserved because there will be no open casket viewing, and only the closest relative sees the body before being sent to the crematorium. Embalming a body is expensive and is not recommended in most cases.
  • Casket – Whether you go with the metal or the wooden model casket, both will be expensive, but with a direct cremation, you don’t need them. But you can still buy an affordable cremation casket or alternative container to place the body before the basic cremation process begins.

Once the cremated remains are ready for collection, the closest relative is invited to pick them up. If you don’t buy an urn from them or an online retailer, they give you the ashes in a basic container within a cardboard box as a temporary place to store your loved one’s remains. 

Most relatives prefer to bring a permanent urn or buy it from the crematorium to avoid the hassle of transferring the ashes to a better container in the future.

Why Would You Pick Direct Cremation Over A Normal Funeral Service?

If you are learning about direct cremations for yourself, so your death is not a burden on your kin, we congratulate you because you are doing what most won’t. 

Of course, you could still go the traditional route with a memorial service if you have the funds, but we will explain why a direct cremation is the best option for most people in this section. 

The three main reasons are cost-effectiveness, environmentally friendly, and adaptability.


You can grab a piece of paper to compare and contrast your funeral service choices. After you are finished, you will be able to see the best and most affordable option is a direct cremation. It skips all the fluff a typical funeral home offers to make you pay more and profit from your grief. 

Some of the unnecessary expenses in their packages include embalming your body, scheduling viewings for 1 to 3 days, and an expensive coffin. You can skip all of these and leave behind the money you save for your next of kin.

If you think about it, the most basic services can also strain your financial plan. To pay the least amount of money, study the expense difference between a cremation and a burial. It’s essential for anyone who doesn’t have a lot of savings or for a family unit who lost a loved one and did not plan for their death.


When someone we love dies, planning and setting up a memorial service is challenging when you’re in pain and feeling overwhelmed. This is why direct cremation is ideal because it doesn’t take long to set up, and you can have the time you need to heal.

After a sudden death in the family, we believe the priority of the kin should be to learn how to cope with the painful loss. Once they feel ready, they can set up a date when most memorial services are held. 

It also gives kin who live far away a chance to schedule travel plans and ask for time off.

A standard memorial service is less formal and a way to celebrate the life of a loved one while customizing it the way they would’ve wanted.

Environmentally Friendly

A traditional cremation leaves a carbon footprint, but it still has environmental advantages that burials don’t have if your country’s customs allow it. 

Newer eco-friendly cremations exist, and they are known as natural cremations by funeral homes. This modern way to cremate a body is even more straightforward and doesn’t use the poisonous chemicals caretakers need when they embalm a body. 

If you scatter the ashes instead of utilizing a burial plot, it leaves more available land that can be used for more productive purposes like farming.

How To Set Up A Direct Cremation

Arranging a direct cremation at a crematory or a funeral home is not a complicated process. Most crematoriums take care of everything you need for a successful direct cremation, including:

  • Transportation – Crematory staff takes the deceased person from the mortuary in the hospital and delivers it to the crematorium.
  • Filing paperwork – Collect all the documents needed to start the process, including the death certificate. This is a very straightforward process.
  • Casket – You can get a free unfinished wood box from the crematory, but many families prefer to buy their own, and you can do that if you wish.
  • Collecting ashes after the body is cremated – Pick up the cremated remains in a plastic bag, or there are many cremation urns to choose from that they sell.

The larger funeral homes offer cremation services because they have their equipment. The cremation costs are the same, and you get more personal service with a funeral director doing everything for you. 

However, expect most funeral homes will add a small nominal fee on top of the primary services, but it won’t be much.

What Is The Price Of A Direct Cremation?

The final total hinges on the city you live in and the costs of extra services you choose. No matter your budget, every crematory is willing to work with you and give direct cremation customers the best package possible, along with some discounts. 

To get the best fee, do your homework and call every crematorium or funeral home in your area for the lowest prices to find the one that matches what you want to pay.

We recommend going on a price comparison site that lets you search for the cheapest crematoriums and funeral homes in your area. By looking at the numbers on the CANA site, we discovered the lowest average price for a direct cremation is $1900, which is 60% less than a traditional burial, which includes cemetery fees and buying a cemetery plot.

On top of the $1900, expect additional costs associated with the disposal of cremated remains. You can decide to bury your loved one’s cremated remains if that benefits you, or you can keep the ashes in your home inside an urn. 

When choosing to have a cemetery burial for the deceased, the final amount will include the plot plus additional interment costs.

To keep your total costs even lower, you can skip a burial and scatter the ashes in a place requested by your loved one or in an area you know they used to love, like a garden. Other families never get rid of the ashes and designate a sacred place in their home to honor the deceased in a unique urn.

Conserve Funds by Planning Ahead

To keep your final farewell within your planned funeral budget, it’s best to begin the planning phase while you are still alive. 

By thinking ahead and getting all your affairs in place, you can price shop between all the options in your city and pick the funeral home or crematory willing to work with your budget. 

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