How to arrange an unattended cremation

You can arrange an unattended cremation over the phone in just a few minutes. Your loved one will then be collected from their place of death and cremated without a ceremony at a crematorium.

What is an unattended funeral?

An unattended funeral is a funeral that isn’t witnessed by the family and friends. Instead, the cremation or burial takes place privately at the crematorium or burial ground. This can either be handled by a funeral director or direct cremation specialist.

Once the unattended funeral has taken place, the family and friends can arrange a memorial service at a time that’s right for them. This could be anything from a picnic in the park, to fireworks by the beach, to dinner at a favourite restaurant. If you choose to have a direct cremation, you can even choose to have your loved one’s ashes present at the memorial service.

How does an unattended cremation work?

An unattended cremation is a cremation without a ceremony. This means that were will be no service and no invited guests at the cremation itself. This makes having a cremation without a ceremony an affordable option for families that need to be mindful of costs.

Instead of having a ceremony on the day of the cremation itself, most families choose to have a memorial service once their loved one’s ashes have been returned.

Here’s how it works:

  • Your loved one is collected from their place of death – this could be the hospital, their house, a mortuary or a care home.

  • Their body is transported to a crematorium, identified with a physical tag and prepared for the cremation.

  • The cremation is carried out by a highly-professional team – this is usually the same team that carry out attended cremations

  • Your loved one’s ashes are collected in a temporary urn and you are notified that the cremation has taken place.

  • If you choose to, someone contacts you to arrange hand-delivery of your loved one’s ashes, you can collect them, or they can be scattered in the garden of remembrance at the crematorium

How much does an unattended cremation cost?

An unattended cremation with Farewill costs £895. This is 70% less than the average cost of a cremation in the UK and includes all of the following:

  • Bringing your loved one into our care from anywhere in England and Wales

  • Preparation of all paperwork needed for the cremation

  • The cremation fee itself

  • Carrying out the cremation

  • A dedicated person to help you through the process

In some cases, additional fees may apply, including doctor's fees, a fee to remove a medical device or an urgent collection fee.

If you want to know exactly how much your unattended cremation will cost, please call our team on 020 3695 2090 for a free quote.

Who chooses to have an unattended cremation?

In most cases, the deceased’s family is responsible for choosing what type of funeral to arrange. However, if your loved one left a will, or had a funeral plan, they may have included funeral wishes stating that they want an unattended cremation – as was famously the case with David Bowie in 2016.

If your loved one didn’t leave any funeral wishes and you’re not sure if an unattended cremation is right for them, here are a few questions to help you out:

  • Did they have a traditional personality or were they fairly free-spirited? If they were quite traditional, a more formal funeral ceremony is probably the right option. But if they were more of a free-spirit, you could arrange an unattended cremation and then have a memorial service at their favourite beach or beauty spot.

  • Did they ever mention that you shouldn’t spend too much on their funeral? An unattended cremation with Farewill costs 75% less than the average funeral in the UK. So if your loved one ever made a point about doing something modest or inexpensive, an unattended cremation may be a good option.

  • Did they ever talk about where they would want their ashes scattered? Many people are more interested in their final resting place than what kind of funeral they have. So if your loved one ever discussed where they want their ashes scattered but didn’t talk about their funeral, an unattended cremation may be the right choice.

Why arrange an unattended cremation?

There are many reasons to arrange an unattended cremation for your loved one, including:

  • You know they wouldn’t have wanted a traditional funeral

  • You don’t want to spend thousands on something formal and impersonal

  • You want to arrange a more personal memorial service with your family

  • You’re struggling to get family and friends together in time for a traditional funeral

  • You need to delay the memorial service for many weeks or months

Contact us today if you think an unattended cremation is right for you

Our friendly team is here to help discuss the options with you, and help you give you arrange a funeral that's right for you.

Where does an unattended cremation take place?

An unattended cremation takes place at a crematorium and is carried out by a team of caring and experienced professionals.

As well as carrying out the cremation itself, we also handle transportation to the crematorium from anywhere in England or Wales.

Once the cremation has taken place, we can then arrange for the ashes to be hand-delivered at a place and time that’s right for you.

Arrange an unattended cremation today

If you want to arrange an unattended cremation for your loved one, please give us a call on 020 3695 2090.

We can provide you with a free quote over the phone, and we can also answer any questions you have about our service.

If you're planning ahead, our direct cremation funeral plan can give you peace of mind. Get your free funeral plan guide to find out more.

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