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What is direct cremation and how do you arrange one?

If you’ve recently lost a loved one and have been looking into arranging a funeral, you may have seen the term ‘direct cremation’ online. Here, we’ll explain what it is, why it’s different to a traditional cremation and how you can arrange one.

by Matt Morgan
January 10, 2020

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Direct cremation has been a great low-cost funeral option for many years, but it gained particular popularity in 2016 after David Bowie pre-arranged to have one after his death.

Unlike burial or traditional cremation, direct cremation allows you to plan a funeral without needing to use a funeral director. This takes away all the stuffy, formal things that come with arranging a funeral so you’re free to create a memorial that perfectly celebrates your loved one’s life.

But before we go any further, let’s cover some of the basics...

What is a direct cremation?

Direct cremation is a cremation without a traditional funeral service at the crematorium. This means that you can arrange a more personal service that’s right for you – not a funeral director.

Your loved one is collected from their place of death and taken to a crematorium for a private, unattended cremation. This gives you the time and freedom to put your own funeral plans in place with your friends and family. The ashes are then returned to you in a beautiful, temporary urn. Lots of families will choose to have them present at the service, display them or scatter them in a place of their choosing.

What can you do with the ashes?

The beauty of a direct cremation is that you have the freedom to celebrate your loved one’s life in your own way. You could hire out the local town hall, host a memorial service in your garden, or you could even get together for a picnic in the park.

After everyone has had a chance to say goodbye, you’ll need to decide what to do with the ashes. If your loved one made a will, they may have left wishes about their final resting place. If not, you can take inspiration from some of these popular choices:

1. Display the ashes at home

If you choose to get a direct cremation with Farewill, your loved one’s ashes will be delivered in a temporary urn. You can then purchase an urn or container of your choosing to display the ashes somewhere in your home. If multiple people want to keep some of your loved one’s ashes, you can divide them between a series of smaller urns.

2. Scatter the ashes

Another popular way to celebrate your loved one after a direct cremation is to scatter their ashes. You could choose the place they got engaged, their favourite beach or a park they walked through every day – or you could divide up the ashes and do all three.

3. Turn the ashes into a memento

One of the more extravagant options after a direct cremation is to turn your loved one’s ashes into a memento. Using a small amount of the ashes, you could pay a professional to create a ring, cufflinks or a sparkling pendant. And if your loved one was the theatrical type, you could even use their ashes to create a commemorative firework display.

How much does a direct cremation cost?

A direct cremation with Farewill costs just £980. This is a fixed-price service that covers everything from collecting your loved one to delivering their ashes to your door. If there are doctor’s fees to be paid or your loved one needs to be collected from their home, there may be additional costs of £164 and £414 respectively.

To put this in context, the average cremation in the UK costs around £3,250. This is because people often feel pressured into spending more when they use a funeral director. When given a choice of coffins, for example, people feel guilty choosing the cheapest option, so they end up spending more than they need to – and more than their loved one would have wanted.

By focusing all our efforts on the cremation itself, we give you the freedom (and the budget) to create the perfect funeral for you and your family.

How to arrange a direct cremation with Farewill

If your loved one has already passed...

Call us today on 020 3966 3935 and we’ll start arranging the cremation straight away. Our team will speak to the doctors to arrange an appropriate collection time, so you can go home, spend time with your family and focus on planning the funeral.

Over the next few days, we’ll keep you informed on when the cremation will take place, then we’ll hand-deliver the ashes to your door at a time that’s convenient for you.

If your loved one is likely to pass in the next few days…

Call us today on 020 3966 3935. We’ll take a few details about you and your loved one, then we’ll send this to you by email so you can check everything is correct.

When the time comes, simply call us back and we’ll start arranging the cremation straight away for you.

Read next: free guide on how to arrange a funeral.

Need help with probate? Farewill also offers a fixed-price probate service from only £595.

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