Estate planning can be complicated. If you can lay out a clear plan, including a document with your wishes about your final arrangements, your loved ones will have much less to worry about in the emotional days following your death. Cremation services are one option to consider as you make your final arrangements. Here are four things to think about as you determine whether cremation is right for you.
1. You Can Still Have a Traditional Funeral
You can choose to have a traditional religious or secular funeral before or after your cremation. If you choose to have funeral services before, many mortuaries offer casket rentals for your body to be temporarily housed during funeral services. Your funeral can take place when and where you’ve planned, at the cemetery or elsewhere. Afterward, your body will be transported to the crematorium. If your funeral services take place after cremation, your urn can take the place of the casket.
Some religions incorporate cremation into their final services, and many crematoriums allow immediate family members entry to watch the cremation take place. You can make arrangements with the funeral home to plan for your family to conduct a small service inside the crematorium if you wish.
2. You Can Still Have a Traditional Burial
While the common perception is that cremains are usually displayed in urns on the mantle, or scattered in a meaningful place, roughly one third of them are buried. You can choose for your cremains to be buried underground or interred above ground at a cemetery.
One undeniable benefit of cremation is the portability of the remains. The urn containing your ashes may be carried with your family as they move from place to place. Your ashes could also be released in a favorite place. You can even pay to have your remains sent to space! Other options include “huggable urn” teddy bears, having your ashes put into fireworks, and having them pressed into vinyl records. Before you make your plans, be aware that many places restrict where human remains can be released, so check local laws to learn if your wishes are legally possible.
3. You Can Save Money
Cremation services can be a good way to save your family additional financial stress after your death. They generally cost about a quarter of the expense of a traditional burial. Very simple services can start at $600, though more elaborate funerals and burials can raise the cost to $4000 or more.
4. You Can Go Green
Cremation services provide environmentally friendly options. Though fossil fuels are generally burned in the process, advanced filtering systems can help reduced the pollution that is released. Choosing a crematorium where you don’t have to be embalmed, and where you can use a casket made of natural materials can also reduce the pollutants involved. You can choose a biodegradable urn to store your ashes for burial, or choose to have your ashes scattered, which has even less environmental impact.
Cremation is just one option to take into account as you plan your final arrangements. Work with your loved ones to develop a plan that will allow them to feel peace and give you peace of mind.