What is a Direct Cremation?

Direct cremation has increased in popularity over recent years and has become a favourable alternative to a traditional funeral. The no-fuss nature of a direct cremation is appealing to those who want a discreet, low-cost send-off without any elaborate extras.

Woman scattering ashes in water after a direct cremation

What is direct cremation?

A direct cremation, also know as an unattended cremation, is a standalone cremation with no funeral service, memorial, ceremony, or attendees. It is a simplified, fuss-free alternative that allows friends and family to hold their own celebration of their loved one, on their own timeline.

How does it work?

A direct cremation simplifies the funeral planning process. The funeral director arranges the transportation of your loved one from the funeral home to the crematorium. Following the cremation, the ashes can be returned to the family and a memorial can be arranged on their own terms if that is what they wish.

Though a direct cremation is less involved than a funeral service, it doesn’t happen immediately after your loved one has passed. The death must be registered along with the completion of relevant paperwork. With this in mind, the cremation will likely take place a week or two after the death.

What does it include?

Typically, a direct cremation will not allow any attendees including friends and family. However, additional services can be added to accommodate your families wishes. The date and time of the cremation will depend on the crematorium’s availability.

Like a traditional funeral service, the funeral director is responsible for:

  • Can assist with the necessary paperwork.
  • Caring for your loved one up until their cremation.
  • Preparing your loved one for cremation.
  • Organising your loved one’s transportation to the crematorium.
  • The safe return of your loved one’s ashes (upon request).

How much does direct cremation cost?

Direct cremation costs vary depending on your location and the funeral provider you use; cheaper providers start at £1000 and others providing a more complete service cost more. It is important to check what is included in the cost before committing to a price, as there could be additional fees. 

Funeral Partners provide direct cremations with the same dignity and respect as a traditional funeral, offering our support and guidance at every stage.

Why choose direct cremation?

  • A direct cremation is significantly cheaper than the cost of a traditional funeral service. There is no need to pay for venue hire, floral tributes, expensive coffins, and the additional extras a funeral service requires.
  • Planning funerals can be stressful. A direct cremation reduces this burden on family members and allows them time to say goodbye to their loved one on their own timeline.
  • Some people find it hard to relate to traditional funerals. Some would prefer to arrange a memorial for their loved one, to give them a special send-off that’s more personal to them.

What are the disadvantages of a direct cremation?

  • A direct cremation isn’t the right choice for everyone. Your loved one’s wishes may conflict with what feels right for those left behind. Finding the balance between what sits well with all the family members and respecting a loved one’s wishes can be difficult.
  • Most direct cremation services do  not allow viewing before the cremation which can be hard for friends and family to take. All Funeral Partner’s Funeral Homes will allow viewing.
  • Mourners cannot gather to share in a funeral service which can impact the grieving process for some. Funerals can bring a sense of mental closure and enable us to express grief in a positive way.

Is a direct cremation right for you and your loved one?

Deciding whether a direct cremation is the right choice for your circumstances can be difficult. There are lots of things to take into consideration and it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons. Planning ahead and taking your time to read up on direct cremation can help the process, giving you peace of mind when the time comes.

Our committed, caring Funeral Director’s are here to support you in your decision and help you plan a direct cremation.

What to wear to a funeral

If you have never attended a funeral before, deciding what to wear can be difficult.

Compare Cremation Funeral Services

Cremation services usually involve a gathering of family and friends and a cremation committal to say goodbye to a loved one.

Letting people know

Picking up the telephone to tell close family or complete strangers such as an employer about the death is usually difficult.

Further Reading: Arranging a funeral

Read about how funerals are arranged and what services you can expect to get.