Over the past 50 years, cremation has grown exponentially. In fact, the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) predicts that cremation will surpass burials by 2020.
So why is cremation becoming such a common choice? Well, one of the most common reasons is that it’s seen as cost effective. While this is the case for some families, there are several important factors you should consider before sending your loved one to a “no-frills” direct cremation provider. Most funeral homes don’t perform their own cremations; It’s important to find out exactly who will be providing your service and how.
• Most funeral homes don’t perform their own cremations. It’s important to find out exactly who will be providing your service and how.
• You need to gain a full understanding of your cremation provider’s operating procedures and security measures as they differ from place to place.
• There are many options available to honor your loved one as well as ways to save.
Choosing a cremation provider can be overwhelming, even if you’ve already decided on direct cremation. Start by thinking about how your loved one would want to be remembered and consider your family’s need to grieve. Addressing arrangements and cost before the memorial enable your family to focus on grieving. The following four considerations will help you plan, and ensure you receive the best value based on your unique needs.
Related Resource: Download the Cremation Costs Explained Guide.
1. How Will Your Loved One Be Identified?
Most third-party cremation providers don’t disclose their exact location. How will you know where your loved one is going? Your family has the right to know this information. Be confident that your loved one is treated with care and returned exactly as planned.
Believe it or not, mistakes happen. Be aware of how the crematory you choose identifies and transfers your loved one. There have been incidents where families have received the wrong cremains.
Keeping the above in mind is also an important key to avoiding cremation scams. Stand-alone facilities have been known to overcharge grieving families who are not educated about cremation practices. There are certain rights families have when planning a direct cremation that you may be unaware of. For example, embalming is not legally required. A quick review of the specific cremation laws in your area could save you thousands.
2. How Will Your Loved One Be Taken Care Of?
Find out how long the cremation process will take once the crematory has your loved one in their care. It’s also important to be aware of how your loved one will be cared for before and after the cremation takes place. Ask questions like:
- Is viewing the cremation important to you?
- How will your loved one be returned to you?
If being present when the cremation takes place is important to your family, discuss this with your cremation provider ahead of time. It isn’t common practice for third-party or stand-alone facilities to have the option to watch the cremation.
If you decide not to choose an urn, crematories could return the deceased in a cardboard box. Work with your provider to ensure that you receive the cremains in a way that you’re comfortable with.
3. How Will You Celebrate Their Life?
Memorial services aren’t for the deceased, but for their surviving loved ones. A memorial service is a very important part of the grieving process. Services offer family and friends a time set aside to offer their condolences and honor the life lived.
Without a proper goodbye, friends and acquaintances may constantly offer condolences over a long period of time. A memorial lets this take place in an afternoon instead of over the course of several months.
4. Are Service Items Important To You?
When planning a memorial, details can pile up. Consider who will account for the following, and remember that funeral homes can arrange these for you:
- Video slideshow
- Flowers—What kind? Where will people send them?
How do you want to keep the memory of your loved one alive? A stand-alone cremation provider may not take the time to show you options for keepsakes that memorialize your loved one. These items can include decorative or traveling urns, keepsake jewelry, garden stones and memorial candles.
If these options are important to you, and you decide to work with a stand-alone crematory, there may be additional planning and costs involved. Funeral homes with on-site crematories will take the time to find the perfect keepsake items to honor your loved one.
A Trusted Funeral Home Can Reduce Stress And Provide Value
Planning for your loved one’s cremation is a stressful and emotional time. While cost is an important factor for most families, when considering affordable cremation make sure you do your research to ensure you get the best value without compromising your wishes.
Taking on the entire planning process yourself could end up costing you more in the long run. Working with a funeral home that has an on-site crematory will save your family time, added stress and potentially money. The more planning you can do under one roof and with one provider, the easier this difficult process will be. More importantly, having a caring team to help you navigate these tough decisions will reduce stress and afford you time to acknowledge your grief.
Busch Funeral and Crematory Services is the only local funeral home to offer a 10-step Cremation with Confidence™ guarantee. From the moment your loved one arrives at our care center, through the cremation process, to the return of the cremated remains, your loved one never leaves our care.
Image Credit: Justin Dolske via Flickr