Not everyone wants or can afford a conventional funeral and all the accompanying ceremony and costs. So what are your alternatives if you want to honour your loved one while celebrating in a way that is both meaningful and cost effective? Here, we break down what it means to have a direct cremation, also known as a no-service funeral.
What is a direct cremation?
A direct cremation means there’s a cremation without a formal funeral ceremony, which avoids the need for a funeral director or service. The cremation usually occurs at a crematorium and at a date and time arranged by the funeral director. Also known as a basic cremation or simple cremation, it's the most affordable way to honour a loved one after they’ve passed.
What happens during a direct cremation?
Because the body goes straight to the crematorium after death and is cremated, there is no need to prepare or embalm the body. Usually, the body is placed in a simple coffin, made of inexpensive and easily flammable material. The service can occur without a viewing, which grants families more time to arrange a more personalised memorial experience - e.g. a celebration of life event - at a later date.
What are the benefits of a direct cremation?
Though traditional cremations are usually still cheaper than burials, these can still cost around between $3,000 to $7,200 according to the Cost of Death Report. On the other hand, the average direct cremation cost is significantly less, at between $1800-$3000. Allowing an escape route from the high costs of embalming and dressing the deceased, viewing of the casket before the cremation, a traditional memorial service in a church or chapel and added extras like a casket, flowers, urn, and catering.
Whilst still including all the fundamentals of transportation of the body, accompanying paperwork, and the return of ashes to the family, direct cremations represent a much more affordable alternative to honour a loved one's passing. And leaving more money to spend on other priorities of life, rather than death.
With a direct cremation, you won’t be tied to either the funeral home’s strict schedule of events, or be faced with planning a memorial service when you’re still deep in grief. Instead, you and your loved ones are given the space to process and plan a memorial on your own time frame.
How can I arrange a direct cremation?
Safewill can help you arrange a direct cremation from start to finish. From the moment we receive your call, we’ll walk you through our service and can organise picking up your loved one as soon as possible, aiming for within two hours depending on where they passed away
Your loved one is taken into our care and transported to our partner mortuary facility, where they will receive respectful and dignified preparation before the cremation in an environmentally friendly coffin.
Once the service has concluded, we will organise hand delivery of your loved one’s ashes to you. We generally advise that it usually takes around 10 days until the ashes are delivered back to you, with more or less time needed depending on how quickly the family is able to organise the required documentation, and whether we need clearances from any applicable authorities (including a hospital or nursing home, or the coroner).
Once your loved one’s ashes are back with you, we can then provide guidance and support on what comes next, including grief resources, planning a meaningful memorial and next steps for administering your loved one’s estate.