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Cremation vs Burial – Which Is Best for You?

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Cremation vs Burial – Which Is Best for You?

The decision between cremation and burial is a personal one that depends on various factors such as faith, family tradition, and personal beliefs. Another important consideration is cost, as cremation is usually cheaper than burial.

The cost of cremation vs burial is often thought of as the cheaper option, but it can be just as costly depending on the services and products you choose. When opting for cremation, you’re not only paying for the cremation process, but also for extras such as the urn and (in some cases) a vault or crypt. When you choose burial, you’re not only paying for the embalming and your choice of casket, but also the opening and closing of the grave. In both cases, you would also have to pay for the transportation of the deceased. You could also be responsible for decisions about viewings, whether to have a memorial or funeral service, arranging family transportation, and gathering all of the official paperwork, on top of these costs. Some of these additional costs are small, but others can be very large.

The most recent survey of costs for funerals and cremations from the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) estimates that the median cost of a funeral with burial is around $9,420, while the median cost of a funeral with viewing and cremation is about $6,970. However, keep in mind that certain choices can increase the expenses in either case.Cremation and burial are both common choices for final arrangements, but it's important to understand the basics of each before making a decision. Cremation is typically cheaper than burial, but it doesn't offer the same opportunity for mourners to visit the deceased's final resting place. burial, on the other hand, is more expensive but provides a space for loved ones to grieve and remember. Here's a more detailed look at the process and cost of cremation vs burial.

Cremation vs Burial: A Quick Comparison

When making decisions about what will happen to your body after you die, you may find yourself wondering about the difference between cremation and burial. The following information will help you to understand the pros and cons of each option.

The Cremation Process

Cremation laws may differ depending on which state you are in; however, there are some general regulations concerning preparation and transportation that are the same no matter where you are. Here is some information on what you need to know before, during, and after the cremation process.

Before cremation

Cremation cannot be performed until the state has issued the necessary authorization. The waiting period for this authorization is typically up to 48 hours after the death has occurred. During this time, funeral directors will complete the required forms and gather the necessary permits.

Family members are able to say goodbye, perform rites of passage, or conduct a funeral service before the cremation process begins. If a funeral or visitation service takes place, the family can retrieve any personal belongings or valuable materials – such as jewelry or other personal objects – after the service has concluded.

During cremation

This chamber gets incredibly hot, reaching temperatures between 1,400 and 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. This guarantees that all remains are completely processed. The process usually takes 1 - 3 hours, depending on the size and weight of the body.The cooling period following cremation allows the remains to cool enough so that staff can handle them. The weight of the remains will be between 3-9 pounds, and they are typically white.

After cremation

The urn or container chosen to hold the remains is usually returned to the family or the designated cemetery or funeral home, unless specified otherwise. The family has several options to choose from when deciding the final resting place of the remains.

 These include:

  • Placing the urn in an indoor or outdoor mausoleum
  • Burying the urn in a family burial plot or cemetery urn garden
  • Scattering the remains in a way that reflects the deceased’s wishes
  • It is advised to keep the urn in the home of a loved one

Cremation Pros

  • It’s more affordable.
  • If your loved ones wish, they can keep your remains with them.
  • There are no time restraints.
  • A cremation can be carried out in any location.

Cremation Cons

  • Some members of the family may not be comfortable with the procedure.
  • Not every locale offers cremation.

The Burial Process

Regardless of the service selected, the process of bathing and disinfecting the body is one of the first lines of defense protocol for ensuring the safety and security of your loved ones.

Before service

The family or friends in charge of the funeral arrangements determine the course for the body; if the body be refrigerated, can be transported to another state.

If the decedent died at a distant location, the decedent is buried in a different location. Typically, the funeral provider will make transportation arrangements for buried bodies because of their understanding of the specific requirements for transporting bodies.

Before burial

When needing to include recently deceased loved ones in the funeral arrangements, a licensed embalmer will help make this possible.

Embalming occurs when the funeral director or the family determines that the deceased is most likely to survive the embalming process. The embalmer will use standard ingredients to embalm the body.

In many cases, refrigeration is a perfectly acceptable alternative to embalming – for example, if you're opting for immediate burial, embalming is not required.

If there's a viewing, the family will need to pick out clothing and things like jewelry and glasses for the person who died. Anything worn during the viewing can be given back to the family before the burial. We'll do cosmetics and hair according to the family's wishes.

After service

The next steps following a funeral usually depend on what type of funeral was performed. More often than not, a traditional funeral will include taking the body to be buried at a cemetery or other gravesite. In some situations, an official will preside over a graveside service.

Burial Pros

  • Your loved ones will have a place to visit your remains.
  • It's more familiar and people are more comfortable using it.
  • Family can make the funeral personal by choosing the casket, headstone, and the location of the burial site.

Burial Cons

  • Burials are more expensive.
  • Cemeteries have rules in place that can limit your choices for burial.

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