Simply put, direct cremation (sometimes called simple cremation) is the most basic form of cremation. Your loved one is collected, the cremation takes place without witnesses, and the ashes are returned (usually in a simple cardboard or plastic urn). This also makes direct cremation the most affordable option for families.
According to the National Funeral Directors Association, direct cremation is becoming more and more popular in the US. The reasons behind this are varied, but often include:
The median charge of direct cremation is $2,300, compared to over $6,000 for cremation with witnesses and a ceremony. Read more about cremation costs here.
With direct cremation, there is no service to organize and the process is simple. This means that with online services like Tulip, arrangements can be made online or by phone.
By arranging a service independently after the cremation, families have the freedom to arrange a memorial service to fit their taste, budget and timelines.
The speed and simplicity of the process is one of the things that appeals to families:
The process will usually take between one and two weeks, depending on the speed of both the funeral home and the registration of the death (which involves a number of different people). If the ashes will be on display at a memorial service, check with the funeral home how long their full process will take.
Direct cremation is the most affordable option, although prices can vary between states and funeral homes. The median price of a direct cremation in the US is $2,300.
Comparing prices between different funeral homes can be like comparing apples and oranges. Headline prices will often not include everything, so check that the price includes:
A funeral home will usually charge more if they need to send more than one person for a collection. This means that cases where the person is over a certain weight, or that take place in a private residence, are likely to be more expensive.
There are also some costs that a funeral home has no control over - namely coroner fees and death certificate fees. Coroner fees are usually calculated by the number of days a person is with them - a good reason to make a decision as soon as you can. Death certificates cost between $20 and $25 and are ordered through the county. Some companies, like Tulip, will be able to order them on your behalf.Read Next: Who is Next of Kin?