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What is a Direct Burial and How Do They Work?

In the UK, there are certain legal requirements that need to be met when someone dies. The death itself must be reported and the body of the deceased must be disposed of only in approved ways, for example. Although there are many different types of funeral service you could opt for – with anything from eco-cremations to burials at sea being permitted – these usually cost a great deal. In fact, according to one expert in funeral planning, Newrest Funerals, the average UK funeral service costs well over £4,000 these days and this cost looks only set to rise. Therefore, a cheaper alternative needs to be on offer. Basically, this is what a direct funeral is.

The Distinguishing Features of a Direct Burial

Although direct cremations and burials are both no-frills, low-cost options for people who either do not want a fuss made about them or would like to spend as little as possible, there are differences between them. With a direct cremation, the body will be taken from the mortuary to be cremated. With a direct burial, on the other hand, a plot in a local authority run cemetery will be set aside. Both types of funerals use the lowest cost coffins that are available or, alternatively, a burial shroud will be issued.

In cases where a direct burial has been chosen, there will be costs. Like a direct cremation, there is a fee to pay to cover the body being prepared and for its conveyance to its final resting place. In the main, this will mean the funeral director’s fees, often a set price for these sorts of funeral arrangements. However, in the case of a direct burial, you are likely to have to pay more. This will be for the plot and for the grave to be dug. If you want a marker or gravestone, then this will also go above and beyond the usual cost associated with a direct burial.

It is important to note that no mourners will gather for a direct burial. The service, such as it is, will be conducted with dignity and compassion but friends and family members will not be expected to be in attendance, to offer readings or to perform a eulogy. Most direct burials do not involve the sending of flowers either.

Why Choose a Direct Burial?

Some people like the speed of a direct burial for religious reasons. Others choose them because they don’t want their death to be marked in the usual way and would prefer to be remembered for the life they led. There again, some people think funerals are a waste of money and want to fulfil their legal obligations with as little expenditure as possible.

If you choose a direct burial, then bear in mind that there will be no wake, nor will the body be viewable to mourners before the service. Only the most basic services and materials are on offer which can mean they seem a little austere but this very much depends on your personal point of view. In some cases, people opt for a direct burial and then plan a memorial service later on which gives mourners the chance to think about the life of the deceased rather than their recent passing.

Written by Eric

37-year-old who enjoys ferret racing, binge-watching boxed sets and praying. He is exciting and entertaining, but can also be very boring and a bit grumpy.

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