Whether you choose cremation or burial for your end-of-life plans, there are pros and cons to each. Many more people in the US choose cremation over burial now vs. in the 1950s. The desire for cremation services has increased partly due to less religious taboo but also because of lower cost when compared to burial.
However, cremation is not always cheaper than burial. It is possible to plan an elaborate memorial service or purchase an expensive columbarium niche with a cremation. It is also possible to pay less for burial services by choosing a green burial or direct burial. Your decision may depend on your cultural background and belief systems, or you may decide based on more practical considerations such as cost. Let’s look at burial vs. cremation. Which is right for you?
Cremation Is Not All You Need
Even when you choose cremation, there are many services you will need to prepare for your final disposition. Cremation is merely one choice you make about what will happen to your body when you die. Planning your funeral or memorial service is also crucial. Planning for end-of-life is a gift to your loved ones. It should be considered part of your estate plan.
A visitation period held for viewing the body is common in North Carolina. Loved ones come and spend time saying personal goodbyes and caring for the family in person before the actual funeral service. It is a time to gather with friends to relive memories of a time now immortal.
Whether before or after the cremation process, your funeral or memorial service is a necessary time to gather for your surviving family. They need to be together and remember their relationship with you, find solace in each other, and think about what has happened. You can give them the gift of making end-of-life plans for yourself, so they don’t have to worry about it all.
Funeral homes provide the facilities you need for family and friends to gather comfortably for visitations or funeral services. Experienced funeral directors also guide guests who may feel uncomfortable with death. A top-tier funeral home will provide all of the services you need for end-of-life so that there are no hidden fees or additional costs.
What Else Will I Need If I Choose Cremation?
The professional services of a funeral home director provide peace of mind to your family about the death process. Family members often feel confused or shocked by the death and need guidance about what happens next. With a funeral director’s skilled professional care, all is in order, and your loved ones can rest and grieve rather than feeling stressed. The last thing your loved ones want to focus on is whether they have done the proper paperwork or made the best plans for you.
Essential paperwork includes:
- The Death Certificate which includes obtaining all the vital statistics of the deceased
- Working with the pronouncing medical practitioner to sign the death certificate
- The Cremation Authorization signed by the next-of-kin
- Other paperwork with hospitals, doctors, or other service providers
Often, funeral directors also work with ministers and florists to create a flawless service for you. In addition, they may help you with obituaries and where to place them online and in print. A competent funeral director will take care of these tasks for you or help your family where they need assistance.
After death, your body will need a transfer to the cremation center. If you choose a casket for a funeral service before cremation, your funeral home may include that and other necessary services in a package. You may also choose an urn, cremation jewelry, or other memorial items you would like to purchase.
Cremation Can Include Burial
Many cemeteries also offer burial plots for ashes. These are smaller than traditional burial plots, but you may decide a monument is also in order. You may also find a beautiful columbarium niche for your ashes. One example in Raleigh includes our own Historic Oakwood Cemetery, which offers columbarium niches and “cremains” burial plots. Pine Forest Memorial Gardens in Wake Forest also offers the same.
A permanent resting place can help your family by giving them a place to go dedicated to your remembrance. Bringing flowers to your resting place during holidays or other special occasions may help loved ones to grieve well and find hope again.
Burial vs Cremation Cost
A modest cremation in Raleigh may run you somewhere from $3,000 to $5,000 for everything you need depending on your choices. Although, this price tag does not usually include burial plots, vaults, memorial stones, urns, etc.
However, there are ways to cut costs if you feel concerned about the financial implications of your decisions. Cremation burial plots cost less than traditional burial plots and may help you save money on your total cost.
In addition, when you choose a funeral home, look for one that provides in-house cremation services. In-house services lower your overall costs and let you trust that your body and ashes will not end up at a nameless cremation factory contracted by your funeral home.
Pros and Cons of Burial vs Cremation
Choosing a traditional burial usually involves purchasing a large burial plot and vault. You may also choose embalming services if you plan a funeral that is a few weeks down the road. A traditional funeral may cost $7,000 and upwards, depending on your choices.
Cremation does often cost less overall than a traditional burial. Statistics show that more people choose cremation partly because of the generally smaller price tag. However, cremation can also happen before the memorial service, giving your family flexibility. Cremation may give family and friends more time to prepare their travel plans and take time off from work to attend your last ceremony.
Cremation and burial are both excellent and valid choices. Making your decision is personal. You may want to consider whether you find cremation distasteful or normal, whether you would like a place your family may visit, any memorial stones or jewelry, and more. Talking with an experienced funeral home director can help you make these decisions.
We Can Help
At Renaissance Funeral Home and Crematory, we help individuals prepare for end-of-life. We desire to walk you through the decision-making process to ensure the best possible outcome for your end-of-life planning.
We provide the service you need whether you choose burial or cremation. As the premier Raleigh funeral home with an on-site crematory, at Renaissance, we exist to serve you and your loved ones 24 7. You can rest knowing that we are available to you and your family around the clock when you need us most. Planning to have cremation or burial can be a gift of love, letting your family have room to breathe, celebrate your life, and begin the healing process. While making your pre-plan, you can make changes at any time. By choosing to prepay, you can help your loved ones stay worry-free as they grieve.
We make the process easy as we honor all customs, faiths, and cultures with our locally and family-owned funeral home. We proudly serve the Raleigh area with our expertise and offer the largest private memorial chapel in the area. Our on-site cremation center makes it possible to cut your costs and give you peace of mind. Contact us today and get started making your pre-plan. We are here to help in whatever ways you need. Let us help you think through your options and make the best decisions for your end-of-life planning.