What are the advantages and disadvantages of choosing cremation with services?

Choosing cremation with services has advantages and disadvantages.  In many ways this choice combines the benefits of traditional funeral services with the cost savings associated with cremation.

Cremation with services: advantages

Choosing cremation with services can be more therapeutic than choosing direct cremation for some families.  Because this choice includes some type of remembrance ceremony (e.g. a viewing or funeral ceremony), many families find this more comforting than direct cremation. 

The viewing or memorial service allows friends and family to share in commemorating the life of the deceased and gives friends a chance to comfort the family.

Cremation can also be much less expensive than a full traditional funeral.  Choosing cremation allows you to eliminate many costs associated with funerals including the casket, gravesite, cemetery fee, and headstone cost.

Many people also consider cremation a more environmentally-friendly option because no land is disturbed for burial purposes. 

Another benefit of cremation is that it provides portability of cremains.  If surviving family members move away, they can easily take cremated remains with them. 

Cremation also allows for a wide variety of disposition options.  While some families do decide to bury cremains in a cemetery, most families simply take the cremains home.  However, many other options exist.  Please see the Funeral Saver’s Kit for a complete discussion of cremation options.

 

Cremation with services: disadvantages

Cremation also has its disadvantages.  Choosing cremation with related services will always cost more than choosing direct cremation.  Because cremation is less profitable for funeral homes, they often try to sell families unnecessary and expensive add-ons.  This is much easier to do when the family chooses cremation with services.

Also, if the family does decide to bury cremated remains in a cemetery, they will still need to purchase grave space and pay for the installation of a headstone or grave marker.  However, costs are usually lower when burying cremains than they are for burying a casketed body.

Depending on the type of services you choose, cremation with services can trigger costs such as an expensive casket (if you choose to have a viewing ceremony of the body prior to cremation), embalming, funeral home fees, and the cost of an urn.

This article highlights the main issues you need to consider when choosing cremation with services.  Many people prefer this arrangement because it combines memorial benefits with the savings associated with cremation. 

However, just like any other funeral home service, you need to make sure you fully understand what you are getting for your money.  You can learn more about reducing cremation costs in the Funeral Saver’s Kit.

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