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Direct Cremation is a relatively new funeral planning option to the UK that is becoming increasingly popular amongst those looking for a simple, fuss free, cheap funeral; which is why the team at Simply  thought it was important to shout about it. 

Also known as a direct funeral, this simple cremation without a service was the funeral of choice for David Bowie, who wanted to be remembered for his music and not his funeral. 

Ironically though, by choosing a cremation without a funeral service, David Bowie made headline news which in turn has helped families realise that there is now an alternative to the more traditional funeral. But what exactly is direct cremation, how does it work and why would you choose it as your way to say goodbye? 

How does a cremation without a funeral work? 

A direct funeral is simply the cremation process but without a funeral service. There are no cars, church or cremation service; no mourners or family in attendance and no flowers; just a dignified cremation arranged at a date, time and location to suit the company making all the arrangements. 

Direct Cremation provides a simple alternative to those wanting to save money and avoid the pomp and ceremony and the upset of a funeral. When the time comes, you are collected and cared for until the company arranging the cremation only service has completed all of the paperwork legally required for a cremation in the UK. 

The cremation then takes place and the ashes are either scattered in a garden of remembrance, or returned to the family if preferred.   

Why choose cremation only with no funeral service?  

Many people dread the thought of a funeral, which is why a cremation only funeral is like a breath of fresh air to a growing number of people. 

At around £1,500, direct cremation can save money as it is far cheaper however the majority of families choose this option as they just don’t want the upset of a funeral. They prefer to have the flexibility to say goodbye their own way, in a more relaxed environment other than a church or crematorium. 

By separating the cremation from the funeral service, families have the freedom to make their own arrangements at a time and place to suit them; be it a get together down the local pub or a family gathering in a special place. 

How do I choose the best direct cremation funeral plan? 

As cremation only funerals have become more popular in the UK, companies have started to offer funeral plans so you can arrange and pay for everything in advance, avoiding inflation and removing the worry from your family. 

Choosing the best funeral plan depends on your own personal requirements but our Simply seal of approval goes to Pure Cremation, the only company in the UK that is completely dedicated to direct cremation. 

Pure Cremation is registered with and therefore regulated by the Funeral Planning Authority. They offer a complete guarantee for all of the services included in the plan and provide a personal service, taking care of everything themselves, even down to hand delivering the ashes to the family once the cremation has taken place. 

How do direct funeral plans differ? 

When comparing direct funeral plans, there are four things you may want to consider:

  • Are there any restrictions on the collection of the deceased?
  • Are the cremation fees and doctors fees guaranteed?
  • Where does the cremation take place?
  • What happens to the ashes? 

Are there any restrictions on the collection of the deceased? 

Many of the companies that offer direct cremation services charge extra if collection of the deceased is made either out of hours, or from a home or nursing home (basically anywhere without a mortuary). This could be as much as £240 so do check the small print. 

Pure Cremation fully guarantee this service with nothing more to pay, regardless of when* or where it is.  

Are the cremation fees and doctors fees guaranteed? 

Some companies only include a contribution towards these services or may not cover the doctors’ fees at all. 

Pure Cremation fully guarantees both of these services with nothing more to pay. 

Where does the cremation take place? 

Most direct funeral providers have particular crematoriums they use, so don’t expect the service to be local to you. Pure Cremation currently use the services of a number of crematoriums however they are in the process of building their own state of the art crematorium in landscaped surroundings that will be available from December 2018. This means they have total control of the quality of service and of future costs. 

What happens to the Ashes? 

With most direct cremation plans you can either ask for the ashes to be scattered in the Garden of Remembrance or returned to the family. Some plan providers charge extra for the return of the ashes and use a courier service for delivery, which could make families feel a little uncomfortable. 

Pure Cremation fully guarantees delivery of the ashes at no extra cost and they actually hand deliver them, so no need for a third party courier. 

If you are thinking about direct cremation it is important to talk to your family first, as many people do still prefer the tradition of a funeral service. But by helping them understand the alternatives available to them, they can see that this alternative funeral offers the choice and freedom to do things ‘your way’. 

*Anywhere in England and Wales and within 2 hours of Edinburgh or Glasgow

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