Cremation vs. Burial Overview and Planning Ahead

With the passing of a loved one, unless your wishes are pre-planned or pre-arranged, many families are beset with the decision of, “Do I bury my loved one or do I cremate him or her?”  Depending on many variables, from financial cost to religious beliefs to differing opinions among family members, these decisions can range from simple to difficult to overwhelming.

A growing trend in the death care industry is Pre-Arranged or Pre-Need services. This is where the person, who will someday pass away, plans and finances their own burial or cremation arrangements. This is particularly common with individuals and married couples as they get into their 60’s and 70’s. Why do they choose to make these arrangements themselves? There is a myriad of reasons.

  • As a family legacy, many wonder where their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and beyond can visit so they have a tangible bond to their family history and heritage and where they came from. Even with cremation, you can have what are known as cremation niche spaces in a columbarium or a glass-front niche. You can even have family spaces with a collection of urns in the same space.
  • Will my children be able to afford my cremation or burial?
  • Will my family members abide by my wishes, even if I have made them clear?
  • If I am estranged from my loved ones, who will make the arrangements?
  • My children (or family) will be going through enough, I don’t want to burden them with having to make burial or cremation arrangements.
  • My children don’t get along and it will only cause further conflict between them if they have to decide on my final arrangements.
  • Will my final departure live up to my expectations?
  • Maybe I want to plan a non-traditional service or have a final say in my goodbye.
  • I don’t have a lot, but I can afford a direct cremation to offset or alleviate the cost to my family.

As you consider burial vs. cremation, the following articles address three primary factors for consideration in your decision-making process:

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