Burial or Cremation or Eco-Friendly – What are my options?
9 June 2021 by Carlie Brown
When taking instructions from clients for Wills, funeral wishes are often something that they haven’t given a lot of consideration about. Most of the time this stuns the clients into a panic of not having thought about or discussed with their loved ones what they would want to happen to their body after their death.
By discussing the options available it tends to put the clients’ minds at ease to know that they have made their own decisions regarding their funeral arrangements and haven’t left this up to a loved one to make.
When it is left to a loved one to make this decision, it can put a lot of pressure on them (if it hasn’t been discussed with the family beforehand) to make the right decision over whether the body should be cremated or buried. By including your funeral wishes in your Will it is one less decision for your loved ones to have to make at a time when they are grieving your loss.
The options available to you depend on your budget, personal beliefs, and religion.
Over 75% of the UK funerals involve cremation. There is a big cost difference between cremation and burial. A traditional funeral with a cremation costs around £3,596.00 and a funeral with a burial costs around £4,561.00.
A cremation service can be religious or non-religious, held at the crematorium chapel or at your own place of worship. Cremation is not accepted by Judaism, Islam, and some Christian faiths.
You can scatter ashes almost anywhere in the UK after a cremation, as long as you have the permission from the landowner first. Ashes can be scattered at sea or on a river as long as you follow the Environment Agency rules. There are also Gardens of Remembrance at the Crematorium with the option to scatter here.
Leaves a small but significant footprint on the natural environment. A burial service can be religious or non-religious, held at the cemetery chapel or at your own place of worship. A burial does offer a physical place for family and friends to visit which can be marked with a memorial or headstone. The local cemetery will have their own rules in place which need to be adhered to.
If you don’t want to be buried in a churchyard then you can be buried on private or unconsecrated ground or even in your own back garden. The Local Authority should be informed and they could refuse, depending on the location of the property and how close to water you are.
Also known as a woodland burial or natural burial is an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional burials and cremation. Set within acres of woodland and surrounded by countryside. A biodegradable coffin or casket is used which is usually made out of recyclable paper, wicker, or willow. A Woodland burial does not include embalming as the chemicals used may pollute the ground.
Woodland burials are identified by a tree or flowers and often become indistinguishable from the woodland. There are no headstones and also no requirement for the grave to be maintained.
They create an environment which is not visually definable as a burial ground.
There are around 270 green burial sites across the Country with that number continuing to grow. You are able to visit the sites yourself before deciding on a green burial.
Most woodland burial sites offer either a burial plot or scattering of ashes.
Whichever you decide, it is always best to discuss your funeral arrangements with your family and friends or include the same in your Will so that your wishes are known. It can be as simple as stating you wish to be buried or cremated or including more detailed funeral instructions.
You can also put in place a pre-paid funeral plan which is paid for at the time it is taken out by you with a local Funeral Directors. All the arrangements are chosen by you which means that these decisions are not left to your loved ones to make after your death.
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