One of the many benefits of direct cremation is it’s easier to arrange compared to traditional burial and cremation that involves funeral services, especially if you’re making long-distance funeral arrangements. But the steps to arranging a direct cremation still might not be clear, particularly for people who have never experienced the death of a close relative, partner or friend.
The process differs depending on whether you are arranging the direct cremation for yourself in advance or arranging it for a loved one after their death. With that in mind, we’ve outlined the steps for arranging a direct cremation based on each scenario.
Arranging a Direct Cremation for Yourself
More and more people are arranging funeral services in advance. Some people make funeral pre-arrangements to save money while others want to make sure they get the disposition they truly want or to save their loved ones from the angst of having to do it themselves. No matter what the reasoning is, the process for arranging a direct cremation for yourself is fairly simple.
- Take time to figure out what you want. When you pre-arrange funeral services you can get exactly what you want, you just have to figure out what that is. The good thing is you have time to think about it right down to the urn you want for your cremains.
- Research funeral homes. This is often the most time-consuming part of the process. Take your time and do your research to find a funeral home you are comfortable with based on what you want.
- Line up interviews. Once you’ve narrowed the selection of funeral homes down to 3-5 options, line up an interview with each. You can do this over the phone to get general information, but it’s a good idea to visit the funeral home in-person if that’s feasible.
- Ask for a General Price List. All funeral homes are legally obligated to provide you with a General Price list that itemizes the costs of funeral services. However, there could still be additional costs or ambiguous fees. It’s important to always ask the funeral director to provide information on all of the possible costs and to provide a custom quote before agreeing to pay for services.
- Ask about the funeral home’s refund policies. When you plan to pay for funeral services in advance you’ll need to inquire about a possible refund if you ultimately don’t use the funeral home’s services.
- Choose a funeral home. After talking with your top picks, it’s time to choose a direct cremation funeral home. Compare the quoted prices as well as any other factors that are important to you. Since you are paying for funeral services in advance, it’s important to choose a funeral home that’s well-established and not likely to close before your death.
- Decide how you’re going to pay for the services. Since the services haven’t been performed yet, funeral homes may offer a monthly payment plan rather than paying for everything upfront.
Arranging a Direct Cremation for a Loved One
Although more people are pre-arranging their own funeral services, it’s still more common for a person to leave their wishes in a will for the executor to carry out or for the next of kin to make the decisions if there’s no will. The process is similar to pre-arranging services, with a few exceptions like having less time. Here’s what to do if you find yourself in that position and need to arrange a direct cremation.
- Look over the last will and testament if one exists. The first thing to do is see if the deceased had a last will and testament. If so, you’ll need to follow what is specified in the will for the funeral services.
- Gather together the necessary documents. In order to arrange any kind of funeral services you’ll need to provide the funeral home with the proper documentation. For example, you’ll need to provide the death certificate and a cremation authorization form.
- Compare funeral homes. If there’s no will or no funeral home is specified in the will, you’ll need to find funeral homes that provide direct cremation. Follow the steps above for getting prices and comparing rates.
- Choose a funeral home. Once you choose a funeral home, the director and their staff can help guide you through the direct cremation process. You can arrange the services and initiate the process by calling or even texting the funeral home.
- Pay for the direct cremation. Unlike pre-arranged services, you’ll likely need to pay for the direct cremation upfront first.
If you’d like to pre-arrange direct cremation services or if you need immediate assistance arranging a direct cremation, our team can help. Call or text any hour of the day to speak with us.