Types of Cremation Funeral Plans – Which is Best?

Types of Cremation Funeral Plans – all you need to know about the alternatives.

Urn fro cremation funeral

Not a standard cremation funeral plan urn!

The various types of Cremation Funeral Plans are far more common than burial ones in the UK, with very nearly 4 in 5 prepaid funerals being cremations these days. It will be interesting to see if the current vogue for woodland burials changes the balance with cremation at all over the coming years. In Japan, almost all funerals are cremations. Folk asking for our help choosing the right sort of cremation funeral plans seem to need cremation in an even higher proportion.  Probably due to the rising cost of burial plots!

For advice on choosing the most appropriate prepaid cremation funeral plan for you, just fill in one of the forms or (better) give us a call (messages are taken out of hours.) |Or read on….

Funeral Plan QuotesAs independent funeral and cremation plan advisers, we make it our business to know as much as possible about all the significant plans on the market.  Essentially, they fall into three categories.

  1. Direct Cremation Plans.

Who pays funeral costs?

Direct Cremation Plans?

These direct cremation plans are the most basic and are quite unsuitable for most people.  Essentially, the funeral director is phoned after death. As soon as it has been certified by the doctors, the deceased is collected,  They are then taken to whichever crematorium is the most economical, possibly hundreds of miles away, and cremated.  The family or friends cannot attend, and it is usually not possible to pay extra and change the arrangements once the undertaker has been called, if it is possible to change them at all.

They are the cheapest form of cremation funeral plan, and whilst we will advise on them, we have severe misgivings about the impact they will have on friends and family – even if you think it won’t.

   2.  Cunning Plans – Funeral Directors Services Only.

These are plans where you pay for the funeral directors services, but everything else is left to be paid at the time of the funeral.  It is not always clear if you are buying this sort of plan, which is why you need our help. We have certainly seen some “confusing” websites.  This type of plan is fine in the right circumstances, but both you and the family need to understand it only covers a decent chunk of the costs – maybe two thirds or so.

   3. Proper Cremation Plans.

Proper cremation plans are set up so that they include the cost of the funeral directors services,  and ministers (or celebrants) fee and (sometimes) the doctors fee and the service at the crematorium.  They don’t generally include flowers, printing or adverts or wake,  But they do do all the basics within the agreed limits.  This is where we come into sub types of cremation plans.

Cremation Plan Type a.  Pays for the undertaker, and makes an inflation linked allowance for the cost of cremation, (doctors) and minsters fees.  At the time of writing (January 2019) the allowance ranges from £940 to £1,220.  That is a big difference.  In many areas, the chances are this will be enough.  But there could be a shortage, which has to be made up at the time of the funeral.   Some of the providers of this type plan will accept people under the age of 50.

Cremation Plan Type b. Same as type a., except that it guarantees that the cost of cremation, ministers and doctors fees will be covered.  However, that only works if you use their facilities.  And the costs are far higher.  They also won’t generally accept people under the age of 50.

Cremation Plan Type c. Cut down plans. Again, essentially the same as type a., but with a much lower allowance for third-party costs. That might be £800 or even less.  With many crematoriums charging around £1000, these plans try to get around it by restricting the families choices in terms of funeral director, place and time of the cremation which could, at the extreme, be 50 miles from home at 8.30 in the morning.

So, as they say, you pays your money and takes your choice.  If you are wise, that choice will be made with our help, our price guarantee and bonus. So call us on 0800 0588 240 or use the form below!

Cremation is considered to be the most hygienic method of disposal. There are alternative methods available elsewhere which may lay claim to being more hygenic and more environmently friendly,

Cost of Cremation Funeral Plans and Cremation.

Cremation funeral plans and cremation itself are normally cheaper than burial plans as there is no need to buy or keep up a plot, or headstone. That said, third party costs vary wildly from area to area. The funeral director’s costs are fairly similar either way. The doctors charges are a little higher for cremation as two doctors certificates are needed. The cost differential has narrowed a little with the demand for greater control of emissions and greater regulation and therefore high charges be the crematoriums.

Cremation and Religion.

Cremation has had little religious significance in the UK since the Roman Catholic Church lifted its ban on cremation in 1963.

Cremation – the Crematorium Chapel.

Crematorium chapels are not consecrated but are usually dedicated. At some you can arrange a Liberal Jewish service conducted by a Rabbi, though is forbidden for Orthodox Jews and Muslims. Cremation is usual for Sikhs, Hindus and Buddhists.

Cremation – what happens at the Crematorium?

At the moment when the committal words are spoken the coffin is typically hidden by curtains. In some crematoria it is be withdrawn through a gateway or lowered into a room below. Sometimes it remains for mourners to pay their respects as they go.

After the service, in general, the coffin goes into a committal room where the name plate on the coffin is carefully checked against the cremation order.  A special card is then kept with it. The cremation will usually happen immediately after the service.

The Code of Cremation Practice insists that the coffin is cremated with the body and that nothing whatever may be removed from the coffin. It is normally possible for one or two relatives to witness the cremation provided this is arranged in advance.

Cremation Ashes.

The identity card is placed by the cremator as soon as the coffin is placed in it and it stays until the ashes are removed and transferred to the cooling tray. The ashes then go to the preparation area and the card stays with them, finally being placed in the urn with the prepared remains. As each cremator will only accept one coffin and the ashes must be withdrawn before the cremator is used again.  All cremation ashes are kept separate throughout the process.

When the cremation process is complete, the cremation ashes are taken out any metal is removed.  This will usually be just be nails and screws from the coffin as everything else must be combustible. It is best not to cremate any jewellery with the deceased as it cannot be recovered. The remains are then reduced to a fine white ash which normally weighs between 5lb and 7lb.

The Cremation Code of Practice says: “Any metal found amongst the cremated remains shall not be salvaged for any purpose but shall be disposed of in aggregate in accordance with the directions of the Cremation Authority or Higher Authority”.

Cremation: Gardens of Remembrance and Memorials.

The gardens of remembrance are areas designed for the spreading of the ashes. They have often been dedicated for this purpose by Christian clergy. There are no reserved areas, though some have niches where urns may be placed but these are usually on a rental basis. Bear in mind that when ashes are strewn in other places, e.g. graves, churchyards etc, prior permission must be sought and any local rules or regulations obeyed. Some people keep the ashes or even have them (expensively) made into “diamonds” or send them up in rockets!

An interesting development is that of Bio Cremation.

If you would like to watch a video on cremation, their is one below.  It is deliberately NOT a UK one.

More on cremation.