Tag Archives: direct cremations

Direct Cremation Plans: Good, Bad, Indifferent? We have strong views…

Direct Cremation Plans reviewed

Direct to Cremation?

Direct cremation plans are the cheapest proper prepaid funeral plan. Some of the other low cost “funeral plan” options leave out minor details like the actual funeral. That is just one of the reasons you should ask for our advice! But good direct to crematorium funeral plans do cover all the costs detailed.  Remember that word “detailed” – small print is very important! BUT read on…. or visit our Direct Cremation Plan Reviews page if you have already decided it is the right type plan for your family: we keep a very close eye on the market so we can steer clients away from poor value plans, (even if they do have very persuasive booklets and salespeople!)  One of the tricks of the trade used by some firms is to try to avoid giving you much information so they have a chance to send a well-trained salesman out who has a 4x greater chance of selling you a plan, sometimes because it is the only way to get rid of them!

In summary: a direct cremation plan is a funeral with no service or other family involvement at the time.  No reason you can’t have a celebration or wake afterwards though. It is just so non-traditional that friends and family make be deeply upset if it is unexpected. What we are talking about on this site is prepaid funeral with no ceremony plans.  Burial does not currently feature as an option, but it may well do in future, but the price will then have to include the purchase of a burial plot which will be in an inexpensive area almost certainly far from home.

Direct cremation plans are now being offered by an increasing number of firms, so we now have a list of companies offering funerals without a ceremony (let us know if we have missed anyone), plus our internal research papers so we can guide you to the4 most suitable plan if you go down this route.  That is what we use to offer the best possible advice on choosing the right plan for you, your family and friends, and your bank balance!  Give us a call for advice – you can leave a message out of office hours.

So what is a Cremation with no Service plan?

Cremation with no ceremony or “Direct cremation” plans are where the undertaker collects the deceased and takes them directly to a crematorium of the undertakers choice, often via their offices.  The family have generally have no involvement in the process, which may well all be over before they find out.

The crematorium will rarely be the local one, the choice will be made by the funeral director who will be looking for the cheapest one within reach of their premises. Indeed, one major play is building its own crematorium for the purpose, which will be running 7 days a week 24 hours a day to cut costs further.  Generally speaking transport to the crematorium may be in a (nice) funeral van and not in a hearse.  It will also take place out of normal crematorium peak hours when costs are lower. Very often these services are run from a single location covering the whole of the UK. They will collect a few people, then arrange a trip to the most economical crematorium.  There is no disrespect, they will all be cremated separately.  You will also need to check what happens to the ashes and be clear whether or not you wish them to be returned.

Direct Cremation Plans: a summary.

So the direct to crematorium route is cheap but impersonal. Therefore it does run the risk of upsetting friends and relatives who want to say a more conventional goodbye. Of course, there is nothing to stop people having a memorial service after the event, but that may not be OK with everyone.

With normal prepayment funeral plans, it is possible for the family to make changes to the arrangements after death, to accommodate your or their wishes and needs. With a direct cremation plan, this may not be so easy as the funeral director may come from some distance away. They are likely to collect the deceased and – if the necessary certificates are ready – go direct to a crematorium. In many cases it will not be possible to change the arrangements at all.

We can certainly see that there is a market for direct crem plans. We do have concerns that they may – perhaps unexpectedly – cause great distress to family and friends who are left behind and are perhaps powerless.

So if you want the cheapest possible funeral plan, this is the one. But think twice before buying. Perhaps it would be better to put down a deposit on a more conventional funeral plan and pay the balance in instalments. Just our view!  Why not call us to discuss things? 0800 0588 240.  Or use the enquiry form to the right.

Direct cremation funeral plans.  Are they right for you and your family?

Low Cost Cremation Plans – The Way Forward?

Low Cost Cremation Plans – are they the way forward?

Leading bereavement expert says MPs’ Report On The State of Funeral Provision Is inaccurate. As British Funeral Culture Is Changing Rapidly. We at the Prepaid Funeral Review feel that there is some truth in that.  However, in the vast majority of cases, there will be significant emotional problems for at least some of those left behind. But that is just our view.  We have no problem organising great value low cost cremation plans for people who really understand them. Our concern is over the meaning of the word “direct” and the lack of understanding.

Direct Cremation and Low cost cremation: the answer to funeral poverty?

Following the Parliamentary Work and Pensions Select Committee’s damning report into the state of funeral provision for the poorer elements of society, a leading UK funeral expert believes the solutions to the problems already exist.

Maybe there is already a solution.    Simple out of normal hours cremation, and direct cremation plans where the deceased is cremated at a low cost crematorium. That crematorium may be hundreds of miles away.  Most do not allow the family to attend even if they could. There is a market for that, and some high profile celebrities like David Bowie have drawn greater attention to this as an option.

The Select Committee findings criticised the “opaque and outdated” state support arrangements for those unable to afford the cost of a funeral. Also the rigid definitions around whom the Government deems to have been “close” to the deceased. And fair game to be lumbered with the cost. Howard Hodgson, an innovative funeral director, agrees, pointing out that the provisions have not been reviewed for 13 years. However, he goes on to criticise its’ dated assessment of the market.  He says that there is no need for the intervention of the competition watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority.

Low cost cremation plans – why are they now acceptable to some?

Hodgson says the report fails to recognise that the market has changed dramatically to meet increased demand for low cost direct cremation.  Hodgson says there are two main drivers for this change:

  1. Financial considerations: fewer people are willing or able to afford funeral from normal cash reserves. Funeral poverty affects a significant proportion of the population.  Unless, of course, they have taken our advice and invested in a prepaid funeral plan!
  2. Less religious concerns for many of the population.

Reacting to the Select Committee’s report, Howard Hodgson said;

At Memoria it has become evident to us that there is an increasing desire by a growing section of the general public for a low cost direct cremation service. We do not believe that this will totally replace the traditional funeral but we do have significant evidence that it is increasing its market share at an impressive rate, signifying a distinct cultural change in the way people are approaching funerals.

Therefore, we believe that there is not only a moral need to supply this legitimate demand, but that such provision can also reduce the cost of a funeral by around 70%.  This must be good news for both the less well off and the public purse.

Just to ignore this trend is not in the interest of either the funeral industry or the Government. Indeed, no costly Government intervention is necessary because the market has found a solution to the problem as it usually does in a free enterprise economy.

We are now seeing a groundbreaking change as the baby boomers start to end their days. This generation changed the fashion of life and now it is changing the fashion of death. This is good news for families who want to select low cost direct cremation and yet does not impact at all on those who don’t.” 

Low Cost Cremation – Good, Bad, Indifferent?

Stephen Pett of the Prepaid Funeral Review said “Any financial preparation for a funeral has to be good for those left behind.  Direct Cremation Plans are increasingly an acceptable form of planning, but only in the right family context.  Why not contact us for advice?”