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Thoughts on a Direct Cremation

(43 Posts)
nanaphyl Mon 19-Jul-21 15:52:17

Some friends of mine have been discussing a Direct Cremation or (burn and return as they call it). I like the idea but worried by children will be upset. I have tried to discuss it with them but they don't want to talk about it.

What are peoples thoughts?

Infinity2 Mon 19-Jul-21 15:57:42

Why not just let those still living make the decision when the time comes ?
After all it’s unlikely you’ll be watching from the Pearly Gates, hopefully you’ll have soared off somewhere nice ( and not this hot ) by then !
I think it’s admirable you are trying to sort it out now.
Burn and return 😱😱😱😱😱😱
I think some relatives would be happy to stuff their loved ones in the bin to save the cost of a funeral reducing their inheritance.

Kim19 Mon 19-Jul-21 16:01:45

I've made my request for this kind of departure verbal but will not put it into writing in case my children simply can't handle it.

Nonogran Mon 19-Jul-21 16:04:03

I made and paid for my funeral plan ages ago. I didn’t think about discussion with my offspring as in my opinion it’s part of my final wishes. However, from time to time it had been a diversion from day to day conversation so it wasn’t exactly a taboo subject and was easily discussed, but not in great detail.
As I happens my offspring are happy that I’ve made a plan at all as experience has told them it’s the best for all concerned. One phone call to the Funeral Director and job done!
Don’t overthink it especially as yr young ones don’t want to talk about it. Just go ahead and make your plan. “Nobody promises us a tomorrow “ so get it done and most importantly, the way you want it.

halfpint1 Mon 19-Jul-21 16:04:26

My Mother did not want any religious service and here in
France it was possible to go directly to the Crematorium
where we had a small (ish seated around 50 I think) beautifull Zen type room to gather. It was just the immediate family and
we all took turns to say or read whatever we felt appropriate;
We had 1/2 hour with the coffin in the room
It was the most beautifull way to say goodbye. We played
Enya for music and we all cried but felt we had carried out
her wishes.

lemsip Mon 19-Jul-21 16:06:36

I have told my son this is what I want him to arrange. I have details of place to ring to organise in a folder with my insurances........I do not want £4000 to £5000 spent on a fancy funeral with adult grandchildren being upset. I

Allsorts Mon 19-Jul-21 16:06:39

I do hope that when I die, I am not sent off without a family member present as if I hadn’t existed, the saddest end.

Infinity2 Mon 19-Jul-21 16:11:21

Halfpint1 - that sounds a really lovely funeral.
I’ve made no plans for mine as I have hardly any family left, most of my friends have died, and it wouldn’t even be worth putting a notice in the paper.
But I’m not bothered by this. It’s just the way things have played out.
You don’t realise how bad choices actually follow you the length of your days.

Tea3 Mon 19-Jul-21 16:16:35

I’m another for the burn and return, although I’m not sure that I’m bothered about the return. Ashes scattered around a nice rose bush in the crem garden will do for me.

tidyskatemum Mon 19-Jul-21 16:25:07

I have a friend who wants to leave her body to science. She says they will be amazed that her liver lasted so long!

SueSocks Mon 19-Jul-21 16:27:32

We both want a direct cremation, no religion, no fuss.

Septimia Mon 19-Jul-21 16:28:17

I know it can be a difficult time for families, but I feel that Direct Cremation could deprive them of the chance to do things the way they would like - after all, any 'ceremony' is for those who are left.

There's no reason why a preference for cremation shouldn't be expressed and money set aside, but leaving flexibility for the family regarding the actual way it is done. Planning readings and music is part of the grieving process.

Me - I'd like a church service, ALL my favourite hymns and to be buried so that archaeologists hundreds of years hence can dig me up and study my bones! But I suspect I'll get what the family decides, apart from the request for church and burial.

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 19-Jul-21 16:41:27

Letting your family know exactly what you want saves them a lot of worry later as to whether they got it right. And if you can leave the money to cover it so much the better. Personally I find the direct cremation idea very sad, done first thing in the morning with no mourners just like one funded by the local authority. And it may be upsetting for the family.

ElderlyPerson Mon 19-Jul-21 18:01:19

On the matter of providing money for relatives to organise a funeral, consideration needs to be given to how they can access the money promptly.

A bank may well want to send the process to their central office that handles such matters after someone passes, and who knows how long they might take, from promptly to great delays.

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 19-Jul-21 18:09:01

I do agree ElderlyPerson. A reputable undertaker would agree to be paid out of the estate after the grant of probate/letters of administration but I have no idea about the direct cremation companies. Of course if the deceased has taken out specific insurance to cover funeral expenses that would pay out on proof of death.

ElderlyPerson Mon 19-Jul-21 18:30:16

Perhaps with 1% interest per month on the remaining balance.

I don't know how long ago it had happened, but I was told of a lady who was weekly paid and went round every week on pay day and paid £10 for years to pay for her mother's funeral.

A bank may well be prepared to pay the funeral account direct to the funeral director before the High Court process is completed upon production of the Death Certificate and the invoice from the funeral director, but may only do so upon the person requesting it signing an indemnity. But how long does the bank take to do that?

It is important to remember that unless either a house is involved or lots of money, the High Court may possibly not be involved, I am not sure about that.

But if, say, someone lives in rented accommodation and just has his or her funeral money and not much more in the bank, does the High Court become involved if there is only one child or if more than one child the children agree how to deal with things as to who has what?

From my very limited knowledge of these things, for a will, if the executor is someone independent such as a solicitor or a bank, then apart from any specific bequests, I seem to think, correct me if I am wrong, the going rate is to sell all possessions and split the proceeds less fees for so doing amongst the beneficiaries, unless the beneficiaries are happy to agree among themselves who gets which ornaments, books, pictures etc. So basically either agree who gets it or none of them get it.

Calendargirl Mon 19-Jul-21 18:34:36

My DH and I want to be cremated.

Covid has made me think about whether a big gathering is necessary, but the thought of my DH going to the crematorium on his own with absolutely no one present is not what I want either.

I know many on GN have opted for this, but my own personal feeling is that we have been together through good and bad times for many years, and I would be letting him down if I didn’t ‘see him off’ on his final journey.

ElderlyPerson Mon 19-Jul-21 18:36:08

I think that at least some funeral directors do offer a direct cremation as an option, just as they offer various other options, church service followed by burial, church service followed by cremation, religious service in the crematorium chapel followed by cremation, and so on.

Soroptimum Mon 19-Jul-21 18:53:57

Just looked up what Direct Cremation was and to me it sounds awful. When my FIL died, the family had a church service, and then he went off in the hearse to the Crematorium on his own. I thought it was dreadful that we didn’t follow him to the end, as it were.

Grandma70s Mon 19-Jul-21 19:17:01


I have a friend who wants to leave her body to science. She says they will be amazed that her liver lasted so long!

My parents both did this. They accepted my father when the time came, but not my mother - don’t know why. So we had to have a funeral, which nobody had wanted, least of all her. We didn’t know then (1997) about direct cremations. My sister-in-law’s mother had a direct cremation, I think called a simple cremation. So much better.

If families want to celebrate a life they can have a big family lunch, as we did for my father.

allium Mon 19-Jul-21 19:22:00

I think one of these would work well, a combination of covid and never really knowing whats round the corner plus much less expensive than having a funeral (which I don't want), l think my kids could make much better use of £4-5k!

nanaphyl Tue 20-Jul-21 09:13:25

Hi all thank you so much for your feedback, I am going to have the ''chat'' with my son and daughter this afternoon . I think some of you are right it a funeral is for the people left behind. Maybe my kids would prefer the money saved though we shall see.

Jaxjacky Tue 20-Jul-21 09:34:34

We’ve paid for a ‘no frills’ cremation for us both. We did discuss this with the children, they were not happy with the direct cremation option.

grandMattie Tue 20-Jul-21 09:41:48

In my understanding, a direct or simple cremation is one where no one is present and the body is tipped unceremoniously into the fire. The ashes are returned to the family, who can do what they want, when they want.

Spice101 Tue 20-Jul-21 09:58:15

My mother past away just a year ago. She had arranged for her body to be donated to medical science but due to covid that could not happen.
We decided on a no service cremation and the ashes were held at the crematorium. Some months later when we could have a get together we collected her ashes and scattered them at a place she loved then had a get together with family and friends.

It was a great day and no where as expensive or stressful as a funeral.
My mum would have approved and I’m sure she surveys her surrounds daily.