Is it cheaper to be buried or cremated?

Cremations tend to cost a lot less than burials. Costs vary by location, but overall, it is much cheaper to be cremated than buried. Direct cremation, without a formal funeral service, can be the most affordable option of all.

Frequently asked questions

Shortage of space for burial in the UK means that the reuse of graves is increasingly common. Section 25 of the Burial Act 1857 makes it an offence to remove buried remains without a licence from the Secretary of State, or permission from the Church if the ground is consecrated. Graves have been reused by making the grave deeper, so that the original remains are lower in the ground, with space for a second burial on top. Graves chosen for re-use must be at least 75 years old. A notice is posted on the headstone six months beforehand. If there is an objection, the grave will be left untouched. If not, the new inscription is engraved on the back of the headstone. 

The cheapest disposition option is direct cremation. With direct cremation, there is no funeral service in the traditional sense, although a memorial service may be arranged at a later date. Direct cremation is cheaper because there is no need for expensive purchases such as a coffin, as the body is cremated in a simple cardboard casket. It also eliminates the need for embalming fees, as there is no viewing of the body before direct cremation. 

Planning your funeral - whether you want a traditional burial or a cremation – can be great help to your loved ones in the future. Taking out a funeral plan, which is sometimes called a prepaid funeral plan, allows you to be clear about the kind of funeral you want. By paying towards it in advance in fixed monthly instalments, you can lessen the financial and emotional burden on your loved ones later down the line.

With over 50 life insurance, the insurance company will pay out money to the next of kin or beneficiary in the event of the death of the customer. The payout can be left as a gift, or put towards funeral costs. A funeral plan, on the other hand,  give you peace of mind, knowing that your funeral is arranged and paid for in advance, ensuring your final wishes are fulfilled. 

Cremation is a means of disposition where the body is exposed to intense heat and open flames, to reduce it to ashes. Before being cremated, the body is prepared and placed into a container. On average it takes between one and three hours to cremate a human body, after which the remains are collected and transferred to a temporary container, or an urn provided by the family.

When organising a cremation, you’ll need the following things:

  • A copy of the death certificate from the local register office
  • The certificate for cremation from the local register office
  • The application for cremation from the funeral director

You can then discuss cremation options and the associated costs with the funeral director.

For a full service cremation, costs usually include an embalming service, viewing or visitation, a funeral service and basic cremation services. The ashes are placed in an urn which can be buried below or above ground, scattered, or kept by the family. A direct cremation is more affordable type. It does not include a formal funeral, and the body is cremated in a simple casket. There is no viewing before the cremation which eliminates the need for embalming. A memorial service may be held at a later date.

Shortage of space for burial in the UK means that the reuse of graves is increasingly common. Section 25 of the Burial Act 1857 makes it an offence to remove buried remains without a licence from the Secretary of State, or permission from the Church if the ground is consecrated. Graves have been reused by making the grave deeper, so that the original remains are lower in the ground, with space for a second burial on top. Graves chosen for re-use must be at least 75 years old. A notice is posted on the headstone six months beforehand. If there is an objection, the grave will be left untouched. If not, the new inscription is engraved on the back of the headstone. 

The cheapest disposition option is direct cremation. With direct cremation, there is no funeral service in the traditional sense, although a memorial service may be arranged at a later date. Direct cremation is cheaper because there is no need for expensive purchases such as a coffin, as the body is cremated in a simple cardboard casket. It also eliminates the need for embalming fees, as there is no viewing of the body before direct cremation. 

Planning your funeral - whether you want a traditional burial or a cremation – can be great help to your loved ones in the future. Taking out a funeral plan, which is sometimes called a prepaid funeral plan, allows you to be clear about the kind of funeral you want. By paying towards it in advance in fixed monthly instalments, you can lessen the financial and emotional burden on your loved ones later down the line.

With over 50 life insurance, the insurance company will pay out money to the next of kin or beneficiary in the event of the death of the customer. The payout can be left as a gift, or put towards funeral costs. A funeral plan, on the other hand,  give you peace of mind, knowing that your funeral is arranged and paid for in advance, ensuring your final wishes are fulfilled. 

Cremation is a means of disposition where the body is exposed to intense heat and open flames, to reduce it to ashes. Before being cremated, the body is prepared and placed into a container. On average it takes between one and three hours to cremate a human body, after which the remains are collected and transferred to a temporary container, or an urn provided by the family.

When organising a cremation, you’ll need the following things:

  • A copy of the death certificate from the local register office
  • The certificate for cremation from the local register office
  • The application for cremation from the funeral director

You can then discuss cremation options and the associated costs with the funeral director.

For a full service cremation, costs usually include an embalming service, viewing or visitation, a funeral service and basic cremation services. The ashes are placed in an urn which can be buried below or above ground, scattered, or kept by the family. A direct cremation is more affordable type. It does not include a formal funeral, and the body is cremated in a simple casket. There is no viewing before the cremation which eliminates the need for embalming. A memorial service may be held at a later date.