Direct cremations set to rise The way we say goodbye to our relatives looks set to transform in the next few years, according to an article on Funeral Service Times.

Casey Cooper-Fiske reports that direct cremation numbers are predicted to double in the next two years, according to the later life planning company, Over50choices. The company reckons one in five people in the UK will choose a direct cremation instead of a traditional funeral.

A direct cremation is a cremation at a crematorium without the ceremony. The person who has died is collected by a cremation company that provides such a service. No embalming is required and there is no family viewing.

Service provider deals with paperwork

The family needs to register the death, but the service provider can deal with the rest of the paperwork that is legally required for the cremation to take place. The deceased is placed in a coffin suitable for cremation and transported to the crematorium where the procedure takes place.

After this, the family can opt to have the ashes scattered at the crematorium gardens or have them returned.

In recent years, two public figures have chosen direct cremation, increasing awareness of it as a choice. David Bowie’s funeral arrangements are perhaps better known but the author Anita Brookner—Hotel Du Lac is probably her most famous novel—also opted for direct cremation when she died in 2016.

Over50choices attributes the rising costs of funerals as one reason for its growing popularity. Another reason could be a willingness to separate the cremation from the process, choosing unique and individual ways to mark a person’s death rather than the traditional funeral.

Rising funeral costs

Ashley Shepherd, the MD of Over50choices, said as UK funeral costs averaged £4,078 it wasn’t surprising more people were choosing direct cremations which cost about £1,500. Direct cremations accounted for 37 percent of all cremations in the US in 2016.

In 2017, in the UK, 10 percent of cremations didn’t include a ceremony or service and Over50choices anticipates that 20 percent of all cremations will be direct ones by 2023.

Danny Curran, Finders International’s Founder and Managing Director, said: “The news that more people are choosing direct cremations and that the service is expected to increase in popularity in the next few years doesn’t come as a surprise to us.”

“We’ve been working in probate genealogy for many years and we’ve witnessed the soaring costs of funerals in this country, and how families struggle to pay for them. And we set up our funeral fund to help public services pay for the costs of funerals where people die in their care and do not have the money or relatives to pay for a funeral.”

“One can also see the appeal of a direct cremation for those who don’t believe in the idea of funerals or traditional funerals. Those who’d prefer their families to spend the money on a party or even a holiday to a place that had meaning to them will love the idea too.”