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Why a direct cremation might be right for you

With the average cost of a funeral on the rise, more people are choosing direct cremation as a way to lessen the financial burden.

But that’s not the only reason for their rise in popularity. As people move away from more traditional funerals, direct cremations offer a variety of new options.

What is a direct cremation?

A direct cremation is where the body of the deceased goes straight to the crematorium to be cremated.

Usually this happens in a very simple, plain coffin and there is no funeral service or viewing.

After the cremation, the remains will be given to the deceased’s loved ones to do with as they wish.

red rose on a table with an urn and candles

Why might a direct cremation be right for you?

For some people, a traditional burial funeral is the only way they would like to go, or see their loved ones go.

However, there are a number of reasons why a direct cremation might be more suitable.

The rising cost of funerals

The average cost of a funeral has soared by 122% since we began looking at the Cost of Dying back in 2004.

In 2018, the average basic cost of a funeral is £4,271, while the average cost of a direct cremation is a comparatively low £1,712.

With such a stark difference in price tags, it’s easy to see why a direct cremation might be a preferable option to some.

If cost is a determining factor for you in your choice of funerals, then a direct cremation could help save a considerable amount.

Find out how much a funeral could cost in your area with our funeral cost calculator.

Funeral Cost Calculator

Considering time constraints

With a direct cremation, there are no timed proceedings, so your loved ones won’t know when the cremation will take place – they’ll be given the ashes afterwards.

Unlike most funerals, which have to take place soon after the death, a direct cremation allows you to postpone the memorial service, giving loved ones more time to make any arrangements.

This can be a good solution for those of us who have family far and wide who may need to travel a great distance.

a man on the grass looking at the sea

It also allows for more time for loved ones to grieve and adjust.

Having the ashes, and not having to have the body stored, gives loved ones the time they might need to settle and organise a ceremony whenever and wherever feels right for them.

Avoiding the funeral or cremation service

Some people don’t want their loved ones to witness a cremation or burial.

Whether they’ve had a bad experience of a funeral themselves, or simply don’t want their loved ones to have that as their lasting memory, choosing to opt for a direct cremation relieves that concern.

This also means that if you haven’t had the funeral chat, or made your funeral wishes known, you won’t be leaving your loved ones with any hard decisions to make, like choosing coffins, flowers or types of transportation.

Funeral without religious overtones

If you’re looking to move away from a religious funeral, direct cremation is a simple way of doing so.

Whether you’re not religious, or you have friends or family with varied beliefs, the simple nature of a direct cremation allows you to organise any celebration of life or memorial service in the style and place of your choosing.

Do I want less fuss?

For some people, the idea of a direct cremation can seem a little too simple. But many people are opting for less fuss.

If you don’t have strong feelings about your funeral, don’t want to spend hours agonising over what coffin or flowers to choose, or simply don’t go in for elaborate displays, a direct cremation could be right for you.

a man standing with his hands in the air and birds flying over the sea

There are plenty of reasons why a direct cremation might be right for you.

If you are currently looking at different options, see our free funeral cost calculator to find out how much a basic funeral costs where you live.

Whatever you choose, letting your loved ones know your wishes with My Perfect Send-Off will help them when the time comes, and make sure you get the send-off you want.

Here's the information that you need to know about who we are and the other companies that we work with in order to provide our products and services.

Who are SunLife?

Phoenix Life Limited trades as SunLife and is the provider of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, SunLife Insurance and the life insurance policy payment option for Funeral Plans. Phoenix Life Limited’s registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 1016269). 

SunLife Limited distributes financial products and services and is a company limited by shares, registered office: 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 05460862). SunLife Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 769427).

You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 1395, Peterborough, PE2 2TR or by phone on 0800 008 6060.

If you choose to add Funeral Benefit Option to your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services, registered office: 4 King Edwards Court, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP (registered in England and Wales, No. 00041598). Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services, registered office: 4 King Edwards Court, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP (registered in England and Wales, No. 00041598). Dignity Funerals is not authorised or regulated for this activity by either the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority. Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

The life insurance policy that pays for your funeral will be provided by Phoenix Life Limited, trading as SunLife.

Who provides My Smarter (ISA)?

My Smarter (ISA) is provided by Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register, registration No. 188832. Member of The Investment Association. Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ.

Who provides the Will writing services?

Hugh James is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number:303202).

The information contained on this website is based on Hugh James' understanding of the law of intestacy in England and Wales only as at April 2014. The law in Scotland and Northern Ireland is significantly different. This is for information purposes and is not intended to be legal advice.

Who provides SunLife Pet Insurance

SunLife Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by BDML Connect Limited. BDML Connect Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 309140). Registered in England and Wales Number 02785540. Registered Office: 45 Westerham Road, Bessels Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2QB.

Who provides SunLife Home Insurance

SunLife Home Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.

Who provides SunLife Car Insurance

SunLife Car Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.