More and more people are choosing cremation, letting go of traditional funeral services and turning to other ways to honour themselves and their loved ones after they pass away.
So, what's the reason for this trend? We’re covering the top six reasons why more people choose cremations (including direct cremations) over burials and formal funeral services.
Six reasons to choose cremation
In Australia, the average cost of a funeral can be around $15,000 for a traditional burial. For families that might need to plan a funeral unexpectedly, this cost is usually a heavy burden. However, the cost of a cremation is far cheaper. The average cost of cremation with a service at the crematorium is $600 or at a chapel is $1,200, though these figures exclude transportation, required paperwork and several other required elements.
Another major contributor to people choosing cremation over burials is the flexibility. With a cremation, you can be more creative when planning the memorial service as you won't have the confines of a funeral home.
It also gives you the flexibility to decide where you want to lay the person to rest and how you want to honour their ashes. For example, with cremation you can choose to have the service by the sea and scatter the ashes in the ocean or save some of the ashes for jewellery.
3. Environmental impact
With more people conscious about their environmental impact, there’s now more conversation around whether burials or cremations have a lower environmental impact. Traditional burials which bury the body in a casket take a longer time to break down and as the body breaks down, harmful gasses such as methane can be released into the soil.
While there are some environmental impacts of traditional cremations, they use less resources and tend to disrupt the earth less on a long term basis.
4. A different view on death
Now, younger generations have different views on death. Instead of a traditional funeral service that’s more solemn, people are choosing an end of life celebration that’s unique to them and their life.
Cremations are often associated with end of life celebrations because the service needn't be held immediately. This allows families more time to prepare and personalise the event, with a different structure to a traditional funeral.
5. What you can do with the ashes
With a burial, the body of a loved one goes into the ground. However, with a cremation, you can choose what to do with the ashes of your loved one or leave instructions about what you want your family to do with your ashes. For example, you might choose to have your ashes scattered in a special place or add the ashes of your loved one to tattoo ink for memorable tattoo art.
6. Donation to science
With wanting to leave behind less environmental impact and changing views on death, it’s now more common for people to choose to donate their body to science and organ donation after death. Depending on the circumstances, if either of these are possible, the body can go through cremation afterwards.
Choosing to donate your body to science is a personal choice but if it’s one that means a lot to you, then it’s important to tell your loved ones and to make this known in your Will. If these views change over time, then make sure to update your loved ones and your Will.
When it comes time to choose whether you want a cremation or burial, the choice is yours, and you should do what feels right for your values. Having to think about your death can be uncomfortable, but it’s important to make your wishes known so that if something happens unexpectedly, your family doesn’t have to guess what you might have wanted.
The best way to tell your loved ones is by outlining your final wishes in your legal Will. You can start writing your legal Will online with Willed. Willed’s team is here to help you through the process and answer any questions you might have about planning your estate.