Part of writing your will requires planning for after death, so you have a say in what happens to your body. This planning also requires deciding on whether you would like burial or cremation. In this guide, we’ll provide insight into the cremation process in Australia.
What is cremation?
Cremation reduces the deceased’s body to ashes through a process that exposes it to open flames, intense heat and evaporation. Unlike traditional burials, where the body naturally breaks down over the years, cremation takes only a few hours.
How does cremation work?
The cremation process starts by placing the body inside a coffin or casket. The coffin then goes into a furnace known as a cremator. The heat from the bricks in the cremator cause the body to decompose. After this, the cremated remains go into a cremulator.
A cremulator grinds the remains into a fine, sand-like consistency known as ashes. Finally, the ashes go into a sealed container or an urn that’s pre-purchased and provided by the deceased’s family. When someone chooses cremation without an open casket, embalming is not necessary.
How is the body prepared for a cremation?
When preparing the human body for cremation, the funeral removes all items that could affect or endanger the cremation process. These items include jewellery, watches, specific materials such as latex, and mechanical objects that can explode in the cremator under intense heat.
Where does cremation take place?
Cremation takes place in a crematorium. Crematoriums are usually in cemeteries or funeral homes. Under Australian law, cremations must occur within 48 hours of the funeral service, which is why they are close to common areas for funerals.
Do I need to purchase a coffin for cremation?
Depending on where the cremation occurs, you may be required to use a coffin. For example, NSW Public Health requires all cremations, including direct cremations, to use a coffin. There is a range of caskets to choose from that can suit a wide variety of budgets and preferences.
What is the cost of cremation?
Compared to burials, cremations are significantly cheaper. According to the Australian Seniors, the average cost of cremation is estimated at $6,334 compared to nearly ten grand for a burial. The cost will typically include a funeral ceremony, coffin, urn and more.
What happens to your ashes after cremation?
After the cremation, the ashes are put in a sealed container or an urn. You can then display the urn or scatter them in a loved ones favourite spot. When writing your Will, make sure to include instructions on what you want to happen to your ashes after cremation.
The reason to choose cremation will vary from one person to the next. No matter the cost, make sure to choose a farewell that’s a testament to the amazing life you have lived. Getting ahead of these plans will also ensure those you are leaving behind are protected.