If cost of cremation is the sole factor when deciding on the type of funeral you need, then “Direct Cremation” may be right for you.

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Instead of a traditional funeral, there are no family or friends present. A staff member from a funeral company (not necessarily a Funeral Director) or a third party will collect the deceased person, hold the body at their premises, complete the necessary documentation and arrange transfer for cremation.

 

Things to consider before Direct Cremation?

With Covid 19 restricting traditional funeral services (2020), there has been a rise in popularity for ‘Direct Cremation’. However, despite some funeral companies advertising low cost direct cremation, the public would be “horrified” if they knew some of the things that happen behind the scenes.

In a report by Four Corners (First posted 23 September 2019), one large funeral company was found to be driving bodies interstate to cut costs, often without the families knowledge.

 

It pays to do your homework!

In order to increase funeral volumes and profits, some funeral companies are pushing ‘Direct Cremation’, as a race to the bottom, for families who can’t afford a dignified funeral.

The direct cremation may usually take place outside of peak hours, when there is less demand at the crematorium. It may involve your love one being placed in the back of an ‘unmarked’ van, with multiple other bodies, for transfer to cremation.

There is often no washing of the deceased and no mortuary work done to prepare a dignified farewell.

 

What questions should you ask the funeral company?

We all know that the cheapest is not necessarily the best. Something has to give and this normally means poor service and low quality. In the case of laying someone to rest, dignity and respect for the person that has passed away, can often be the biggest casualty.

eziFunerals recommends that you ask the following questions before selecting a funeral home to arrange a direct cremation. You want to make sure that your loved one is cared for with respect and dignity by a funeral company that you can trust.

  • When will my loved one be picked up from the hospital, nursing home or place of death?
  • Who will pick up the deceased and where will he/she go?
  • Can I see my loved one before he/she is cremated?
  • Can you tell me when he/she will be cremated so we can pay our respect?
  • Will my loved one be removed from the body bag before being placed in the coffin?
  • Can I have my loved one dressed in his/her favourite clothes?
  • Can I give you some of his/her favourite clothes and makeup to wear?
  • Can you tell me when I will get his/her ashes?

If immediate family members wish to attend the crematorium for ONE LAST GOODBYE, speak to the funeral company to see what is possible. If they are inflexible choose another one – you are the customer.

 

Other things to consider before selecting a funeral company?

eziFunerals also recommends that you ask yourself the following questions before selecting a funeral company.

  • Ask yourself, what am I giving up by going with a cheap online cremation offer?
  • Am I missing out on using a local business who is part of our community?
  • Am I using a middleman who is going to transfer my loved ones body to another contractor to be cremated?
  • Am I using a funeral business that is cutting corners?
  • How will the funeral home care for my loved one before, during and after the cremation?
  • Where and how will my loved one be transferred to the crematorium?
  • Am I using a cremation provider that really cares and is going to support me throughout the process?

In other words, look beyond price and ask questions about what makes a funeral provider different and ask questions about things that are important to you.

 

Is there a better option to Direct Cremation?

A funeral is not all about the person who died. It is for those left behind to say goodbye and shortcutting this by choosing ‘Direct Cremation’, will not help.

If you don’t want a traditional funeral but aren’t entirely comfortable with a direct cremation, some Funeral Directors offer a half-way house.

There is a common misconception that when you request a ‘Direct Cremation’ you cannot have family members is attendance. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Many of our member Funeral Directors allow immediate family members to attend the cremation and say a few words in the chapel before the committal. However, family members may not get any say in the timing or location of the cremation.

If you are still worried about the cost, but want to ensure that your loved one receives the best personal care and attention, then a ‘Simple Cremation’ is what you need.

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About eziFunerals

eziFunerals supports individuals and families cope with end of life decisions, death and funerals. We are an independent, Australian-owned and operated company. We are not part of any other funeral company.

Our member Funeral Directors operate in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Australia wide. Thet are chosen for their knowledge, quality, service, personalisation and experience. They go above and beyond, and will take the time to support the family.

For more information or to make contact with a trusted Independent funeral director, call eziFunerals on 1300 236 402 or visit www.ezifunerals.com.au.

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Peter is the Founder & Owner of eziFunerals Pty Ltd. Published Author - ‘What Kind Of Funeral?, Vivid Publishing. He has a long family history within the funeral industry. Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of all eziFunerals members.