Cremation Vs. Burial: Exploring the Pros and Cons

How do you and your loved ones want to be honored after you pass away? Ideally, you and family members will sit down and make plans in advance based on your finances, spiritual beliefs, and personal values. If your loved one has passed already, you may attempt to interpret how they would have wanted to be honored. A good understanding of the options available to you is critical. Consider this comparison of different alternatives to help you understand your choices better.

Cremation vs. Burial

While everyone has different traditions and financial situations, some comparative information about cremation vs. burial should prove helpful.

Cost Comparisons of Cremation vs Burial

For many people, the cost of the final disposition of a body can be an issue. It’s impossible to say exactly how much this will cost you because prices and details can vary. The average U.S. costs for different funeral options from the National Funeral Directors Association, or NFDA, can be helpful in getting a basic idea of costs.

Funeral and burial: The price of an average funeral service with a burial and a vault has increased almost 30% between 2004 and 2014. In 2014, the average cost was just about $8,500.

Funeral and cremation: The cost for a funeral service with a cremation averaged just about $6,000 in 2014.

Basic costs for a cremation only averaged closer to $2,000. The higher figure above included a traditional service. Your family could choose to hold a more basic memorial service to further reduce costs if finances are a primary concern.

Flexibility of Cremations vs. Burials

In most cases, a burial means buying a plot inside of a cemetery. Burials require strict adherence to local laws and don’t allow for many choices. In any case, part of the cost of a burial plot also includes maintenance of the grounds in the future.

Families have more options when they choose cremation. They might bury the remains, store them in an urn, scatter them, or even have them made into cremation jewelry and other ornamental items. Some people like the idea of planting a tree with the remains to create a long-lasting, living memorial for a loved one who has passed away.

Environmental Impact of Cremation and Burials

The environmental impact of cremations and burials is still a contentious subject. However, these are things to keep in mind:

  • Unlike chemicals used to prepare bodies for a burial, the remains from a cremation only contain harmless minerals. If they are scattered or buried, they won’t negatively impact the environment around them.
  • Even if you choose to bury cremated remains, they won’t use as much land as a burial will.
  • Local laws differ, but generally people can scatter remains outdoors, from the air, or even at sea. In some cases, permits or permission may be required.

Is Cremation or Burial a Better Choice for Your Family?

Certainly, your family traditions or religious beliefs may impact your decision. A few generations ago, most people were buried in a cemetery plot. However, you might note that the NFDA reported more cremations than burials in the United States in 2015. American attitudes are changing in response to rising costs, environmental concerns, and changing beliefs about traditions. Talk with us at Boston Cremation to learn more about your options by calling (781) 322-0909. We make cremation services simple.

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