What to Do When You Just Want a Simple Cremation

This podcast describes how to choose an affordable, simple cremation that is both cost effective and dignified, whether you’re planning for a departed loved one or pre-planning for yourself.

John Maher: Hi I’m John Maher, I’m here today with Victor Buonfiglio of Boston Cremation and our topic today is how to plan a simple cremation. Welcome Victor.

Victor Buonfiglio: Hi John.

What is a Simple Cremation?

John: Victor, what is a simple cremation? Is that a specific type of cremation?

Victor: A simple cremation John is a cremation where the family doesn’t want to have any ceremonies or viewings. They’re really just looking for a simple alternative to the traditional funerals [and] trying to keep it real simple.

John: Why would somebody want to choose a simple cremation?

Victor: Well, typically when we see families looking to do something simple, the family is small, they’re not needing to have an elaborate ceremony. Or the family’s scattered. They might not be all together at this time. They want to do a simple cremation today, and they can schedule something at a later date when everybody gets a chance to get together.

John: With the typical funeral you have to arrange that. Everybody has to make their travel plans, come to the same location at the same time and get it done quickly. Whereas [with a simple cremation], you can take your time and plan it ahead of time.

Victor: It allows them to buy some time, correct.

The Process of Planning a Simple Cremation

John: Tell me a little bit about the process of planning a simple cremation.

Victor: Well we’ve made the process real simple. We allow families to plan write on our website, it’s four simple steps. They log in to the website, they pick the plan that they want, they fill out the arrangement form, and sign the authorization documents. People who plan online will spend about 10 minutes from start to finish. [It would] take them longer to drive to the office to do it. The things that we need in order to complete the cremation is the vital statistics information for the person that the cremation is being made for. That [is the] information we need to complete the death certificate.

It’s going to be the name, the birthdate, social security information, where they were born, [and] the history of the person. This is all goes on the Massachusetts death certificate that gets filed and becomes a permanent record. Then [when] we get the authorization forms, we need to have written authorization to do a cremation. It is an irreversible process, so we have to have the right people sign that. In Massachusetts, you can sign for your own. That typically is a nice thing if you don’t have any relatives or family that you want to have to make those decisions for you. You can do that on your own.

Pre-Planning a Cremation

John: You call that pre-planning?

Victor: Pre-planning, advance planning absolutely. It makes a lot of sense today. We have families who [are dysfunctional] in America today. It’s an unfortunate fact, but these are the things that we see. Maybe not everybody’s getting along and they don’t want to leave it up to a family member to have to make these decisions for them. So, “I’m going to plan it my way, it’s going to get done the way that I want it. I’ll just do in advance.”

John: How does a person who’s doing a pre-plan like that, how do they let their family know what their wishes were? Let them know, “Hey, I pre-paid for this already.”

Victor: Well that’s just it. We always tell folks [that] after you plan, tell somebody. Let somebody know so that when the time comes they’re not trying to scramble to figure out what needs to be done.

John: Obviously can’t tell them yourself after you’re gone.

Victor: It’s just a simple conversation. “You know what? I made my arrangements with Boston Cremation, when the time comes this is where the folder is with the information. Just call them and they’ll handle it.”

John: Do people put that in their will or anything?

Victor: Typicall, we don’t recommend they put it in the will. Usually the will’s not read until a few weeks after the person passed away. We want to let them know in advance.

John: All right, that’s great advice Victor. Thanks again for speaking with me today.

Victor: Thanks John.

John: For more information visit Bostoncremation.org or call 781-322-0909.

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