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What is a direct cremation?

Direct cremation (sometimes referred to as direct committal) is the most basic form of cremation. Your loved one is collected, the cremation takes place without witnesses, and the ashes are returned (usually in a simple urn). This also makes direct cremation the most affordable option for families.

The advantages of direct cremation

According to the Australian Burea of Statistics, direct cremation is becoming more and more popular. The reasons behind this are varied, but often include:

  1. Affordability The average charge of direct cremation in Australia is $3,345, compared to over $7,420 for cremation with witnesses and a ceremony.

  2. Simplicity With direct cremation, there is no service to organise and the process is simple. This means that with online services like Adieu, arrangements can be made online or by phone.

  3. Flexibility By arranging a service independently after the cremation, families have the freedom to arrange a memorial service to fit their taste, budget and timelines.

How direct cremation works

The speed and simplicity of the process is one of the things that appeals to families:

  1. The cremation provider brings your loved one into their care

  2. Your loved one is kept in a climate controlled environment

  3. Paperwork and permits are completed and filed

  4. Cremation takes place in an alternative (often wooden) container

  5. The ashes are placed in a simple urn

  6. The urn is collected, delivered or sent by secure mail

The process will usually take between one and two weeks, depending on the speed of both the funeral home and the registration of the death (which involves a number of different people). If the ashes will be on display at a memorial service, check with the funeral home how long their full process will take.

The cost of direct cremation

Direct cremation is the most affordable option. The average price of a direct cremation is $3,345.

Comparing prices between different funeral homes can be like comparing apples and oranges. Headline prices will often not include everything, so check that the price includes:

  • Collection of your loved one
  • Filing of paperwork and permits
  • The cremation container
  • Cremation itself
  • An urn or container for the ashes
  • Return of the ashes

A funeral home will usually charge more if they need to send more than one person for a collection. This means that cases where the person is over a certain weight, or that take place in a private residence, are likely to be more expensive.

There are also some costs that a funeral home has no control over - namely coroner fees and death certificate fees. Coroner fees are usually calculated by the number of days a person is with them - a good reason to make a decision as soon as you can.

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