Direct Cremations became more popular during 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.  3% of bereaved families across the UK chose this type of non-service cremation.

What is a Direct Cremation?

A direct cremation is a cremation without a funeral service.  

This means that the person who died is cremated, normally without family or friends in attendance  

How does a Direct Cremation Work?

  • The funeral director collects the person who passed away and takes them to their funeral premises to be cared for until the time of the cremation
  • The family register the death
  • The funeral director provides the paperwork that is needed for a cremation to be allowed
  • The body is placed in a coffin, taken to a crematorium and the cremation takes place
  • The date and time are chosen by the funeral director
  • You can have the ashes returned to you or scattered at a crematorium garden, depending on your wishes

Some funeral directors will allow up to 12 people to be there as the coffin is committed to the crematorium, (this  may cost extra) however there are no readings, music or any other parts of a funeral service.

How much does a Direct Cremation Cost?

This varies between providers but costs range from £950 to £1850.  

Who chooses Direct Cremations?

Many families choose Direct Cremations because they want to:

  • Hold a separate Celebration of Life without involving a coffin
  • Have control over how they say farewell to their loved on rather than following a traditional service
  • Use the costs of a full funeral to support family members or a chosen charity/good cause

In addition, if there are family disputes, this option avoids people having to be together at a difficult time.

A few things to be aware of if you’re considering  a Direct Cremation

  • If you wish to hold a traditional funeral ‘goodbye’ ceremony, you will need to arrange this separately. Some families opt for a direct cremation and then hold an informal ceremony somewhere else;  
  • Some families like to visit the person who’s died at the chapel of rest before the funeral takes place. With a direct cremation, you won’t be able to do this; 
  • The funeral director will pick the time and location of the cremation. You won’t be able to choose when a direct cremation happens.

How can Settld help?

At Settld, although we don’t deal with funeral or cremation arrangements, we can help you with the end-of-life administration that you may need to do. Our service is free to members of the public. It’s is designed to make it easy for you to notify companies when a loved one has died. With our service you can request closure, transfer or amendment of their accounts. All you have to do is fill in a simple online form.

If you’d like to know more about Settld and how we can help,  visit our website or you can email or call us on 0344 327 3996 (10am-6pm, Monday to Friday)

Further reading:

Over 50 Choices – Direct Cremations
The Good Funeral Guide Factsheet
Beyond Life – Everything you need to know about direct cremation
The Times: Best prepaid direct cremation funeral plans