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Funerals – Should You be Buried or Cremated?

Death is an event we all will experience and, while emotionally wrenching, it also involves a lot of expense. Read more. .. .

Funerals – Should You be Buried or Cremated?

Death is an event we all will experience and, while emotionally wrenching, it also involves a lot of expense. Read more . . . .

The average funeral now costs $8,000 on up, including cemetery expenses. One of the most interesting shifts is the dramatic increase in the acceptability of cremation, which generally is a much less expensive alternative to burial.

One of the ironies of the infamous Tri-State Crematorium scandal in Noble, Georgia, near Chattanooga, is that in the middle of America’s Bible belt, the scandal wasn’t over cremation itself, but about bodies that should have been cremated, but weren’t. You may join the legions of people who are deciding to be cremated instead of buried.

If you’re comfortable with cremation from a religious or personal standpoint, it is a marvelous choice. It’s inexpensive and, strange as this may sound, convenient, because in an era in which people move more frequently from city to city, cremation allows you to take the remains of a loved one with you, or scatter them in a place they loved. Remember John F. Kennedy, Jr.? He was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the ocean. Me and my wife both are being cremated.

So many people move away from where a loved one is buried, and never get to visit with them. I have not been to my grand-parents grave-site in many, many years due to where I reside.

The cost of cremation varies greatly, but the cheapest, invariably, will be through the local memorial society, where you can reduce funeral costs to $500 to $1,500. That’s a lot cheaper than a burial. You pay a one-time fee to join and can list your wishes and get negotiated prices for cremation, cremation urns, caskets, burials, or other services. You set the budget and pick what you want, and you spare your family the agony of having to make those choices later, when they are very vulnerable.

When you die, your family goes to the funeral home you designated and they pull the file specifying your arrangements and preset costs. the decisions you make in advance can save a fortune later. The funeral homes are willing to give great prices to the memorial society in exchange for the high volume business generated by their relationship.

Don’t put this information in your will. Tell the family members who will make these decisions what you want, and put it in writing as well. Advance planning doesn’t mean buying a funeral plot or prepaying for a funeral, both of which are very bad ideas. You might move to a different city, or the funeral home could go out of business, taking your money with it. Even worse, there have been scandals across the country in which people have pre-purchased a plot, and owner failed to maintain the cemetery. What looked like a beautiful place at the time they arranged to buy a plot later looked like an overgrown weed patch.

There’s such a revolt against funeral home operators in Canada that it’s created a movement called home burial. Your family actually digs your grave and buries you, completely cutting out the cemeteries and funeral homes. Home burial has spread across the border to New England. It’s just wild.

I researched everything in this article, and can tell you that home burial is legal in the United States in all but 5 states, according to Lisa Carlson, who is the author of the book Caring for the Dead.

A family or church group may handle a death without a funeral director in all but a few states, including Connecticut, New York, Indiana, Louisiana, and Nebraska. And burying cremated remains is legal anywhere, with the land owner’s permission. Home burial is very much in the American tradition, when people buried their dead on a small portion of their land.

But it’s best in a rural area. They’re not going to let you plant Aunt Minnie 25 feet from a neighbor’s badminton court!

Another option, which costs absolutely nothing, is to donate the body to a medical school for study. After they are done, they’ll return the cremated remains to the family. People are so uncomfortable talking about death that they don’t plan ahead.

Eventually we all are going to be faced with a decision regarding our death. It’s so much better to decide this stuff ahead of time. If you have anything you would like to add to this article I would love to hear from you. Use the comment section below. Thank you for your time today, and God Bless.

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