Burial or Cremation: Which Is the Right Option?

Whether you’re planning a funeral for a loved one or planning your own funeral, there is one major decision that is involved in the funeral planning process: choosing a final disposition option. Generally, people choose either burial or cremation for their final disposition. In fact, the 2015 NFDA Cremation and Burial Report shows that 48.5% of people were cremated and 45.4% chose to be buried. However, it can be quite difficult to decide which option is best. So let’s talk about a few key differences between burial and cremation services.


When someone chooses to be buried, the body remains intact. Burial can take place immediately after death, before a memorial service, or after a traditional funeral at a funeral home. The family of the deceased can decide when burial should be taken place as well as where the body should be buried. Additionally, the body can be buried in the ground or entombed in a family columbarium or mausoleum. Generally, people decide to bury their loved ones so they have a place to visit them and can feel like they’re still nearby. However, burial tends to increase funeral costs.


Cremation involves the body being incinerated to ash. Just like burial, cremation can take at any point after death. Sometimes families will choose to wait until after the service at the funeral home is done, others may choose to have the body cremated before the service. One of the many reasons people choose cremation is because there is more flexibility with what can be done with the remains. The ashes can be kept in an urn, scattered somewhere important to the deceased, or they can be buried. Ashes can also be made into memorable jewelry or planted in a garden. Overall, there are a lot of options of what families can do with their loved one’s remains.

When it comes to choosing between burial and cremation, it ultimately comes down to what you feel is right. There are a lot of factors, like religious or spiritual beliefs, that should be considered when making this decision. Additionally, funeral directors can help provide further information on both of these options to help you make an informed decision.

There are a lot of decisions that need to be made when planning a funeral. By choosing the right funeral home and funeral director, you’ll receive the support you need during this difficult time.

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