2018-09-26: “The Challenge Part 2”

Last week I wrote in my musings that I was going to challenge you and make you think about some of the things that can happen or things that can happen differently when it comes to funerals.

Probably the most common question that gets raised is cremation vs burial.  Is it less expensive to be cremated?  The answer is that it can be.  The cost of a funeral is largely dependent on the kind of services you want and the purchases that you make.

Certainly, the most inexpensive service is the one where cremation takes place and the ashes are returned to the family to do what they choose.  In that case there is no visitation, no service, no flowers and no cemetery costs.  If you want to have a gathering, it can take place in your back yard, at a restaurant or on a beach.  As I have pointed out before, while many people think that it is illegal to scatter ashes, it is not.  The key point though is scattering which can take place on any crown land or in any crown water.  You need to ask permission if you want to scatter ashes on private property.  You cannot bury an urn anyplace other than a cemetery.  If you bury an urn in the woods someplace and someday someone comes across it, an attempt to find the owner will take place and the urn will be returned to you.

When it comes to cremation vs burial, it is possible to have the exact same services and, in that case, the difference would come with the cemetery costs.  To explain that, whether you chose cremation or burial, you can use the same casket, you can have the same visitation, the same funeral service, buy the same flowers, have the same luncheon etc.  The difference would be that when you go to the cemetery to inter a casket you need a cement vault and with an urn you do not so you save there.  Also, to open a grave for a casket in a cemetery operated by Chatham-Kent, the cost (including tax) is $1297.75 compared to a cremation opening which is $423.87  Also, in each grave you can inter one casket plus two cremations or if there is no casket, you can inter four cremations.

Cremation continues to become more and more popular.  This year, approximately 70% of the funerals completed here have involved cremation and the majority of those cremations have not included going to a cemetery.  Sometimes families choose for the most inexpensive service because that is what the person who died really wanted.  Any funeral home can help you with that…we all offer the simplest of services to the most involved services.  The choice is yours.

Until next week,