Planning a Memorial Service

Closed Casket Or Cremation: How To Choose When Open Casket Is Not An Option

by Wade Watkins

If you recently lost a family member in a very drastic way, such as a horrible car accident or work-related death, then you have a very big decision to make. Out of respect for the deceased and for the surviving family members, you likely do not want an open casket funeral service. That just leaves closed casket service or cremation services. Here is how to choose.

Consult With the Closest Family Members

In times of grief, it helps if you draw close to other immediate family members. You do not have to make this choice alone. Ask the others closest to the deceased what they think would be the best option. They may have some insight to what the deceased would have wanted, had they ever had any sort of discussion with the deceased. This would help make your decision between closed casket and cremation a lot easier. If they have no insight, it helps to take a vote, which would also make this decision less difficult.

Look at Cost

An untimely passing of an immediate family member raises major and immediate expenses for which you were probably not prepared. Cost may play a part in your decision to cremate. The average closed-casket funeral with burial services starts at around $7,000. Cremation services are much less than that, with direct cremation costing $1,100, give or take. Given that the deceased's body is not fit for viewing, cremation would be the logical choice in regards to funeral costs.

Examine the Weight of the Remains and Weigh It Against Extraneous Expenses

In some instances, not all of the remains have been recovered. If you have only found and received some of the remains, you may not want to invest in a large casket. Of course, you could go the other way, with the idea that if any more of the remains are found that you can unearth the casket and bury all of the remains in the casket.

If you were to choose a casket and burial, with the intent of including all remains at a later date, then you would have to look at exhumation and reburial, which is not included in the original funeral fees. Most people opt for cremation instead, since all remains may be cremated and added to the existing urn of ashes at any time.

For more information about the costs and benefits of closed casket or cremation, talk with a professional service, like Final Care Cremation Services.