Some people may begin to consider the costs of their own funeral decades before it happens. Yes, there are those who start a funeral payment plan while they're still relatively young, but this certainly isn't the case for everyone. What happens when a loved one passes away and no funds are available for their funeral and burial or cremation?

Substantial (Upfront) Costs

In the absence of the deceased making their own financial arrangements, it's left to remaining family members to cover the costs. This may not necessarily be possible. Sometimes the cost of a funeral and burial or cremation are too substantial to be paid immediately—even when the cost is shared amongst several people. These costs usually need to be paid upfront too. You could perhaps take out a loan or apply for a credit card, but going into debt isn't in your best interests, and it can take a considerable amount of time to repay the funds. So how can you say farewell to your loved one with respect, but without being financially disadvantaged?

A Direct Process

Direct cremation is a perfectly straightforward process, carried out with dignity and a minimum of fuss. Quite simply, a person's remains are transported from their place of death to the crematory. A death certificate will have been issued, and this is typically only delayed when the cause of death isn't apparent and could conceivably be suspicious (which only applies to a fraction of the annual death rate). Cremation immediately follows. It can be that someone is cremated within hours of their death. This is a valid option when you automatically know that minimal funds are available for a traditional funeral and burial or cremation.

A Later Funeral or Memorial Service

Direct cremation offers dignity while also being the most cost-effective option. Your loved one's cremated returns are presented to you afterwards, as is the case with any cremation. You have the option of then holding a funeral or memorial service at a later stage, when funds allow, with the urn containing your loved one's remains on display during the service. These remains can be retained, scattered, or even interred in a cemetery (again, when funds allow). 

While it might seem non-traditional for a cremation to precede a funeral, direct cremation is a respectable option that allows you to honor your loved one, without being financially disadvantageous to those of you left behind.