man considering cremation in his preplanning

Pre-planning a Funeral – Considering Cremation

There are a lot of decisions to be made when you are preplanning a funeral, and one of them is whether you want to be buried or cremated. Here are some of the things to consider.

Why should I consider cremation when I’m preplanning a funeral?

  • Cremation can be less expensive than a traditional burial.
  • Cremation environmentally-friendly.
  • Cremated remains are portable. If your family moves, your urn can easily be transported to a place of honor in their new home.

How do I preplan a cremation?

  • Inform your family of your wishes while you are still alive.
  • Make plans with your funeral home. You can pay for most of the expenses in advance, relieving your next of kin of paperwork and debt.
  • Pass away.
  • The next of kin of the deceased must sign a Cremation Authorization Form.
  • The funeral director obtains a cremation permit. The paperwork normally takes 24-48 hours to process.
  • Direct cremation means cremating the body without a ceremony. This is often done if there are few relatives in the area, or if the memorial service will be delayed for some time.
  • Cremation with services means having a traditional funeral service, followed by the actual cremation.

Choose a Funeral Director

There are over 300 licensed funeral homes in Virginia, but not all of them provide the option of cremation. If you know you’d prefer to be cremated rather than buried, make sure your funeral home is able to assist you.

Options for Cremated Remains

There are many options for respectfully disposing of cremated remains. Some people choose to have their ashes buried in the family cemetery, near their loved ones. Preplanning a funeral with your funeral director means that any questions you need to be answered can be answered well in advance, like if will you need to buy a plot, requirements for burial vaults or grave liners, headstones, etc.

There are several regulations surrounding cremated remains, so you’ll want to be sure and research the laws in your state when you’re preplanning a funeral.

State Guide to Cremation