Private Cremation: Questions You Should Ask


When preparing for or planning for the cremation of a loved one, many factors need to be taken into consideration and trying to remain organised whilst still grieving can be very overwhelming. 

This article will explain what should be asked when planning a private cremation, and communicating with providers of direct cremation in the UK, during this emotional but important process.

What Is A Private Cremation?

A private cremation is a funeral where the people who attend and the number of attendees are limited and usually attend by invitation. 

People may opt for a private cremation as the cost of a traditional funeral may not make financial sense, or the deceased and family may wish to have control over who attends.

You can, of course, hold a private cremation, then have a remembrance or celebration of life for a large group of people at a later date, after the intimate ceremony, as it can be challenging to gather all family members on a specific date.

What Questions Should You Ask?

Likely, you will not have had much experience when planning a private cremation, so naturally, there are many factors that you will not have to consider or options of which you were unaware.

Firstly, if you are planning this service for yourself, it is important to inform your family members or loved ones of any plans you wish to be made after you’ve gone. 

It is best to reach out to a funeral director if you are organising the cremation of a loved one. There are many arrangements after a person has died, such as collecting and storing the body, medical certificates, and formally registering a person’s death. 

You can make these arrangements yourself; however, you will need to meet the statutory requirement. In addition, these processes can be confusing and long-winded; it can be an emotional process in your time of grieving.

If you are planning on your own private service, ensure you are clear on who can attend. 

The cremation process is straightforward; however, there are other factors that you should consider:

What Happens After The Cremation?

Various laws require ashes to be handled in accordance with the written instruction of the applicant. So, when planning a private cremation for yourself or a loved one, be sure to have clear instructions on where you wish for the cremated remains to be buried, scattered or kept safe.

Suppose you wish to keep the remains within the crematorium grounds. There are usually gardens of remembrance where ashes can be scattered or buried and commemorated with a plaque. This is specified during the process to ensure that all parties know where the ashes will be laid to rest and how. 

When Can You Collect The Remains?

If you are planning on conducting a private ceremony for your deceased loved one, be sure to ask when the earliest remains can be collected and any fees associated with this service.

It is also essential to think about what you wish for the remains to be collected and what type of coffin, so be sure to ask to see all available options.

What Gestures Of Remembrance Are Available?

Each crematorium will have its own symbols of memorialisation, and gestures of remembrance are available. The most common is the book of remembrance, but some crematoriums can offer rose bushes, trees, plaques or ground burial chambers. 

In whatever case, if you choose to have some gesture of remembrance, ensure you ask about the time-lapse and the charge or fee for each facility.

What Are The Costs?

When planning a cremation, there is the obvious question of cost. Be sure to speak openly and honestly and conduct your market research to ensure you are getting the best deal and value for your money. If ever not sure, please seek a second opinion.

However, because of the nature of this service, private cremations in the UK are usually less costly than traditional funeral services and burials. This is, occasionally, one of the driving forces that attracts people to this particular method of remembering and honouring loved ones. 

It would be best if you were given clear, upfront costs for the private cremation from the outset. Honesty is a critical value for many direction cremation providers and something that you should expect as standard when it comes to such an emotional process.

Many providers are here to offer bespoke, specialist services that are just as professional and respectful as traditional burials or funeral services, just without the financial strain these can sometimes place on family members and loved ones.

As you go through the process, ensure that your adviser is compassionate and part of a friendly, caring team to help you through each step.