What is a direct burial? Your most inexpensive burial option

There is a lot of talk around the death-care industry about direct cremation.  More families are seeking out direct cremation services when they want a simple and affordable funeral alternative.  But what about the option for a direct burial?  A direct burial is similarly a simple and affordable burial alternative.

A direct cremation service offering is on every funeral home’s General Price List (GPL), but usually towards the end of their listing of services.  It is the most minimal cremation offering available, and therefore also their least expensive funeral service option.  It is possible (in most metro areas) to be able to arrange a direct cremation for around $1,000. [The price range varies between $695 to $1,395].

However, although some families are searching for affordability and simplicity, cremation is not the choice for everyone.  There are still around 46% of Americans choosing burial services.  A funeral home also has, as standard, a direct burial service package offering.  This is also often located at the bottom of their GPL.

What if you want something, simple and inexpensive but still want a burial service?

Then a direct burial might be the solution.

What does a direct burial entail?

Direct burial serviceA direct burial is a similar direct disposition to direct cremation.  There is no formal funeral service conducted at the funeral home, and many of the traditional products and services associated with the cost of a traditional burial are eliminated.

The deceased is taken directly to the cemetery for burial in the days following the death, once the legal paperwork has been completed.  Often a simple wooden casket is used to help to keep the costs down and keep the whole service simple and affordable.

As there is no viewing, visitation, or funeral ceremony, the deceased does not need to be embalmed.

There is the option to hold a simple graveside interment service, if so wished, for an additional cost. Or a memorial service can be conducted at a later date. But we should be clear that a direct burial service is generally different from a graveside burial service on a GPL.

How is a direct burial service different from a green burial service?

In many cases, a direct burial can be the same as a green burial.  If there is no embalming and a simple eco-friendly casket, such as wood, reinforced cardboard, or wicker, this is a natural or green burial.  It will then depend upon the cemetery, whether a green burial plot is chosen.

A green burial can also be considered a direct burial. There is a growing interest in natural burial alternatives. A natural burial can offer a simple and affordable solution to arranging a funeral, especially for those families (or individuals) who do not wish to be cremated.

Funeral homes are reporting a slow trend towards green burial services, but more funeral homes are starting to add simple burial packages to their service offerings. For families where a family plot had already been purchased, a direct burial can be an affordable option to conduct a burial without the expensive costs of a funeral service.

How much does a direct burial cost?

A direct burial is the funeral director’s least expensive burial option.  The cost will range depending on the funeral home, but it is fair to say that a direct burial can be arranged for in the region of $1,200 to $1,600.  The cost of the casket can make a difference to the final cost of the funeral.  This does not include the cemetery fees either.

A direct burial can be an inexpensive funeral option, and suitable if the deceased already have a cemetery plot purchased or a family plot for burial.

This article explains how families can conduct their own Home Funeral or DIY Funeral without the need to even employ a funeral director.  However, do note, there are at least 10 States where funeral licensing laws do require a funeral director is employed at some level.  Whether to register the death certificate & obtain the necessary burial permit, transport the deceased or oversee the interment of the deceased.

This entry was posted in Cheap Funerals, Funeral Planning, How to Save Money on Funerals by Sara Marsden. Bookmark the permalink.

About Sara Marsden

I have been researching and writing about the death care industry for the last ten years. End of life services and experiences are something most of us choose not to reflect upon until we are suddenly faced with dealing with it. I have been contributing comprehensive and independent resources for families that explain how the funeral industry operates, and the laws that govern funeral practices. Sara writes for US Funerals Online and DFS Memorials LLC, as well as contributing to other forums and publications for the death care industry. I have a BA in Cultural Studies. This helps my analysis of cultural death care rituals, alongside a career background in Business Management. The death care industry is undergoing an epoch of change and this fascinates me.