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What is a direct funeral?

A direct funeral is the simplest, and often the most affordable, funeral option. The term direct funeral can be used to refer to both a direct burial or a direct cremation, although here in the UK, direct funerals are not a particularly well-known option.  

A direct burial or cremation will take place without a ceremony or service beforehand, and usually without any mourners present. These types of funeral include only the essential elements of a cremation or burial enabling the funeral provider to keep costs to a minimum.

Direct funerals are an increasingly popular alternative to a traditional funeral, as they are ideal for those looking for a low cost funeral option or those that do not want a fuss when they are gone.


Direct cremation

A direct cremation is a simple cremation without a funeral service. The services provided as part of the direct cremation package will vary from provider to provider, with some providers charging extra for cremation fees and doctor’s fees.

At Simplicity, arranging a direct cremation is a simple and straightforward process. Our direct cremations are free of the traditional elements some people feel are unnecessary, such as a pre-ceremony or procession with a hearse, limousines for the family and pallbearers. We take care of arranging the practical elements of the funeral, allowing you to remember your loved one’s life in a way that suits you and your family.

As part of one of the UK’s largest funeral groups, Simplicity are the only truly national direct cremation and low cost funeral provider that has its own staff, crematoria and professional mortuary facilities. Our nationwide network of facilities ensures consistently high standards of service and care, wherever you may be.

It’s important to consider that not all providers will operate to the same high standards, so it’s always advisable to choose a funeral provider with an established history and the right facilities.

Learn more with our direct cremation guide.


Direct burial

A direct burial is a burial without a funeral service.  Direct burial is the less common of the two direct funeral options and not as readily available in the UK. Unlike a direct cremation which can often be provided for a set price, the cost of a direct burial can be influenced by a number of factors, such as location, the cost of which varies greatly across the UK. The cost of a headstone would not be included as part of a direct burial, and there may also be additional costs such as gravedigging which would not be incurred with a direct cremation.

The committal will often take place at a burial ground of the funeral provider’s choice which will not always be local to the place of rest, meaning direct burial may not be a suitable choice for those families that want to visit their loved one’s grave. If this is the case, a direct cremation may suit your needs better, as you can request the ashes are returned to you. You could then choose to bury or inter your loved one’s ashes if you would like your loved one to have a final resting place that you are able to visit.

The nature of a direct funeral means there is no option to view the deceased, and therefore embalming is not required.


How much does a direct funeral cost?

A direct funeral will typically cost less than a traditional funeral, as many of the costly, ceremonial elements associated with a funeral service such as a hearse, limousines and pallbearers, are not included.

Direct cremation is normally more cost-effective than direct burial. In both cases, the funeral provider will choose the time, date and location of the funeral, allowing additional cost savings to be made.

When choosing a direct funeral provider, it is important to understand exactly what their package includes. The price may seem low initially but there may be hidden charges such as mileage fees outside of a certain radius from their premises to consider.

At Simplicity, a direct funeral starts from £995 and includes all of the practicalities of a funeral. Our Unattended Funeral is available throughout the whole of mainland Great Britain.

Our affordable cremation services are arranged over the telephone with the help of our team of funeral experts, meaning you will not need to have several, often lengthy meetings with a Funeral Director.


Why do people choose a direct funeral?

Many people choose direct funerals as they offer a low cost alternative to a traditional funeral, but what kind of people are they for?

- Those who do not see the value in the often costly, ceremonial elements of a traditional funeral and would rather their family spend the money in a more fulfilling manner, and hold only the simplest of funerals.

- Those who do not like the thought of their family going through the stress that typically comes with arranging, and attending a traditional funeral.

- Those who pass away with little close family, or whose relatives live far away and are unable to be able to attend a funeral service at short notice.

It’s important to consider that a direct funeral does not stop you from holding a farewell ceremony or memorial service. Instead it allows you more flexibility in how, where and when you celebrate the life of your loved one.

Many people choose to hold a ceremony or celebration of life without the coffin present, for example in a church, at a restaurant, at a beach or at their loved one’s favourite park. Opting for a direct cremation over a direct burial will allow you the option to do so with the ashes present. You may even include the scattering of ashes or interment of ashes as part of the ceremony.


Can you attend a direct funeral?

A typical direct funeral will not allow for the attendance of mourners. However, At Simplicity we recognise that people are looking for a no fuss funeral option that they can attend. That’s why we offer simple funerals with the option to attend.

Our Intimate Funeral allows a small group of friends and family to spend a short time in the chapel, before their loved one is committed for cremation. This time allows you to say a few words, play a song of your choice and say a final goodbye. Although there is no funeral service, many people feel comforted by simply being present at the crematorium.

If you are looking for an affordable cremation similar to a traditional funeral but without the ceremonial elements or cost, the Family Led Funeral may be a better option. A Family Led Funeral allows a full-length ceremony in the chapel, arranged by the family, with no limit on attendees. You can arrange a funeral service, as you would with a traditional funeral.

Some providers of direct burial also provide the option to attend a graveside service, although this will likely be at an additional cost to the direct funeral itself.


Direct funeral plans

Deciding how you want your loved ones to celebrate your life isn’t easy, but it is a decision worth making if you want to make things a little easier on your family when you are gone or you have specific wishes for your funeral.

If you feel a direct funeral is right for you, it may be a good idea to take out a prepaid funeral plan. Putting a funeral plan in place will not only help ensure your wishes are honoured when the time comes, but also relieves your family from stressful funeral arrangements, and the financial burden that comes with this.

We offer a range of direct funeral plans from £1,495, or £15.97 per month. No matter how much the price of funerals may increase, we guarantee to cover the cost of the services outlined in your plan.

Learn more about our prepaid funeral plans.


If you’re not ready to take out a plan but you want to let your family know your wishes for a direct funeral, our share your wishes form might be for you.

To arrange a direct funeral for a loved one, or a direct funeral plan for yourself in the future, contact us today. Our team of expert funeral arrangers are available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have.


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