Cremation or Burial
If you are considering a Burial in your Local Authority Cemetery, charges are much lower for the Borough's residents than for non-residents. However, the cemetery may not be located within the Borough and won’t necessarily be the nearest one to where you live, so burial costs may have a substantial impact on the price of a budget funeral. Natural burial grounds are often competitive, but are located further afield. Woodland burial grounds don’t usually allow gravestones, so the cost of a grave-marker made of wood will be much less than one in stone. Gravestones currently cost upwards of £800.
Even if your family owns an existing plot, the cost of just digging the existing grave may be higher than you anticipate and is sometimes more expensive than a cremation. There will be a charge for adding a name to the headstone and there may be a fee for temporarily removing the stone memorial if this is necessary in order for the burial to take place.
Although burial is more expensive than cremation, the DWP will contribute to, or cover, the cost of a burial for those on benefits and entitled to assistance from the Social Fund. However, they will only reimburse you for the cost of the very cheapest private grave available in your area. They won’t help you to pay for a gravestone or marker.
Cremation fees in the London area are around £600 to £700. If you hold the funeral before 10am, a cheaper rate is available at some crematoria.
Direct Cremation is the least expensive method of committal offered by Levertons. This is a more basic option and not necessarily suitable for everyone.
Lasting memorials for cremated remains
Cemeteries offer small plots or ‘niches’ for the interment of ashes at a lower cost than buying a grave. If your family own a grave, the cost of burying ashes is much lower than interring a coffin and the deceased can be added to the existing gravestone. Most crematoria offer a variety of memorials which can be purchased for a number of years, from rosebushes with plaques to stone memorials.
Environmental pros and cons
We at Levertons have examined the environmental impact of relatively local burial, woodland burial and cremation. Each method has some negative impact, and it is debatable which causes least damage to our environment. Our view is that it is still a matter of personal choice.