Choosing the right burial option for your loved one

January 4, 2015

Choosing the right urn or casket for your loved one canbe overwhelming during this time of grief. Use this buying guide to help you to make the appropriate decision.

Choosing the right burial option for your loved one

Choosing a casket

Caskets are expensive because of the materials used to build them. Metal caskets can contain bronze, which is far more expensive than wood or steel. Caskets are made of various metals or wood ranging from moderate to expensive in quality and price. Today, you can also find environmentally friendly caskets made from biodegradable materials such as bamboo, paper or tree bark.

Funeral casket interiors

Casket interiors are covered with luxurious materials, making them quite opulent. These materials include velvet, satin crepe and silk crepe and come in a variety of colour choices. The most common colours for interiors are white, cream, light blue, pale pink, light beige, silver and gold. The interior of the casket should reflect the preferences shared by the family.

Caskets for cremation

If cremation is the preference, a casket isn’t usually needed unless you decide to have a funeral prior to cremation. These caskets are usually less expensive since they aren’t used in the burial. The cremation casket may be incinerated.

Cremation as opposed to burial

If you’ve chosen cremation over burial, a funeral urn is the standard receptacle to preserve the deceased’s remains. Urns are available in several sizes, colours and styles. Urns can be buried in any cemetery or memorial garden. Check your local legal restrictions to understand your options.

Urn shapes and materials

Many find selecting an urn easier than selecting a casket. You can choose from a variety of decorative urns or themed urns with scenes of the loved one's favourite sports or hobbies. Urns are available in materials including wood, ceramic, marble, cast bronze, granite, aluminum, mother of pearl and cloisonne.

Most urns come in a classic vase-shape but some urns are shaped like a box or chest. You can also select urns that are biodegradable and degrade within one year of burial. However, most urns are non-biodegradable. If you choose to scatter the ashes, you’ll want to consider an urn with a wide opening and an easily accessible closure.

Other options

Anyone who has been in the position of choosing a casket or urn knows that this decision is complicated by feelings of guilt and pride and the reality of affordability. Unfortunately, some sales people may take advantage of this guilt and try to guide you to the most expensive option. It’s important to be aware of this when making your selection.

Ask about renting a casket as most funeral establishments offer this, but won’t be up front about it unless prompted. These caskets are lined with inexpensive liners for the viewing and can range from $500 to $40,000.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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