The ultimate dilemma: alternatives to burial or cremation

It's a difficult time when someone you love passes away, and it can be even harder when there's no budget for the burial or cremation of the deceased. However, there are many alternatives that can be just as meaningful without being hard on your finances.

A lack of money for the burial or cremation for a loved one is a significant source of anxiety, and funeral costs can easily run anywhere from $7,000 to $10,000, even for a modest service. If this is too costly for your budget, you may consider one of the following ideas:

The ultimate dilemma: alternatives to burial or cremation

Have a home funeral

This could significantly reduce costs by saving the fees for the use of a building or clergy, and you could supply your own refreshments.You can also make or buy a simple shroud, as well as a simple coffin or urn, and fill out all of the paperwork at home. There are some basic legal guidelines to adhere to when considering this option, but the resulting service can be every bit as memorable.

Celebrate your loved one with a memorial service

This can be a simple affair. The most important things to bring are memories, stories, and family and friends. The rest is up to you, and there isn't a standard for a memorial service. Think about what the deceased would have wanted.

Apply for government assistance

In some cases, government benefits may help cover funeral costs. Eligibility criteria can change, so you must apply to social services in your municipality at the time of death to determine if you're eligible to receive assistance.

Consider donating the body to a medical school

Future medical professionals train with cadavers. Your loved one could assist the doctors of tomorrow even after his or her death. If the deceased had a passion for medicine or education, this could be an especially appropriate option. Depending on your location and the medical school you choose, you may not have to pay for anything. Many schools will return the cremated remains to the family between one and two years after death, though this must be requested beforehand.

Death of a loved one is difficult, even when there is plenty of money to take care of final expenses. It is exceptionally difficult when these funds aren't available. Emotions run high when there isn't enough money for burial or cremation, but if you consider alternatives, you can remove some of that anxiety and get back to honouring your deceased loved one.

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