Prepaid Direct Cremation Plans

A direct cremation is a modern option for families that would rather skip traditional funeral services. Cremation is both cost-effective and convenient, yet still a dignified final send-off for themselves or their loved ones.

Why Choose Direct Cremation?

There are several reasons why you may find direct cremation a wiser choice for you and your family members.

  • Cost-Effective: Traditional funerals have always been expensive and continue to go up in price. The average cost of a funeral in the UK climbed by about 130% in the last ten years. In 2019, a basic funeral was priced at £4,417, while direct cremation was only £1,626 – rather measly in comparison.
  • Flexibility: Direct cremation has no time-related demands. As opposed to most funerals, which must be conducted immediately or almost immediately following the death, direct cremation lets people delay the memorial service. This gives them more time to make arrangements.
  • Personal Preference: Cremation gives the deceased better control over their personal preferences. Some prefer not to hold a wake; with cremation no wake is necessary. Additionally, this means that someone who has not revealed their funeral wishes will give their surviving loved ones fewer reasons to disagree on funeral components (casket, flowers, etc.).
  • Religious Considerations: Whether a person is religious or not, direct cremation allows arrangements to be made in the exact manner they have chosen.

Understanding Prepaid Direct Cremation Plans

Choosing a prepaid direct cremation plan can be a smart way of arranging and paying for your funeral before you pass away. A prepaid direct cremation plan is essentially a contract between you and your chosen provider, stating that upon your death, they will provide direct cremation services for you.

Direct cremation normally means there will be no attendees during the service. Because some people do not like the idea of missing their beloved’s funeral, many providers will offer two types of plans, one of which provides the option to attend. The less expensive plan will typically let fewer people in and allow less time for them to spend in the chapel. The alternative is a bit more generous, with families being able to have a ceremony akin to a traditional funeral (music, eulogies, etc.).

Prepaid Direct Cremation Plan Inclusions

What is included in direct cremation planning coverage varies from one provider to the next. You should know exactly what is being offered by a plan before you purchase it. This will also prevent the accrual of surprise fees when the time comes. Remember, not all companies will cover cremation fees, although some are happy to cover part of it.

A typical prepaid direct cremation plan will, however, cover all the costs of a simple cremation: 24/7 body collection, mortuary facility care, cremation fees, a basic casket, and special vehicle for transportation. After the cremation, your ashes will be delivered to the specified person.

Why Buy Prepaid Direct Cremation Coverage?

The advantages of direct cremation are clear, but prepaid direct cremation plans have a whole other set of benefits to offer.

The first one is the most obvious: financial advantage. You save your family from paying too much in uncovered cremation or funeral costs, which normally should be settled within 28 after the service.

Also, the cost of your plan will remain as to when you purchased it, and you can even prepay in instalments. That means you won’t have to dip into family savings at the last minute.

A prepaid direct cremation plan is essentially a form of insurance and compared to other types of policies, it is so much easier to find and obtain coverage. Most providers cover anyone above the age of 50.

The Prepaid Direct Cremation Plan Market in the UK

Many things can be said of the prepaid direct cremation plan market in the UK, but one thing is for sure, and that is the industry is mainstreaming quickly.


Studies show more than half of UK consumers are considering direct cremation, with projections of a 10% increase in the next ten years. The heightened preference for this method is believed to be caused by shifting consumer views on funerals. This is especially true since the death and cremation of certain celebrities, like David Bowie.

Key Players

While there are at least 10 direct cremation plan providers in the UK today, the following are the most popular:

(Coop is a household name in terms of cremations and funerals, but because it provides direct cremation services only after death, it does not technically qualify as a prepaid plan provider.) 

1. Memoria

Memoria Limited offers a wide range of low-cost funeral and cremation plans, including direct cremation plans. The provider has 87 years of cremation service history. Its basic direct cremation package costs £950 and includes:

  • Direct cremation at their facility 
  • Body collection and funeral transportation in a special vehicle (£250 in fees for collections outside hospitals)
  • Basic wood-veneered casket
  • Service fees
  • Scattering of ashes

2. Simplicity

Simplicity Direct Cremation funeral plans are supplied by Dignity and come with three options: cremation only, cremation with few attendees, and family-led full-length service. Its basic direct cremation package costs £995 and includes:

  • A direct cremation with no attendees
  • Mortuary care
  • Body collection and funeral transportation in a special vehicle
  • Wood-designed casket with linings and fittings
  • Scattering of ashes
  • Doctor’s fees
  • Added services as requested

3. Pure

Pure is a company owned and managed by funeral directors with over three decades of industry experience. Pure owns its own crematorium and provides all services included in its plans. Its basic direct cremation package costs £1,595 and includes:

  • 24/7 body collection in England or Wales
  • Basic casket
  • Decent transport to the crematorium
  • Contribution towards doctor’s and crematorium fees
  • Scattering of ashes in Garden of Remembrance, or delivery or collection of ashes by family

4. Golden Leaves 

With its funeral planning history dating back to 1984, Golden Leaves’ plans are currently offered by a growing network of funeral directors across Europe. It is also the only funeral planning company that offers a repatriation plan. Its basic direct cremation package costs £1,693 and includes:

  • Funeral director services
  • Funeral registration, documentation, and certification advice
  • Body collection from hospital or coroner (regular business hours only)
  • Pre-funeral body care
  • Basic casket and urn
  • Service and doctor’s fees
  • Scattering of ashes in Garden of Remembrance, or delivery or collection of ashes by family

Understanding Plan Differences

Comparing different providers of prepaid direct cremation plans is easy. The first thing to do is to look into the package inclusions of each plan and focus on those that you want. Companies may charge extra for collections outside of business hours. This is the case when someone passes away in a nursing home or hospital after what is considered traditional business hours. They could also charge for returning the ashes.

Also, while some plans are more expensive than the rest, don’t make cost your final measure for what makes a good choice. An offer may be inexpensive, but if the company behind it is known for being unprofessional it will not be worth the savings.

How to Choose the Best Prepaid Direct Cremation Plan 

Choosing the best prepaid direct cremation plan requires careful consideration of several factors, such as pricing, included services, and, very importantly, hidden costs. Some plans can appear affordable at first glance but dig deeper to understand all the costs you for which you will have to pay.

Choose a provider known for professionalism. The provider should treat you and the deceased with the utmost respect and dignity. Just because the package is cheap doesn’t mean the service should be too. Also, look to a provider that offers a healthy range of options and is completely transparent when it comes to fees.

Finding the Best Direct Cremation Plan Provider

Before you decide on a plan provider, ask them questions. For example, how long have they been in business? What are their packages and costs? How does their process work? Are they are a member of an industry organisation?

While membership is no guarantee that they are right for you, it is a good sign of their commitment to their customers. Visit their facility personally. Is it clean and organised? This reflects tremendously on the provider as a whole.

Finally, check reviews and ratings and give your prospective provider’s website a look. You will surely find plenty of clues as to the quality of service they provide and their overall suitability for you and your family.

Interested in a direct cremation? Then find out who offers the cheapest direct cremation service in the UK