Funerals and Alternative Services

How to plan a funeral is something that very few want to think about or discuss. However, one thing is certain, and that is that at some point everyone will need arrangements made for their death.

Funeral pre-planning is often easiest as you can make all your own decisions about how you want your end of life arrangements handled. This option will spare your family from making decisions and dealing with details of your death so they are free to grieve.

However, there are alternatives to traditional burial practices, such as cremation. You can find out how to arrange for a cremation which significantly lowers your funeral costs by eschewing big ticket items such as caskets and burial plots in favor of urns. Other alternatives such as a burial at sea or even giving your remains over to scientific study exist for those who wish for something different or altruistic in the end.

Traditional Funeral Rites

Planning your own funeral, or doing it for those you love, is a sizable industry. Since everyone inevitably needs some end of life rites, there are myriad ways to go about tending to these needs. Various methods exist and work well for taking care of these issues. Planning a funeral service requires making quite a few decisions. In addition to the rites themselves, which are often dictated by the decedent’s religious or spiritual practices, there are the material trappings associated with such rituals. Things like headstones, burial plots and caskets are typically the most expensive items, and then things like markers, flowers and other items make up quite a list. Pre-arranged funeral plans may appeal to some people so that there are no decisions to be made at the time of one’s death. All arrangements are made and simply need execution.

Related Article: How to Pre-Plan a Funeral

Using a funeral planning checklist is one thing people can do in order to help with planning their last rites. However, funeral homes often provide a thorough and very competent alternative to the do-it-yourself method. However, funeral homes do charge a considerable amount for their services to take on all of the work and worry leaving the family and friends of the deceased to focus on mourning.

Cremation Arrangements

A cremation is an alternative to traditional burials that is growing in popularity. The cremation cost for someone is significantly less than the expenses associated with traditional funeral plans. The normal big expenses such as headstones, caskets and burial plots are not necessary when planning for a cremation. For those wondering how to arrange for cremation, there are many resources available. Funeral homes that typically handle the normal burial services may also help with cremations and can offer the same level of service for those who wish to go this route instead of the traditional route.

Alternatives to Traditional Funeral Services

Avenues such as prepaid funeral plans often cater to those wishing for the more traditional services such as in-ground burials, whether those in-ground burials are done in a casket or an urn, as cremated remains may also be buried. Even most funeral homes can offer cremation arrangements in addition to casket burial services. However, some people may prefer even more unusual and less popular arrangements to be made for their eventual demise. These can span any number of methods, although some less popular ones are still not wildly off-base and can be both novel, meaningful, and even altruistic in nature.

A burial at sea is a viable funeral method that many people may overlook. Of course, sea burials do require some additional planning as there is more regulation involved. Additionally, the regulations governing scattering ashes at sea can often vary from state to state. Because this method is typically done with ashes, arrangements for cremation must also be made as well. It is best to look up the laws governing these types of funeral rituals to ensure that you are not in breach of the law and liable to incur any fines for conducting such a funeral. A military burial at sea may be another form of this type of ceremony and often are conducted by a branch of the military which can be subject to state government regulations, federal government regulations, or both.

Donating Your Body to Science

When you donate your body to science you at once choose a most unusual method for dealing with your end of life arrangements and do something very selfless as well. Donating your body to science can help many people in a variety of ways. This sort of donation can be done in conjunction with medical schools. Medical schools, in order that they may train physicians to a high degree of ability, need human cadavers for medical students to practice upon so when they inevitably treat living human beings, they have some familiarity with real human anatomy. Anatomical donations are of paramount importance as not many people opt for this avenue when making the arrangements for what is to be done with their remains on the occasion of their passing away.

Another way in which you can donate your body to science is to sign over the rights to your corpse to a research project of your choosing. It may be that your passing was due to some illness or malady that is not yet treatable or curable, so you may opt to donate your body to a foundation or organization dedicated to find ways to treat and/or cure that specific illness or malady. By doing so, you can help others avoid perishing due to the same affliction. You may find that donating your body to science may bring with it some altruistic satisfaction, but it is not legal to be paid for such a donation.

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