Cremation or Burial?

There are two options for what to do with your body when you die, you can either be buried or cremated. The choice for either are based on personal wishes and can be influenced by family tradition or religion and neither is wrong or right, here we look at some costs to consider for both cremation and burial.

What Is Cremation Vs Burial of a Body?

Cremation is when the body is burnt to ashes, you will then get your loved one back in an urn to either place in a memorial wall or spread their ashes at your loved one’s favourite spot. Burial on the other hand, involves burying the body in a coffin in a graveyard, in a family plot or single plot. If you have a family plot you would also need to be aware of the costs of re-opening the plot and adding engraving on the tombstone or getting an additional tombstone.

What Are Some of the Costs to Consider Regarding Cremation or Burial?

Generally, you will find that a cremation can be cheaper than a burial. This will however depend on if you would like to place the ashes in a memorial wall or if you will spread the ashes where your loved one has specified. The cost of the cremation alone will be upwards of R5 000, you will also need to take note of the additional cremation certificate that you would need, which would be a cost over and above the death certificate.

Your big costs when it comes to a burial will be the casket/coffin and plot of land vs. just an urn for the ashes if you were cremated. Your coffin costs can range from under R1 000 to over R100 000. You will also need to consider the tombstone, where prices range from a couple hundred to a few thousand rand and the cost for the plot of land which are updated annually but range from R395 to just shy of R5 000.

The service, registering of the death, transport (repatriation), catering, flowers and food are some other costs to consider and will apply to both a cremation or burial. These costs should be worked out against your budget or funeral policy pay-out and with the funeral parlour of your choice.

Another point to consider is if you would like to have a place to visit someone after they are gone, then you should consider a burial site, but if you are care free and have a favourite place in the bush or by the ocean, then make sure your family scatters your ashes in your slice of heaven.