Whether you’re planning ahead for the sake of your loved ones or dealing with the aftermath of a loved one’s passing, you have a lot of decisions you need to make. And one of the most difficult ones is determining what happens to the mortal coil once we’ve passed on. The two main options are cremation and burial. Here are a few factors to consider when deciding between them.

The Likely Time Frame Involved

Burials should take place within a week of someone’s death. If you don’t have the body embalmed, then it needs to take place in one to three days. If you haven’t pre-planned your funeral, you’re forcing your family to make a lot of difficult decisions in the aftermath of your passing. If you choose to be cremated, this could take place after a showing or almost immediately after your death. Note that there can be memorials or a funeral using the cremated remains.

A side benefit of cremation is that your ashes can be sent wherever you’d like to be buried. For example, it is much easier to send an urn full of ashes home than a body. This makes cremation a good way to ensure that your burial doesn’t force loved ones to find flights on short notice to attend a funeral where you’re currently living or find a way to send all of “you” home.


Cremations like those offered by Aaron Cremation are more affordable than full burials. For one, you don’t have to buy a burial plot or pay to have it maintained. There could be a showing in a casket or a simple memorial service with the cremains afterward. You can use the money saved to pay for a fancier funeral or leave more money to your family to pay for necessities after you’re gone.

Note that you can make pre-paid arrangements for either a cremation or a burial. And in both cases, you can save money by pre-paying these expenses.

Your Beliefs

If you’re Hindu, cremation is mandatory. If you’re Eastern Orthodox Christian, Muslim or an Orthodox Jew, cremation isn’t an option. If you’re a member of Reform Judaism, Catholic Christian or most Protestant churches, cremation is an option, though burial may be more acceptable to your family. The question that needs to be answered is: what form of burial is acceptable to you and your loved ones?

On the other hand, many people who want to minimize our impact on the planet choose cremation. Your ashes can be scattered and left to become one with the Earth or scattered at sea. Or you may choose to have your ashes interned in an urn in a mortuary garden. It takes up far less space than a traditional burial, freeing up land for agriculture or wildlife.

Consider pre-planning your funeral, so that your family knows what you’d like done after you’ve passed on. Then they don’t have to wonder about what you wanted done.