Everything You Want to Know About Immediate Burials


Posted on July 19, 2016 by

Immediate burial, also known as direct burial or simple burial, is the interment of a body in the days immediately following death. Immedited burial, similar to direct cremation, is one of the most cost effective burial options available and is offered by all funeral homes in the United States.

What is Immediate Burial?

Immediate burial is the committal of a body immediately following a death with no embalming, service or ceremony at the funeral home. Immediate burial, similar to direct cremation, is a simple method of disposition that must be offered and listed on the general price list of all funeral homes.

Why Immediate Burial?

Immediate Burial is Affordable

An immediate or direct burial costs a fraction of a full service funeral because it negates the use of potentially costly services such as embalming, cosmetic preparation of the body, viewings and ceremonies facilitated at or by the funeral home.

Immediate Burial Is Environmentally Conscious

From the casket to the body, the substances being interred are left in a more natural state than with other burial methods. This allows the body and container to decompose at a faster rate and decrease the amount of harmful substances put into environment.

Immediate Burial is More Efficient

Whether you are short on funds or short on time, immediate burial is by far the most efficient burial option. Because of its informal nature, planning is significantly easier. You can host a memorial service at a time and location most convenient for you and your family, which is ideal in instances where a death occurred out-of-state.

In many cases, if a family desires a graveside service, the funeral home will allow them to add one to the immediate burial package (often at a cost).

What is Included with Immediate Burial?

Immediate burial cost include:

  • Basic Service Fee
  • Transportation of the body from the location of death, whether at home, hospital, or at a morgue, to their facility and cemetery
  • Filing of the death certificate (copies are extra), body transportation permit, and burial permit if necessary
  • The placement of the body into a container that you have chosen. The cost of the container is extra but you may supply your own or choose a simple inexpensive wooden casket, eco-friendly casket, or fiberboard or alternative casket
  • Typically the interment takes place at a date and time convenient for the funeral director; however a simple graveside service may be included at the discretion of the funeral home. The cost of a cemetery plot or crypt is not included in the immediate burial price. 

What is Excluded in the Cost of Immediate Burial?

  • 3rd party services that require cash advances such as the placement of a newspaper obituary, flowers, and copies of death certificate
  • Casket or burial container
  • Burial plot or crypt in a mausoleum
  • Embalming, dressing, and cosmetic alterations as well as viewings, services, and ceremonies facilitated by or at the funeral home are not included.
  • Some funeral homes may offer a graveside service, headstone or grave marker, and copies of the death certificate, for an additional fee. In instances where a graveside service is omitted from the cost, according to federal Funeral Rule, if a family member wants to briefly view the deceased by lifting the lid of the casket prior to an immediate burial, they may do so.
    • The Funeral Rule prohibits the funeral home from charging the family for preparation of the body if embalming is declined and the request to see the deceased does not constitute a formal viewing or visitation.

Service Options with a Immediate Burial

Immediate burials are the most basic and simplest means of interment, with no service, viewing or embalming. Some funeral homes may allow you to add a simple service, such as a graveside service, for an additional cost. Other services such as a viewing, visitation, and funeral service will change your burial choice from immediate burial to full-service burial, significantly increasing the costs. Be sure to read the General Price List thoroughly and clarify any questions you have with the funeral director. Memorial services at a time and place chosen by the family can can be held at any point in time before or after a burial takes place.

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