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cremation vs burial
If an individual, prior to passing, has not properly stated and documented in a will what their preferred disposition of the body method is, the responsibility will fall on the next of kin. This can be a delicate matter and a difficult decision to agree on for surviving and grieving family members, therefore discussing the options ahead of time can help carry out the decision when the time comes.  Here we will compare the pros and cons of both cremation and traditional burial methods. 


Cremation has become the most popular option for disposition of the body as it is the more simple and cost effective choice. But even with a cremation service, there are many aspects to consider.


More options. There is a misconception that once cremation is chosen as the method of disposition, viewing and visitation are no longer an option. This could not be further from the truth. Cremation offers much more flexibility and there are different cremation services to choose from. These include a traditional viewing/visitation cremation service which is a traditional funeral service visitation or wake, followed by the cremation process. This makes a traditional cremation service most similar to a traditional burial since the body is present during the ceremony, wake and visitation. There is also a cremation memorial service which, just like traditional cremation includes a funeral service, but without the body present and direct cremation – a cremation conducted with no ceremony, embalming, viewing or visitation. More flexible. If a cremation service is performed shortly after passing, a lot more time and flexibility is extended to the planning of the memorial service. A physical body will begin to decay if not cremated, even after embalming. A cremation means the memorial service can be held at a later date and with no transportation costs, the ceremony can also be held at any location.  Cost effective. Depending on which cremation service you decide on, you may be able to omit the costs involved with preparing the body for viewing and the purchase of a casket, drastically bringing down the total cost. 


It’s permanent. Once the cremation process is completed, there is no going back. If there are any doubts among family members regarding the disposition method, concerns and questions should be addressed thoroughly as this step is a final one. 

Traditional Burial

While traditional burials are becoming less popular, accounting for only about 39% of burials in the US, there are still factors that may make this a desirable option for some. 


It’s in harmony with some religious beliefs and family traditions. Certain religions prohibit or frown upon the cremation process, and may refuse to hold a funeral at their church if cremation is chosen as the disposition of the body. Some families also hold their own traditions, maintaining a family gravesite where generations of loved ones are buried together. For these reasons, some may decide to go with a traditional burial.  It can feel more personal. A traditional burial gives surviving family members the option to select the outfit the deceased one is buried in, as well as any heirlooms they would like to leave with them. These may also include things like photographs, jewelry and personal notes, which can bring comfort to mourning loved ones.


More expensive. Traditional burials are significantly more expensive than cremation and entail costs of a casket, embalming, transportation and other fees. An average burial in the United States costs around $9,000. Permanent location. While a burial site offers a place for surviving family members and loved ones to visit, this location is permanent as moving a gravesite is nearly impossible. This means if you move, your deceased loved one’s gravesite will not be coming with you.  Whether you decide on a traditional burial or a cremation service, it’s a good idea to compare prices between different funeral homes. For a detailed list of services and fees included with different cremation options, visit our Cremation Service page. At Cremations of Greater Tampa Bay, we make ourselves available 24/7 to guide families with compassion and the highest level of ethics, providing personalized and professional cremation services in a comfortable environment, at an affordable cost.

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Florida law states “A cremation may not be performed until a legally authorized person gives written authorization for such cremation,” (FS 497.607).  Furthermore, the law defines whom the “legally authorized person” is and sets up the order of priority of next of kin. We require a written authorization before scheduling any cremation or funeral services. The “Authorization for Cremation and Disposition” form must be signed by the next of kin in the following order: spouse, son or daughter (of legal age), parent, brother or sister, grandchild, grandparent.

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