4 Things You Need To Know About Direct Burial

Direct burial is a burial option in which the body is buried in the days immediately after death, without a formal funeral service or gaveside service before the burial. Direct burial is the most affordable burial option.

Basic features of direct burial

Because direct burial does not include a formal funeral or any pre-funeral events, many of the costs of a traditional funeral are avoided.

Direct burial funeral service options

Often, direct burial takes place with no formal ceremony and no mourners at the gravesite. If you want to have a direct burial and you want a brief service, you may be able to pay a fee to hold a brief graveside service. By holding a graveside service, however, the arrangements may change the type of service to a “graveside service” from a “direct burial” and the cost may increase significantly. If you are interested in an immediate burial with a graveside service component, talk to the funeral director you’re working with to learn about how they handle these types of arrangements.

If you are interested in a direct burial but want to have a formal service as well, that service will likely take the form of a memorial service after the burial. The memorial service can take place immediately after the burial, or some time in the future.

How to arrange a direct burial

If you want to arrange a direct burial, you’ll likely want to work with a funeral home and a cemetery to begin making arrangements.

To find a funeral home, use our resource Guide: Finding a Funeral Home.

Direct burial cost

Direct burial is the least expensive burial option, as some of the most expensive purchases—casket, preparing the body, elaborate funeral service—are avoided. In addition, some funeral homes will charge a lower Basic Services Fee (the non-declinable flat fee funeral homes charge) for direct burial. If you are interested in saving money, it's worth calling a number of different funeral homes to find one with a lower direct burial Basic Services Fee.

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