- A Guide to Funerals and Funeral Directors
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Burial or cremation?

This choice may or may not have been made by the deceased. If not, the executor of the will or the next of kin will have to decide. Funeral directors can offer advice, but the choice may be limited to whatever is available.

Essentially, bodies have to be either cremated or buried (which includes burial at sea). The place and circumstances of disposal are controlled by law, but considerable latitude is permitted. Ashes, for instance, can be scattered in a public place, interred in a family gravesite, or kept in the home.

If the deceased wanted to be buried in a particular place this may limit your choices. For example, some churchyards are now too full to add additional burial plots, so they may stipulate that new remains have to be cremated.

Religious funerals

Different religions have their own customs as well – Islamic law places great emphasis on the importance of burying a body, while it’s customary for Hindus to be cremated (see the pages on Types of Funeral).

Another option, which is becoming increasingly popular, is the ecologically friendly "natural burial"; see the separate article entitled "Natural or 'green' burial".

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