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Burial Vs. Cremation | Advantages & Disadvantages

by Daniel Herrera

Sometimes when people leave this world, they leave specific instructions with a loved one about what to do with their body. Unfortunately, not everyone makes it so easy. Often, people don't really care what happens to their body and they leave it to the preference of their family. If you are trying to decide whether to cremate or bury a loved one, here are some important advantages and disadvantages for both burials and cremations.



1. Most religious traditions include a burial as part of the ceremony. If you come from a religious family, or if your loved one was religious, a burial may be the best way to honor his or her memory.

2. A burial gives your loved one a permanent, physical location to rest. You will always have a place to visit your loved one.

3. Another great advantage to a burial is having a family plot. Loved ones can all be buried next to each other so they don't have to separate in death either.


1. Burials are often more expensive than cremations, if you factor the cost of a casket, preparation, funeral, burial plot, headstone, and other options as well. The total cost for a funeral averages at nearly $10,000.

2. While having a permanent resting place is listed as an advantage, it can also be a disadvantage. If you ever decide to relocate, visiting your loved one will be difficult.

3. Cemeteries all have their own rules and regulations. You might not be able to bury someone the way you want or move your loved one's remains if you decide you want to.



1. Cremations have many advantages over burials. One advantage is that your loved one will be portable. If you aren't sure where you will be in five or ten years, you don't have to worry about leaving the cemetery your loved one is buried in. You can bring his or her ashes with you wherever you go.

2. Along with keeping ashes in an urn, there are many other ways to store the remains. If you cremate your spouse, you can put small portions of the remains in jewelry or other keepsake urns for your children or other family members.

3. If price is a major deciding factor for you, cremation is a great option. You don't have to worry about all of the traditional burial costs. You only need to pay for the cremation process itself and the urn.


1. Not everyone feels cremation is an option. Some people are set on traditional burials, and they won't budge on the subject. If you have to come to an agreement with several other people, agreeing on cremation may be difficult.

2. You may have to go out of town to get a cremation done. If you live in a small or religious town, the funeral homes may not have the equipment to perform cremations.

3. Cremations aren't environmentally friendly. One cremation sets off about 180kg of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Burials are a wonderful choice for religious families. Not only can you perform a traditional, religious ceremony, but you can buy a family plot and bury your entire family together. The burial will give you and your family a permanent place to visit your loved ones for generations to come. Unfortunately, burials are expensive and not everyone can afford them. If your deceased loved one didn't have insurance or pay for their own burial ahead of time, it could cost you thousands. Cremations are inexpensive and allow you to bring your loved one's remains with you wherever you may end up. 

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