Direct or Immediate Burial

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Definition:
Direct burial involves only the minimal services necessary to bury a deceased human being -- typically within a few days of the death and without a formal wake/visitation, viewing or funeral service.

These minimal services generally* include:
• Local pickup and transportation from the location of death to a direct-burial provider, such as a funeral home.

• Processing and filing of all legally required documents, such as the death certificate and burial permit/burial transit permit.

• Basic care of the deceased by funeral home staff.

• Placement of the body in a "simple" or "alternative" container, such as an inexpensive heavy-walled cardboard box with a lid, or a cloth-covered casket.

• Transportation to the cemetery.

• Burial of the deceased.

Direct-burial services generally do not* include:
• An obituary or death notice.

• Embalming, cosmetizing and hairdressing of the deceased.

• Open-casket viewing by surviving loved ones or a formal funeral service.

• A headstone or gravemarker.

• Certified copies of the death certificate.

Depending upon the provider, direct burial might/might not* include:
• Any additional cemetery fees, such as grave opening/closing or an outer burial container, if required by the cemetery.

• A cemetery plot or mausoleum space.

• A graveside service or witnessing of the burial by surviving loved ones before committal.

* Because providers generally offer direct-burial services in the form of a package or bundle, you should definitely ask questions of your chosen provider and carefully review its product/service offerings to ensure you understand what is/is not included in a direct-burial package. Moreover, even if a product/service you desire isn't included in the package, such as a graveside service, you can usually add it at an additional cost.

Synonyms:
Also known as "immediate burial or "simple burial."

Other Forms of Body Disposition:
The Alkaline Hydrolysis Process
The Cremation Process
Green/Natural Burial Explained
Promession

Additional Reading:
What Happens to My Body Right After I Die?

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