Direct disposition is a term used to describe burial or cremation that takes place directly following death. The deceased is removed from the place of death and taken directly to be either buried or cremated. There is no preparation of the body or opportunity for family members to see the body before the burial or cremation takes place. A memorial service may follow direct disposition.
Direct disposition providers include cremation societies, direct disposal facilities, and funeral homes. Cremation societies may contract in advance to provide cremation for a predetermined fee. Most often the fee will include removal of the body and transportation to the cremation facility provided the death occurs within a prescribed geographical range. If death occurs outside the area additional fees will be charged. Frequently these cremations take place in very basic stripped-down facilities similar to a warehouse or a strip mall. They are typically no frills, no public admittance buildings. They are usually the lowest cost alternative with the least amount of service options when someone dies.
Direct disposition can also be arranged through a funeral home. In this case the family will be offered the option of viewing either with or without embalming before the cremation takes place. This viewing can be particularly important to family members who live in a different part of the state or country. These folks often have a need to see the deceased if they were not present at the time of death. The funeral home will transfer the deceased from the place of death to the cremation location. The funeral home can also help with a memorial service held either at the funeral home or even an off-site facility.
The option of Direct Disposition makes perfect sense for families with a religion that dictates the body be either buried or cremated within a brief period. It can also fill a need when the budget is very tight, or the person has little or no family connections. Sadly, some people make this decision based on dollars alone without considering the impact on family and friends. They never check with their local funeral home to learn about the services available and the cost of those services. This can add needless pain for family and friends.