April 15, 2009

People turn to cremations in hard times

Times are tough and more people are turning to cremation to save money when it comes time to bury a loved one, say U.S. funeral directors.

Funeral directions say people can save thousands of dollars by going the cremation route, CNN reported Wednesday.

Kiera Scanlan-Wespestad at John Scanlan Funeral Home in Pequannock, N.J., said her business has experienced an 11 percent increase in cremations.

We've definitely seen a rise in cremation, she said. On average, a family can save up to $4,000, $5,000 by choosing cremation, so that's not really surprising in this economy.

The Cremation Association of North America said cremations have been gaining in popularity nationwide in recent years. By next year, nearly 40 percent of all U.S. funerals will involve cremation, the group said. Saving money is the primary issue driving the tend with 30 percent of those surveyed citing cremation as a cost-saving decision.