Cremation or Burial

The decision on whether to have a burial or cremation service generally rests with the family. Often people have expressed a personal wish by recording it in their will, leaving instructions with a funeral director or telling a family member. The choice is very much a personal one, with several things people may consider. Sometimes there is a family tradition, perhaps a cemetery where the family have been buried, or a wish to be buried with their spouse. Sometimes there are religious or ethnic considerations. Cremation affords the opportunity for other wishes to be carried out.

We have worked with hundreds of families in their decision of either cremation or burial. We are here to help in every area of the funeral arrangements, including this important decision.


Marsden House have shares in the Nelson region’s only privately owned crematorium. This offers you more flexible service options compared to other crematoriums in the region.

What do I do with the ashes after cremation?

Ashes may be interred in a cemetery, scattered in a favourite place, or there may be a wish for them to be repatriated overseas for burial in their homeland. We are always willing to meet with you to discuss the many options available to you and assist in recording your wishes so that they be known to the family.

How long do I keep the ashes for?

There is no stipulated time in which to keep ashes, so you are not forced into any specific decision of time. Ashes are generally available the next day after the funeral, and choices about what to do with them can be made then.

Often, for a lot of people, burying or scattering ashes add finality to the funeral process, that helps with recovery from grief. Many people also like to scatter or bury the ashes at a specific time of the year, during specific weather conditions, or when the family is all together.

Arrangements can be made with us to keep ashes for a period of time.


With all our services, including burials, we are here to assist with all the details, so you don’t have to worry. By assisting you to choose caskets, organising an appropriate cemetery and plans for how the deceased is to be buried, we here at Marsden House are here to help you.

We also have a specialist dressing room where family may be involved in preparing their loved one for the funeral service and commitment.

Burial and ashes plots at a cemetery can be selected and pre-purchased at any time or arranged at the time of death with the Funeral Director. Ownership of the cemeteries is by Local Authorities or Trusts. Often families like to select their own plot from the areas available. The staff at Marsden House can assist and advise you of the procedure and local contacts.

With both burial and cremation, there are environmental options you may wish to consider. Take a look at our Environment page and see our different eco-friendly options.