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It was recently reported by the BBC that select funeral directors will be the first in the UK to offer resomation, or water cremation, later this year at initial locations. 
The process is currently used in Canada, South Africa and some US states and will be the first alternative way to dispose of human remains in the UK since the introduction of the Cremation Act in 1902. 
What is a water cremation? 
The process of a water cremation, known as resomation, uses a mix of potassium hydroxide and water to break down human remains in what is claimed to be a more sustainable method than traditional cremation. 
The body is placed in a biodegradable coffin before being placed in a water cremator where over a short amount of time the body returns to its basic organic elements. 
It is reported to take approximately 3-4 hours, leaving bones which are powdered and returned to family or loved ones in a similar way ashes are returned for traditional cremations. 
Liquid used in the process is then returned to the water cycle free of any DNA. 
What does ‘Resomation’ mean? 
The term Resomation is derived from the Greek/Latin derivation of the word ‘Resoma’ meaning ‘rebirth of the human body’. The term refers to the human body reverting to its basic organic components and returning to the eco-system, in a similar fashion to a natural burial. 
What will the likely costs be? 
It is reported that the costs will be similar to that of a traditional cremation. 
What is the environmental and other impact? 
Resomation Ltd claims their process produces 1/3 less greenhouse gases and uses approximately 1/5 of the energy required for a traditional cremation. 
With land in short supply for burials and flame cremation polluting the atmosphere with Co2 and mercury this may be a way for the industry to improve carbon reduction targets, especially with increased pressures caused due to an increased population (7 billion+) with a large proportion being over a certain age. 
Why might you choose a water cremation? 
• You like the sound of the process i.e. being returned to the eco-system 
• Environmental benefits 
• Religious reasons i.e. restrictions on flame cremation/burial. 
• Fear of cremation/being buried. 
More information on Resomation can be found at About - Resomation 
What other options do I have? 
• Traditional burial 
• Natural and woodland burial (also known as green burial) 
• Cremation 
• Cryogenically frozen 
• And more 
Do I need to include this in my Will? 
Funeral wishes and instructions on how to dispose of your body are not legally binding if contained in Wills and simply provide a note of your wishes and intention to your executors and trustees. 
If you would prefer to have an informal discussion with your family, loved one or executors you can do this, or prepare a letter of wishes to sit alongside your Will. 
At Powell Eddison our team of specialists can also provide advice about Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Trusts and Probate. 
Contact us on 01423 564551 or email us at info@powell-eddison.co.uk to arrange your free initial, no-obligation consultation with a specialist. 
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