When a loved one passes, the last thing you want to think about are the cremation costs. You want to grieve, remember the good times, and celebrate their life – as you should. Unfortunately, their last journey from this world has to be planned and there is no sidestepping the financial aspects of it.
Cremation has been growing in popularity during the last several years. It was previously frowned upon but as since people are increasingly unaffiliated with religions there’s been a massive uptake of cremation as a viable way to dispose of a dead body.
Image credit: National Funeral Directors Association
In the last 20 years, the number of people opting for cremation has nearly doubled. Traditional funeral service can cost thousands of dollars – the cost of a casket, the cost of a burial plot, and other various services all need to be taken into account. On the other hand, the average cost of cremation is drastically lower and can, indeed, be kept at a minimum if you so choose.
Image source: Parting.com
The image above illustrates the range of prices when it comes to average cremation costs in the United States. It takes into account simple cremation, also called direct cremation – the simplest form of incinerating a deceased body in which there are no added costs for viewing, casket, or a memorial service.
Types of Cremation
There are three different routes you can take with cremation, depending on services you want included in the process. Each will come with a different price tag, of course. Your overall cremation costs are going to depend on what route you decide to take.
Traditional Service Followed by Cremation
If you decide on this type of service the cremation costs will be very high. That is because cremation is simply the last leg of the process. Traditional service includes viewing, which means that the body has to be prepared and preserved. Also included in the price are the casket, religious service (or an equivalent), visitations, flowers, and more. After everything is completed, the body will be cremated. The remains can be buried, scattered, or returned to the family.
Cremation Followed by a Memorial Service
Memorial service is a service held for the deceased without the body present and it’s organized by a funeral home. The remains are typically cremated two or three days after death and a memorial service is held at a later date. In this case, the body doesn’t have to be prepared, which lowers the cremation costs, and the remains are returned to the family.
Direct Cremation (Simple Cremation)
The most affordable route you can take is direct cremation. The cost of cremation of this type is low because the funeral home (or the crematory) will deal only with the remains which will then be returned to the family. Since there is no viewing, the body does not have to be prepared and there are no costs of organizing a service for the deceased. Family and friends can choose how they want to honor the life of the deceased at a later date.
- The body is cremated immediately after death which means that you can hire a crematorium instead of an expensive funeral home.
- There is no viewing and no services, which further reduces the cost of cremation.
- The body is released back to you in an urn that you provide or in a cardboard box, you don’t need to buy or rent an expensive casket.
- A memorial service can be held when convenient for the family, or special preparations can be made (sea or mountain-top scattering of the ashes).
Direct Cremation – Cremation Costs and How to Arrange It
The death-care industry often turns a blind eye to the suffering of the family. Funeral homes are businesses and as such, they have to upsell you to turn a profit. Fortunately, not everyone is in the business of ripping you off. Most crematoriums offer direct cremation at reasonable prices.
Crematoriums have educated and sensitive staff members who can deal with the paperwork instead of you. This includes obtaining a death certificate and transporting the body, which will all be included in the cremation costs. Arranging for a direct cremation is usually a very straightforward process that you won’t be left to tackle alone.
Range of Direct Cremation Prices in the United States
Image Source: Parting.com
As you can see, cremation costs will vary from city to city. They will also vary depending on whether you opt to contact the crematorium directly or organize everything through a funeral home. If you’re looking to lower the overall cremation costs you should consider contacting a crematorium directly and arranging for low cost cremation – Peaceful Preserve does a great (and affordable) job with these. This way you will avoid a basic service fee that most funeral homes charge, regardless of whether you go for a full range of services or not.
Federal Trade Commission has something that’s called a Funeral Rule. The provisions of that rule will help you keep cremation costs low if you decide to go with direct cremation.
- You can’t be forced to rent or purchase a casket for direct cremation.
- The crematorium has to provide you with an unfinished wooden box for cremation.
- The remains have to be returned in an urn that you provide or in a container.
Losing a loved one is hard enough without having to go into debt to give them a heartfelt send-off. Direct cremation lowers the overall cremation costs and allows you to plan the right service for your family members and friends at a later date and taking into account their wishes. One thing is certain: they don’t wish to see you in financial ruin just because a funeral home is taking advantage of your grief and pain.