One of the most important considerations is cremation cost. While everyone would like to have infinite resources with which to remember their loved ones, the truth is that most of us are working on limited budgets. Cremation allows for more flexibility in how loved ones are cared for and still allows for traditional services, but comes in with a lower overall cost than traditional burial (most of the time) or funeral home.
Here’s what you need to know about the cost of cremation:
Direct Cremation is Inexpensive
A direct cremation, in which the deceased is delivered directly to the crematory and then the ashes are given back to the family, is the least expensive possible option for cremation. These cremations can run as low as $795, but cost will vary dramatically based on the cremation provider in question. It’s okay to price check multiple service firms, even if it feels a little weird! Do note that in most circumstances you will not have a chance to see the deceased before the body is cremated (except for identification purposes) in a direct cremation.
Funerals and Memorials Are Not Included
Cremation itself is relatively cheap. But funerals and memorial services are not always inexpensive. The cost of a cremation normally includes everything needed to actually cremate the body, plus the cost of an urn, death certificates, medical examiner fees. If you want to have a funeral or memorial service, you’ll need to work those costs out separately with a funeral home. You can also organize your own gathering at a church or other location with your friends and family. If you choose to have a funeral before the cremation, you’ll need to buy or rent a casket as well. Remember that storing the body also comes with fees. Traditional funeral services and the events around them can add thousands of dollars to the bill. Cremation services can also be Pre-Planned before the death occurs.
Fees and Other Considerations
Cremating a body is not without its paperwork. Cremation authorizations need to be signed by the next of kin, vital statistic info needs to be gathered for the death certificate, and you’ll need to sign your cremation provider’s contract. You may find yourself paying a litany of additional fees related to the deceased, including payments for death certificates, medical examiner fees, extra transportation or travel insurance. These are fees faced by everyone dealing with a death and, while frustrating, are necessary for legal purposes and full closure on the death.
The cost of cremation varies wildly depending on geography and prevalence, how you do it, and what you do with the remains before and after the cremation. Your best bet is contacting multiple service providers and talking in-depth with your cremation provider of choice so that you can fully understand the options available to you and be charged for only what you need.