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.
Andrea Robinson says
There’s no question that practical considerations have to enter into any arrangements for honoring the loved one who passes away. I know that my parents have been really awesome about planning ahead so we would have an easy time. Nothing can *really* prepare you, and when my mom passed away, it was sudden and we weren’t thinking so we had somewhat of a shock. However, my dad (stepfather, actually) knew everything to do because they had planned ahead, and we were there to help.
I’m really glad you mentioned pre-planning. It’s one of the most considerate things to do. When you’re numb and in a state of shock, or crying at weird times, pre-planning makes it much, much easier.
I used to work for someone who had made arrangements for his own cremation about 20 years before his actual death. I loved working for this man as a live-in aide. Anyway, he was a quadriplegic and didn’t want his family to have to be burdened with the expense of a funeral, so he had made arrangements and paid for his cremation so the price was fixed and the expense was paid well in advance. When he died, we had a very nice ceremony for him in a private residence and it was worry-free in terms of financial arrangements and time. We still had all the time to honor his memory and the beautiful way in which he touched us all.
I love the fact that you are putting this information out there for everyone to consider. I know that not everybody’s going to be ready to hear it, but I hope that people take the information to heart and don’t remain in fear of making those arrangements. I think it’s one of the nicest things you can do for your surviving loved ones.
Cynthia Close says
Thanks for sharing so much useful information. It helps to know the details so you can make a realistic plan. Before my father passed away, he requested in his will that he be cremated. Mainly because he didn’t want to burden the family with the astronomic costs of a traditional funeral, but he also thought it was ludicrous to spend a fortune on a beautiful coffin then immediately stick it in the ground. We had a nice church service and the funeral home even let us rent a casket for the funeral so the lack of one wouldn’t confuse people who didn’t know about the cremation. His decision and pre-planning definitely made a a huge difference in the stress level of the whole situation.
Cynthia Close says
Thank you for sharing the details of the cost of cremation. Information like this really helps people to make a realistic plan. When my father passed away, he requested cremation in his will. Mainly to save his family the astronomical cost of a traditional funeral, but also because he thought it was ludicrous to pay a fortune for a coffin then immediately bury it in the ground, (Always practical to the end). We had a nice service and the funeral home even let us rent a coffin to avoid confusion for those who were not aware of the cremation. All in all, my dear father’s pre-planning helped make a sad situation much less stressful.
Ann Abbitz says
Great post! And as depressing as it is to discuss, it is something that needs to be covered, because as stated, the costs of burials and such can get to be very expensive. This is something I need to start thinking about, though God forbid, something happens. I am 40, and have an 11 year old daughter. But you never know when it’s your time to go. And raising kids, and putting them through school is quite an expense, as we all know.
Josh Robbins says
I must be blunt here: I have seen members of my family spend enormous amounts of money on funerals, plots, flowers etc when saying goodbye to a loved one…I am talking over 10 thousand dollars! Sorry to say, but I totally disagree with that. I say, find a good cremation service and then hold a simple memorial service for friends and family. I have told my wife and kids not to get carried away for my sake. A funeral or memorial service is for the living, not the dead. Do something simple, tell some lifetime stories, spread the ashes or store the urn. Put a memorial site on line with photos,etc…they don’t cost much and relatives can go on-line to remember. Anyway that’s my two cents.
patricia reed says
as soon as possible thankyou looking for a price for 2 people
Thank you for your interest in A Direct Cremations. Essentially, it would be $795 per person ($1,590 for both) plus the cost of death certificates or other cash advance items and urns (if you chose to have one).
Where are you located at?
Each county is a little different in what they charge for Death Certificates and Medical Examiners fees (if they have them). Please let me know how I can assist you further.
Worldwide insurance costs, please.