Cost of Cremation

Cost is a factor in the growing popularity and acceptance. Understanding cremation costs can help you make a more informed decision when choosing a funeral home to serve your family. This guide is intended to help you understand the different costs that are involved when planning a cremation service.

The first step is to understand the basic “types” of cremation service. This simply refers to the service options you might select when choosing cremation. If you call a funeral home and ask “How much is a cremation?” they will need to know what service options (if any) you are considering. Services can be very basic or as unique as the life of the person being remembered. Ultimately, the final cost will depend on the services you select when making arrangements.

There are basically three types of cremation service.

Traditional Service with Visitation

With a traditional funeral, there is usually a visitation for public viewing and a funeral service. A rental or “ceremonial” casket is used and the service can be held at a church or funeral home chapel and the casket can be opened or closed during visitation. The actual cremation would be performed after the funeral and the cremated remains are then returned to the family

Cremation with a Memorial Service

A memorial service can be described as a funeral service without the body present. The cremation usually takes place within a day or two following the death. The urn can be present at the Memorial Service which can be held at the funeral home, a church or any place that is meaningful such as a park, beach or other reception area.

Direct Cremation with No Service

This is the most basic type of service. The body is cremated and the cremated remains are returned to the family. There is no service of any kind.

Package Pricing

Every funeral home is required by law to present you with a General Price List (GPL) that lists each service offering and price. To make things simpler and easier to understand, many funeral homes offer packages where a complete service is offered for a set price. Packages should clearly state what is included and what might cost more money.

These fees are generally included in most packages (not all, so be sure to ask):

  • Professional fees of the funeral home and staff
  • Transportation of the deceased to the funeral home
  • The cremation fee
  • Permit
  • Alternative container

These fees are sometimes not included:

  • Death certificates
  • Urn
  • Taxes

Additional fees – Below are some ideas of what might involve an extra charge:

  • Medical examiners fees
  • Transportation (if outside a certain area)
  • Embalming (This is never required by law but is sometimes required for a public viewing.)
  • Death certificates
  • Alternative container
  • Urn
  • Mailing cremated remains
  • Private family viewing

Memorial Options for Cremated Remains

What you choose to do with your loved one’s cremated remains is usually not included in cremation prices unless specified. Here are some typical ways families honor their loved one. Prices for all will vary

  • Keep the urn at home – Cremated remains placed in urn and kept usually at home
  • Keepsake Urns – Small keepsake urns hold a portion of cremated remains – perfect for families who all want to have a remembrance item
  • Burial in a cemetery ground space
  • Placement in a Columbarium (above ground cemetery niche)
  • Scattering at sea
  • Scattering over land
  • Scattering in a “scattering garden”
  • Cremation jewelry – Specialty companies that make jewelry from the cremated remains of your loved one.