Interested in the Easiest and Least Expensive Option?
All funeral homes are required by law to offer a package called “Direct Cremation.” This is the simplest of arrangements with no embalming and no viewing or service held at a funeral home.
In lieu of a viewing, you can keep the body home for up to 48 hours to say goodbye. Cooling is required after that, so if you want more time but no embalming, choose a funeral home that offers refrigeration. If you want to have a home viewing and/or home funeral, talk to us about how to prepare).
In lieu of a service in a funeral home, have a memorial service or celebration of life when you want, without time pressure, and in any location (religious, restaurant, club, home, etc.), with no need to invite (or pay) the funeral director who arranged for the cremation.
Since you can arrange and pay over the phone, you don’t need to visit the funeral home, so location should not be a factor in making your choice. Using a funeral home that is out of town, or even out of state, can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars!
There is a HUGE range of prices for Direct Cremation between funeral homes. It pays to shop around, and it’s easy because funeral homes are required by law to give prices over the telephone.
Check out our most recent How to Shop for Cremation and Prices and you’ll see that market rate prices range from $285 to $4,865. For the same thing. Really. And, those charges don’t include the crematory fee or the cost of an urn, so it’s hard to imagine what special service you could be getting for the extra $4,340, isn’t it?
If you’re comparing costs by phone, ask the following questions:
• What is your charge for Direct Cremation with a minimum alternative container? (cardboard, particleboard)
• How much is the crematory fee?
• Are any additional charges I can expect to pay?
The Direct Cremation package includes picking up the body, obtaining a disposition permit, arranging for the cremation (generally occurs between 24 – 48 hours), transportation, filing the death certificate, placing obituaries (optional), and returning the ashes in a simple container.
Cash advance items that are NOT included:
Crematory charge for cremation
State charge for death certificates (generally $25 for 1st and $5 for each add’l though can vary by location)
State charge for disposition permit ($5)
Newspaper charge for obituary (most papers charge)
Some funeral homes will charge for:
Mileage if outside regular service area
Disposal of ashes
Additional costs for optional items:
Cemetery charge for plot or columbarium
Cemetery charge for opening and closing
Funeral home charge for vault (if required by cemetery
Monument dealer charge for headstone/marker
Fancier urn, embalming, viewing, funeral or memorial service in funeral homes, etc.