What happens during the cremation process? From the Funeral Home receiving the deceased for cremation, to giving the family the cremated remains

Cremation Explained

Are you thinking about cremation as a disposition option but curious about what the whole process entails? It can be difficult making a decision about something that you may not clearly understand, or have questions about.  As more families consider cremation as a death-care alternative, we have put together this guide to explain everything you need to know about the cremation process.

The Funeral Home and/or crematory receiving the deceased

When the funeral home or crematory receive the deceased into their care they will require the family to complete a Personal Details Form.  This provides the funeral director with all the vital statistics he or she requires to begin the process of applying for the death certificate, and enables the funeral home to provide shelter for the deceased with all the correct ID information.

How the deceased’s identify is verified throughout the cremation process

Cremation & ID verificationAll funeral homes and crematories adhere to strict guidelines and rules.  This especially pertains to ensuring the verification of ID throughout the process.

When a body is received into a funeral home or crematory, it is an imperative step that the body is identified by a family member, and ID tagged.  A form of metal tag is generated, and this remains with the body throughout the process.  After the cremation, the metal ID tag is put with the cremated remains.

Most funeral facilities use some kind of project management system to keep track of their cases and what stage in the process they are at.  In some facilities, this may be as simple as a whiteboard and a case file system.  More modern facilities may use bespoke software systems to track and coordinate cases.

Preparing the body for cremation

The funeral home will remove any items that the family do not wish to be cremated with the deceased, such as jewelry.  The deceased can be prepared in whatever clothes the family decide are befitting, similar to the preparation for a funeral.

If the family wish to hold a viewing prior to the cremation, the deceased will be prepared for the family to visit and say their last goodbyes.  As a basic cremation container is used for the purposes of cremation, if a viewing is held, some funeral homes offer rental caskets or a viewing bed.

If the deceased had a pace-maker or other type of medical device, this would need to be removed to prevent it exploding during the cremation process.

What is a ‘cremation container’?

A casket is not required for cremation, although some funeral homes will offer a wooden cremation casket.  More often a standard reinforced cardboard box with a plywood base is used to hold the body. This is called a ‘cremation container’ and burns easily during the cremation process.

Cremation Container

Preparation of permits, authorization and paperwork – the legal aspects of cremation

As I mentioned, there is strict legislation that governs the operation of human cremation, and this includes the submission of legal documents for processing.  A Cremation Authorization Form must be signed by the immediate legal next-of-kin.  A cremation cannot proceed without this form.  If there is more than one next-of-kin (for example: 2 or more siblings), then all siblings must sign the authorization form.

The funeral director will submit to the county office for the death certificate, using the data provided by the family from the Personal Details Form.  If required, he or she will also request the Permit to cremate the deceased.  Some counties require a permit before a cremation, and charge for it, whereas in some counties this is not required.

The charge for the cremation permit varies significantly by county.  Most charge between $10.00 to $60.00 for a permit, but Wisconsin has some of the highest cremation permit fees in the country, with Milwaukee county charging $357 for the coroner’s cremation release fee.

Cremation Laws As cremation is such a final disposition, there is also a legal mandatory wait period after the death occurs before a cremation can go ahead.  This varies by state, but ranges from 24-72 hours.

This means that even if the family have signed all the legal paperwork, and a permit is issued, the cremation cannot be conducted until the mandatory period has expired.  Generally, it will take 2-3 days for all the formal details to be completed anyway prior to the cremation being scheduled.  During this time, the deceased is stored in a refrigerated storage unit, similar to how morgue’s store bodies as embalming is not required for cremation.

How does the cremation chamber or cremation retort operate?

A cremation chamber is otherwise referred to as a cremation retort.  It is an industrial type furnace that can hold one body and incinerate at high temperature.  There are many different types of retorts, and today there are modern and very efficient cremation machines that can be operated by computer and automated.  Most are fueled by gas or propane.

Cremation RetortThe chamber has a door at one end and the cremation container is loaded into the retort via the door.  This is then sealed and the cremation process begins.  This can be manually or automatically.

The chamber is constructed of fire resistant bricks and special masonry that can withstand very high temperatures and is generally housed in a stainless-steel casing.  The temperature within the retort reaches between 1800? F – 2000? F.  The process takes around 2 hours to completely reduce the body to bones and ash.  Some older cremation machines may take up to 3-1/2 hours to cremate.  When a cremation retort has reached full heat, subsequent cremation can take less time.

Once the incineration process is complete, a tray containing the bone fragments and ashes is extracted for the next part of the process.  A cool down period of approximately 30 – 60 minutes is required before the bones and ashes can be processed.

How are cremation ashes processedHow are the cremation ashes processed?

The bone fragments and cremation ash is first ‘filtered’ to check for any metal debris.  This is items such as surgical pins, screws, titanium joints/limbs and metal dental fillings.  Depending on the sophistication of the crematory, this will be done by hand, with a magnet, or with an automated filtering system.  Many crematories are now recycling the metal debris they extract from cremation cases.

The remaining bone fragments are then put into a processing unit that is basically like a grinder.  This unit pulverizes the bone fragments to a fine powder, known as the cremated remains or ashes, that are placed in the cremation urn.  The ID tag will have stayed with the body throughout the cremation process, and this is then placed with the urn in readiness for returning the ashes to the family.

Who can conduct a cremation?

Most funeral homes and crematories employ crematory operatives to run their cremation machines and process their cremation cases.  Sometimes the funeral director may personally handle cases, but a trained crematory operative is versant in the specialized knowledge of safely operating a crematory and handling the deceased for cremation.

How long does it take from the funeral home receiving the deceased to the family receiving the cremated remains back?

The time-frame can vary depending on several criteria.  Firstly, the cremation cannot proceed until all the legal requirements have been met.  Secondly, depending on the crematory, there may be a schedule for cremation.  It is fair to say that it will generally take at least 7 days but quite possibly up to 10 days from the deceased being delivered into the care of the funeral home, until the cremated remains are ready.

However, there are cases where an expedited cremation may be required, which can be facilitated if all the permits and authorizations are in order, but may incur an additional charge.  Likewise, I have known of cases that have taken 21-28 days (or longer) to process a cremation.  This is typically where there is some discrepancy over the issuing of a permit and family consent in the authorization of cremation.

Questions about cremation

Other Frequently Asked Questions about cremation

How long does it take for a body to be cremated?

It takes anywhere between 1-1/2 to 3/1/2 hours to cremate an adult body.  It can depend on the time of day the cremation is conducted (i.e. the retort needs to reach full heat to cremate faster) and the type of cremation machine.

Do you have clothes on when you are cremated?

Yes, the deceased is clothed when placed in the cremation container, and the clothes burn with the body.

Can other personal items be cremated with the deceased?

It is generally acceptable to place a small personal item in the cremation container with the deceased prior to cremation, so long as it is a combustible item, such as flowers or soft toys.

What happens to teeth during a cremation?

Any teeth that do not burn during the process are ground down with the bone fragments during the processing of the ashes.  If the deceased had any gold teeth, the family can decide if they wish to have these removed prior to cremation.

Can an obese or overweight body be cremated?

Yes, many crematories offer barometric cremations.  Larger cremation retorts are required to hold and cremate a body over 600 pounds.  Due to the increase in obesity, some crematories have replaced their standard retort doors with wider doors to be better able to fit a larger body through.

An obese body is likely to burn faster as it contains more fat, but it can be more dangerous to manage the retort and observe the incineration process.  Handling of a body over 350 pounds requires additional equipment and a reinforced cremation container.  For these reasons many crematories will charge a barometric cremation fee.  This will be anywhere between an additional $100 – $400.

How much do cremated remains weigh?

A standard adult cremation will produce an average of 3 to 9 pounds (1.4 to 4.1 kilograms) of cremated remains. The volume of cremation ashes usually depends on the bone structure and density of the person, and not so much their actual weight.

What happens to unclaimed cremated remains?

Not all families choose to collect cremated remains.  Some families do not know what to do with the cremated remains.  They may not want to inter the remains, and do not want to keep them at home.  Some have opted for cremation as a final disposition, and just do not want the remains.

Unclaimed Cremated RemainsSo, unclaimed remains are becoming a growing concern for funeral homes, especially as the direct cremation rate grows.

Some cremation providers are offering incremental scattering services as a simple add-on to a cremation package, so that they can scatter remains in a scattering garden, with the families’ consent.  This alleviates the funeral home of the issue of storing remains indefinitely.

Some cremation providers are now adding clauses to a cremation contract that stipulates if the cremated remains are not collected within 90 days, they have the right to dispose of the remains.  Historically, with a lower cremation rate, a funeral home would store any cremation urns not collected by the family.  There was concern that a family member could turn up years down the line, wanting to retrieve the remains.  But with the rise in cremation, this now has the potential to become a storage nightmare!

Cremated remains that remain unclaimed from indigent funerals are generally held for a period and then a mass interment or scattering is conducted by the county authorities.

Cultural differences in the cremation process

Our cultural attitudes to cremation differ.  In countries across Europe and in Japan, the cremation rate is over 80%.  It is an accepted practice that cremation is a better solution for disposition.  In some countries, this has been driven by a less faith-driven approach to death-care, and by available space for body burial.

Cremation, in some cultures and religions, has been sacred for thousands of years.  There is documented evidence of cremation practice among early Phoenician and Persian culture.  But over time this was replaced with mummifying and burial.

In Hinduism, it is a tradition to cremate the deceased.  Their concept of death being a transition to the next existence, gives them a different perspective on the notion of the body.  Other Indian religions such as Sikhism and Jainism also mandate cremation.

Some crematories that cater to faith’s, like Hinduism, who have specific cremation rituals, will facilitate the rites of cremation that are practiced.  For example, Hindus are required to begin the cremation, and see the deceased enter the cremation chamber.  So, a crematory may have a special viewing area with a control button, and a family member can observe the cremation container entering and start the machine.  Where possible, they will help the family observe the rituals that are a sacred part of the funeral rites.

What does cremation cost?

The cost for a cremation varies.  This depends on the type of cremation service selected, and also the cremation service provider you use.  The most affordable cremation service is a direct cremation.  This is a cremation without any ceremony provided by the funeral service provider.  Direct cremation is growing in popularity as it is an efficient and cost-effective disposition alternative.  Families who choose direct cremation can still conduct a memorial service when they have the cremated remains returned to them.  But this does not have to be done immediately, so can allow for a family to plan their own memorial or ash-scattering service at a time that suits them.

Average cremation costs 2018

 

Why is direct cremation so popular today? Cremation trends in 2019

The cremation rate has risen exponentially over the last 6 years to reach almost 55 percent in 2018.  It seems that more Americans are opting for a cremation service these days instead of a burial service.  We are in changing times, and most significantly, cremation offers a more affordable and flexible death care alternative to traditional burial.  More people are looking for “simple and affordable” alternatives, and direct cremation is leading the cremation trend.

The term ‘direct cremation’ is an industry term, that represents what many would refer to as a simple or basic cremation.

Cremation services save thousands on the cost of a funeral service

A traditional burial service would cost in the region of $10,000 to $15,000.  A cremation service costs in the region of $3,000.  A direct cremation can be arranged for even less than this.  For many families who are struggling with finances, and living paycheck to paycheck, even raising $3,000 can seem impossible.

A direct cremation service can be purchased in most areas for between $700 and $1,500 at the time of need.  This means that direct cremation offers a much more affordable death care solution for many families where finances are a big concern.

Cremation Service Why is there such a big shift to direct cremation?

Direct cremation is the most economical cremation option available to families.  And, where many families are choosing direct cremation for financial reasons, there is also a demand today simply for affordable and ‘no-fuss’ cremation.  Even individuals who are not governed by financial limitations are opting for direct cremation.  Why?  Because it seems there is a shift away from the need for traditional funeral services.  Direct cremation offers a simple and flexible disposition.  For families with relatives who have transplanted and migrated to different states or cities, a direct cremation offers an easy way to coordinate death care requirements at the place of death, and memorial services as and when convenient.

Affordable Pre-need Cremation Plans

Preplanning a direct cremation can be arranged for around $2,500.  This secures a direct cremation when the need arises, and is still an affordable way to pre-plan and have peace of mind.  Today’s senior population and baby boomer generation understand the benefit of prepaying a cremation plan now to give them a sense of preparation, and save their children from the financial burden of funeral costs.

This demographic of 50+ also seem to be leading a shift away from traditional funerals.  They want something simple and have more creative ideas about memorialization.  Direct cremation fits with their mind-set.

Direct cremation vs. Cremation Memorial services

Most funeral homes still tend to want to sway families to a cremation that includes a viewing or funeral service. Naturally, they feel that their ‘expertise’ in helping families memorialize and process grief, is an intrinsic part of their service offer.  However, industry reports indicate that of all cremations performed, the majority are direct cremations.  It seems the funeral industry prefers to keep this data somewhat quiet!

Understandably, the funeral industry wants to try and keep direct cremation ‘suppressed’ as much as possible.  It means their revenue and profit-margins decline significantly.  However, the industry IS aware of this huge shift.  Service Corporation International (SCI), the largest corporate death care company, has invested in direct cremation with the Neptune Society.  Neptune Society is a direct cremation company.

Other regional death care companies have quietly acquired funeral businesses that have positioned themselves to serve the direct cremation market.

Price-shopping is a reality in the death care market

Purchasing funeral services used to not be about discussing costs.  A funeral purchase is a ‘distressed purchase’ and it seemed disrespectful to inquire about costs.  Today, we are so entrenched in price-shopping and comparing prices.  And now this is impacting on the funeral business.

Now, we have funeral businesses who are Google-advertising competing in the ‘best price’.  Indeed, some areas almost have a price-war over direct cremation prices.

So, whether the funeral industry embraces it or not, direct cremation is becoming the popular disposition option within the death care market today.

Arranging an affordable cremation service in Clearwater, FL – Just $895

Cremation service Clearwater FLWant to know how to arrange a dignified funeral at an affordable cost? We have put together this guide to help you understand how you can save thousands arranging a funeral.  In fact, you can arrange a simple, basic cremation for just $895!

The average cost of a traditional funeral in Clearwater is $6,731*, and this does not include cemetery costs, so it is understandable that many families today are looking to more affordable alternatives.  Cremation is now becoming the preferred, more affordable option to conduct a dignified, yet simple funeral service at a fraction of the full cost of a traditional funeral.

Why choose cremation services?

Cremation offers an inexpensive and flexible alternative to a burial service.  Choosing cremation services can save you 40% to 60% (or sometimes more) on the cost of traditional burial services.  This is because a casket is not required, or embalming (unless required) and there is no immediate need for a cemetery plot or burial vault.  Eliminating these just these few products and services saves thousands of dollars alone.

A cremation can offer a more flexible alternative that can accommodate families who have moved from their home state, or when a funeral cannot be held straight away.  Cremation also offers a greater range of personalization options with a whole array of ash-scattering ceremony possibilities, and various cremation artifact products.

What different cremation alternatives do I have?

There are 3 main types of cremation service options.  A cremation funeral – where the funeral service is held with the deceased present and a cremation is conducted after the service.  A cremation memorial – where the cremation is conducted before a memorial service is held.  This can be with, or without, the cremated remains present and can often take the form of an ash-scattering ceremony.  Or there is a direct cremation – this is where the deceased is cremated with no services, and the remains given back to the family.  There are some variances around these 3 main options, such as a private viewing before cremation, an observed cremation, or a graveside interment of a cremation urn.

How much does a cremation cost in Clearwater?

The cost of a cremation can vary considerably.  This will depend upon the type of cremation service you opt for and the cremation services provider you select.  The average cost of a cremation memorial service is $3,656, depending upon the length of service held and what kind of casket you purchase or rent.  The average cost of a direct cremation is $1,979*, although a direct cremation package can be conducted for just $895 with DFS Memorials.

Direct cremation services in Clearwater, FL

If you are working to a budget for your funeral expenses, you may wish to consider a direct cremation.  A direct cremation is the cheapest cremation option.  The funeral services provider does everything to take care of the immediate disposition of the deceased but no viewing or services are held.  The deceased is cremated in a simple cremation container and then the cremated remains are made available for the family or collect (or if requested delivered/mailed).  A direct cremation can be arranged online or by phone without any need for you to visit a funeral home.  For your best price on a direct cremation contact your DFS Memorials provider in Clearwater on (727) 201-1616 who offers a complete direct cremation package for just $895.

How do I choose a cremation services provider?

This can sometimes be a daunting task when there are several funeral homes to choose between.  It may help to set yourself some clear criteria to help you select the provider that best suits your needs.  Which funeral services provider you select can be influenced by what facilities and services they offer, or what budget you have.

As we have highlighted, costs can vary quite significantly between funeral homes for the exact same service.  For this reason we would recommend you compare some costs before making a decision.

Comparing cremation costs in Clearwater, FL

All funeral homes have a general price list (GPL) and this should itemize all services and charges.  Legally a funeral home must provide you with a copy of their GPL if you request cremation price information, either in person or by phone.

According to funeral price research surveys in Clearwater, the average cost of a direct cremation is $3,656, although a direct cremation can be arranged for less than this with some cremation providers.  DFS Memorials offer a direct cremation service for $895.

When comparing costs and services check what IS included, especially with a budget direct cremation package.  Is a copy of the death certificate included?  Is the cremation permit an additional cash advance item or included?  What about if an out-of-hours collection is required? Is there an additional daily refrigeration charge if the cremation does not proceed after 48-hours?  Death certificates cost $5.00 for the first certificate and $4 for each additional death certificate required.  You should also note that the county coroner may charge a fee if they are required to sign the death certificate.

What legally do I need to know about arranging a cremation in Clearwater?

There are a few legal requirements that you need to be aware of if you are considering cremation. Firstly, the legal next-of-kin must all sign the ‘Cremation Authorization Form’ before a cremation can proceed.

In Florida there is a mandatory 24-hour wait period after death before the cremation can proceed. Before a cremation can go ahead the doctor must sign and fill out the cause of death, and the county health department must issue a permit to cremate.  The deceased will be refrigerated during this period, and longer if required, however you should be aware that many cremation packages will only include refrigeration for up to 5 days and will charge you a daily rate thereon.

Death certificates and permits are considered ‘cash advance’ items and not generally included in a quoted cremation price.  The funeral director will generally obtain the death certificates on your behalf.

Can I preplan a cremation?

Yes you can prearrange a cremation.  Advance planning can help to ensure you get the most appropriate services provider for your needs, and can save surviving family the financial and emotional burden at the time of death.  There are various options open to you to plan ahead so consult with your preferred services provider.  A pre-arranged direct cremation plan can be preplanned at a low cost to ensure your family do not have the burden about worrying about funeral costs.

What can we do with the cremated remains?

As I mentioned earlier there is a versatility on what you can do with cremated remains.  You can inter a cremation urn in a cemetery plot or niche, keep an urn at home, scatter the remains or create a cremation artifact such as a cremation diamond, glass paperweight, bird bath or memorial reef ball to name but a few!

The deceased had no life insurance – is there any help with cremation costs?

Sadly there is little financial aid that supports those families that find themselves struggling with funeral costs.  Most counties do have a budget for indigent funerals but this is generally for those individuals who truly are indigent.  Some counties do have limited funds to help low-income families with cremation costs but this can vary county by county.  You would need to make inquiries with Pinellas County Human Services Department at 647 1st Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL 33701 to find out if any assistance is available to you.  In these cases often the most basic of funeral services will be supported, with limited control over what happens.  A low cost direct cremation from DFS Memorials can be arranged for $895.

Cremation services in Clearwater FLWhat is “no-cost cremation”?

Some funeral homes now offer this option in Clearwater.  This is referring to whole body donation whereby after the donation is complete the remains are cremated (free of charge) and then returned to the family or scattered.   Generally funeral homes can get a referral fee from the whole body donation organization, plus they sometimes charge a transportation fee.  So all-in-all they do still recoup their costs.  As we all know, there really is nothing that is truly free!

How do I obtain a copy of a death certificate?

You can obtain copies of a death certificate from the Vital Records office at: 8751 Ulmerton Road, Largo, FL 33771 Phone: (727) 507-4330

What happens if the deceased is taken to the Coroner’s Office?

If there were circumstances surrounding the death that led to the deceased being taken to the County Coroner’s office, you will need to employ the services of a funeral director as soon as possible to liaise with the Coroner to have the body released into their care.  Only a licensed funeral director can collect a body from the Coroner’s morgue.

Pinellas County Coroner, 10900 Ulmerton Rd, Largo, FL 33778, USA

Hopefully this short guide to arranging an affordable cremation service in Clearwater has answered some of your questions, and helped you understand how to save costs on a cremation.  If you would like to read more extensively about cremation planning, please visit the library section on US Funerals Online.

*Prices obtained from online funeral price comparison survey 2018

How to arrange direct Cremation Services in Cape Coral, FL – $895

Cremation service Cape Coral FLThe shift to cremation is sweeping across the nation as families demand more affordable death care alternatives.  Cremation is now fast becoming a disposition choice for many families in Florida.

For those families who do not want to overspend on a funeral, or simply do not have the funds for a costly funeral, cremation is a low-cost alternative.

What is the average cost of a funeral in Cape Coral?

These days we are discerning consumers, very mindful of costs, and people now feel the same way about purchasing funeral services.  Why should we not ask how much it costs?  The average cost of a traditional funeral in Cape Coral is $7,091*, although the lowest price is $5,090*.

So how do cremation costs compare in Cape Coral?

Cremation offers a cheaper and more flexible alternative to a traditional burial, and can therefore significantly reduce funeral costs.

No casket, cemetery plot or burial vault is required, immediately reducing some of the most expensive purchases related to funeral expenses.

The average price for a cremation funeral service in Cape Coral is $3,520*.

Direct cremation services in Cape Coral, FL

Direct cremation is the industry term for a ‘simple cremation’.  Only the cremation service is provided by the funeral home.  No ceremony or funeral services are provided by the funeral home.  The deceased is collected, cremated and the remains returned to the family in a basic urn.

Direct cremation offers families lower cost funeral services and more control over the time and type of memorial ceremonial services they desire.  A memorial service can be held in a place of worship, a community venue or even outdoors.  The service can be conducted with, or without, the cremation urn present, and can even take the form of an ash-scattering ceremony or interment in a cremation niche or scattering garden.

A basic direct cremation is available in Cape Coral for $895, although the average price for a direct cremation is $1,561.   To help families arrange affordable cremation services we have selected only family-owned cremation services providers who can offer a basic cremation package for just $895.

Direct cremation means a family can manage to conduct dignified funeral services for as little as $895Cremation costs in Cape Coral FL

Call now on (239) 244-2418 now to arrange a low-cost cremation

Are there are additional fees to the $895 cremation package?

In order for a cremation to be conducted a ‘disposition permit’ must be issued by the county.  At present there is no charge for this.  Death certificates are an additional cost, as these are issued by the county, and are a third-party expense.  Death certificates cost $5 for the first certificate and $4 for each additional copy issued.

How do I know that I am getting the remains of my loved one back?

This is one of the most frequent questions families ask about cremation.  Strict laws govern the cremation of human remains and identity checks must be made all along the way.  The cremation retort must be completely cleared following a cremation and only one cremation can be performed at a time.  The remains are cleared into a machine that filters out any metal parts (tooth fillings, hip replacements) and then ground into the fine ‘dust’ that is returned as cremation ashes.

What if I am not sure about cremation or the family cannot agree about cremation?

Cremation is such a final disposition, you do need to ensure that you are completely sure that this IS the ‘right’ disposition choice for you.  Certain laws are in place to ensure this final disposition can only proceed if the legal next of kin has authorized it.  A Cremation Authorization Form must be signed by the legal next of kin, and in the case of children, many funeral directors will require all children sign.

You can authorize an agent for your final disposition or sign the authorization when you preplan a cremation.

What can you do with the cremated remains?

The options of what you can do with the cremated remains of your loved one are one of the reasons cremation is becoming more popular.

You can, of course, just choose to inter the remains in a cemetery plot. You can inter the remains in a niche or columbarium, or you can keep the ashes at home.  Keepsake urns even enable you to disperse the ashes between several family members, or choose to scatter some and retain a ‘keepsake’ memorial.

Ash scattering is also more common these days and there are many options for how you can create a befitting ash scattering ceremony.

How quickly can a cremation be performed?

It generally takes a few days to make the necessary arrangements, complete all the legal paperwork and schedule the cremation.  However, expedited services can be arranged if required.  In Florida there is a mandatory 24 hour wait period after death before a cremation can be conducted.

What do I do if I cannot even afford a cremation

There is very little ‘free’ money to help families with funeral costs.   What is available is constantly changing due to budget constraints, and varies by county.  Some counties do have a provision to assist needy or low-income families.

Contact Lee county DFCS to find out what may be available to you locally: 2440 Thompson St, Fort Myers, FL 33901  Phone: 239-533-7930

There is also a $255 lump sum social security death benefit payment if the deceased qualifies, and your funeral director can help you claim this.  So you may find that a low-cost cremation at $895 with DFS Memorials is a dignified, yet affordable, disposition alternative if your family is struggling financially.

If you have further questions about cremation, feel free to call us on (239) 244-2418 and we will be happy to try and help you.

*funeral prices obtained from online funeral price survey website 2018

Save money using a rental casket for a cremation service

Renting an item or service, that we do not want to pay out the full expense for, is pretty standard these days.  We rent homes, cars, suits, tools and movies to name but a few.  So, why not rent a casket for a funeral instead of the huge cost of purchasing a casket?

Rental caskets are not a new phenomenon, they have been around for years.  Funeral homes offered them to families who could not afford (or did not want the expense) of purchasing an elaborate casket for a funeral.  A rental casket could be used for the purpose of the visitation and funeral, with the deceased later moved into a more basic casket for burial.

With the shift towards cremation, there has been a growing demand for a ceremonial casket that can be used for a ceremony prior to a cremation.  Funeral homes may have used a standard casket as a rental casket, which required de-sanitization after each rental, and the deceased physically being moved in and out of the casket.  Today, a funeral home can purchase a bespoke ceremonial rental casket to offer their families more flexibility in their casket and ceremony choices.

What is a ceremonial rental casket?

Rental casket for cremationA ceremonial rental casket appears from the outside very like a standard casket.  The difference is that the casket is structured so that an inner cremation container is held as an ‘insert’ within the casket.  This can be easily slid out after the visitation or ceremony for the deceased to be cremated.

This means the deceased remains within the simple cremation container always, so there is no unnecessary physical man-handling of the deceased.  It also enables the funeral home to offer a ‘sanitized’ rental casket, as the body is always held within an inner insert.

What costs can be saved in opting to use a rental casket for a cremation?

A funeral casket generally costs around $2,000, but some models can cost as much as $10,000.

A rental casket will cost between $750 to $1,500 to rent for a funeral ceremony.  So, choosing to rent a ceremonial rental casket is likely to save you at least $1,250 or more on your casket expenses.

What are the benefits of choosing a rental casket?

The main benefit is the saving on costs for a casket.  It can also be easier for the family to decide about holding a visitation or ceremony before the cremation, if they do not have to make a decision about purchasing a casket.

This year (2018) the NFDA report that the cremation rate will reach 53.5%.  Families are often choosing cremation because it saves on funeral costs. Funeral homes and families can benefit from the reduced cost of using rental caskets.  The family save on casket costs, and the funeral home can generate some revenue from renting a ceremonial casket, as opposed to losing a casket sale altogether.  Renting a casket is more sustainable.

How do you obtain a cremation rental casket?

Ceremonial rental caskets are sold by casket wholesalers to funeral homes.  You would need to find a funeral home that has rental caskets available.  As more families show interest in renting a casket for a cremation service, then more funeral homes will see the advantage in offering the choice of a rental casket.

Ceremonial casket with insert

Do I need a funeral home if I just want cremation?

This is a question I have been asked more than several times by families.  With the increasing interest in direct cremation, a family may question their need to deal with a funeral home at all.  Now this may all depend on which state you are in, and whether your funeral services provider has their own crematory.

Do I legally have to employ a funeral director?

In most states, you do not.  In fact, there are only 8 states that have laws in place specifically requiring you to employ a funeral director for death-care services.  A list of these and their specific funeral laws can be found here on a guide to DIY Funerals – Home Funeral Care.

Can I transport the deceased direct to a crematory?

In those states that do not require a funeral director to legally transport the deceased, it may be possible for you to transport the deceased in a suitable cremation container or casket directly to the crematory.  Of course, moving a dead body is not for everyone.  There are considerations to make about how easily the body can be moved, and public health and safety aspects of managing a corpse.

What is a ‘direct’ cremation?  And what services do the funeral home offer?

A direct cremation is where only the cremation is facilitated by the funeral services provider.  No visitation, viewing or ceremony is held.  The deceased is transferred from the place of death to the funeral home or crematory.  There he or she is placed in refrigerated shelter for a few days while all the correct authorizations and permits are obtained.  Once all legal requirements are met, the deceased is cremated in a basic cremation container.  The cremation ashes are then returned to the family in a temporary cremation urn.

Cremation planningThe funeral director arranges the transportation of the deceased, assists the family with completing the necessary arrangements, authorizations and submission for the death certificate.

A direct cremation service from a funeral home is a minimal service level package.  As the cost for a direct cremation service is at an ‘entry point’ level, so too are the services that the funeral home offer.

Some funeral service providers offer more than one direct cremation package. From a minimal direct cremation service where most of the arrangements are made online, to concierge services where more support and extra benefits such as copies of the death certificate, obituary notice and upgraded cremation urns are offered.

What are the benefits of employing a funeral director to conduct a direct cremation?

Employing a funeral home, or funeral director, to conduct a direct cremation service does mean that you are using the services of a licensed professional with experience.  Although, in many states it is not a legal requirement, it can still be a preferred option to let someone who knows exactly what they are doing to handle everything.

Cremation LawsThe funeral director will already have processes in place for collating the data required legally to issue a death certificate, and obtain cremation authorizations and permits from the county.

Also, it can take several days to complete these before the cremation can go ahead, so you can be assured that your loved one is sheltered with care. In many states there is a mandatory wait period after death before a cremation can proceed. (24-48 hours)

With direct cremation gaining more popularity as the ‘simple’ cremation option, so more funeral service providers are offering competitive direct cremation packages.  So, you may find that for under $1,000 in many cities, it is much simpler to employ a cremation provider to handle everything!

Do you need a casket for a cremation?

Cremation ContainerThe simple answer is no.  Legally there is no requirement for a casket.  Generally, for a direct cremation a simple cremation container is used.  This is a reinforced cardboard container, often with a plywood bottom.  This burns easily during the cremation process.  Alternatively, simple plywood or pine coffins can be used.  A direct cremation is offered at such an affordable price because only a basic cremation container is used.

More funeral homes are also offering rental caskets for their cremation families.  A ceremonial cremation rental casket is designed to house the basic cremation container inside for the purpose of a viewing or ceremony, then the cremation container with the body, simply slides out and can be moved to the crematory for cremation.  This means that even if a funeral service or viewing is required prior to cremation, you do not need to purchase a casket, and can reduce overall cremation costs.

What can you do with the cremation ashes if you opt for a cremation without a ceremony?

This is another question I am asked about frequently with more families choosing a simple cremation.  Less families are concerned about interring cremation ashes, especially sometimes with the costs involved.  What had been an inexpensive cremation can become costlier with cemetery or columbarium cremation niche fees.

Some families just want to scatter the ashes after some kind of family memorial service.  All of which makes the whole disposition process inexpensive and personal.  There is also no time-frame to have to do something with the ashes.  This can allow family members to take time to grieve and decide on some befitting final resting place at a later date.

There are also many different cremation artifact products now where some of the ashes can be blended into a keepsake memorial.

The growing market for simple and direct cremation is changing how funeral homes operate, and giving more control and options to families.   If you need to find out the cost for a direct cremation in your area, use the state links to find your nearest city and DFS Memorials provider.

What does a direct cremation cost in Deltona, FL – $895

Cremation service Deltona FLToday more and more families are deciding they want a simple and more affordable funeral option.  Be it that they cannot afford to spend thousands of dollars on a funeral, or simply want a ‘no fuss’ alternative.  Direct cremation is the cheapest funeral alternative.

For those families in Deltona who do not want to overspend on a funeral, or simply cannot afford a costly funeral, cremation is a low-cost alternative.

What is the average cost of a funeral in Deltona?

These days we are discerning consumers, very mindful of costs, and people are now realizing they can price-shop for funeral services.  Why should we not ask how much it costs?  The Internet offers a great tool to research funeral costs from the comfort of your own home.  Unfortunately, not all funeral homes have websites, or put their prices online, so we have put this guide together to outline average funeral and cremation costs in Deltona for you.

The average cost of a traditional funeral in Deltona is $5,985*.

So how do cremation costs compare in Deltona?

Cremation offers a cheaper and more flexible alternative to a traditional burial, and can therefore significantly reduce funeral costs.

No casket, cemetery plot or burial vault is required, immediately reducing some of the most expensive purchases related to funeral expenses.

The average price for a cremation funeral service in Deltona is $2,940*.

Direct cremation services in Deltona, FL

Direct cremation is the funeral industry term for a ‘simple cremation’.  Only the cremation service is provided by the funeral home.  No ceremony or funeral services are provided by the funeral home.  The deceased is collected, cremated and the remains returned to the family in a basic urn.

Cremation prices in Deltona FLDirect cremation offers families lower cost funeral services and more control over the time and type of memorial ceremonial services they desire.  A memorial service can be held in a place of worship, a community venue or even outdoors.  The service can be conducted with, or without, the cremation urn present, and can even take the form of an ash-scattering ceremony or interment in a cremation niche or scattering garden.

A basic direct cremation is available in Deltona for $895, although the average price for a direct cremation is $995.  To help families arrange affordable cremation services we have selected only family-owned cremation services providers who can offer a basic cremation package for just $895.

Direct cremation means a family can manage to conduct dignified funeral services for as little as $895

Call now on (386) 487-2922 now to arrange a low-cost cremation

In order for a cremation to be conducted a ‘disposition permit’ must be issued by the county.  At present there is no charge for this.  Death certificates are an additional cost, as these are issued by the county, and are a third-party expense.  Death certificates cost $5 for the first certificate and $4 for each additional copy issued.

How do I know that I am getting the remains of my loved one back?

This is one of the most frequent questions families ask about cremation.  Strict laws govern the cremation of human remains and identity checks must be made all along the way.  The cremation retort must be completely cleared following a cremation and only one cremation can be performed at a time.  The remains are cleared into a machine that filters out any metal parts (tooth fillings, hip replacements) and then ground into the fine ‘dust’ that is returned as cremation ashes.

What if I am not sure about cremation or the family cannot agree about cremation?

Cremation is such a final disposition, you do need to ensure that you are completely sure that this IS the ‘right’ disposition choice for you.  Certain laws are in place to ensure this final disposition can only proceed if the legal next of kin has authorized it.  A Cremation Authorization Form must be signed by the legal next of kin, and in the case of children, many funeral directors will require all children sign.

You can authorize an agent for your final disposition or sign the authorization when you preplan a cremationash scattering detona

What can you do with the cremated remains?

The options of what you can do with the cremated remains of your loved one are one of the reasons cremation is becoming more popular.  You can, of course, just choose to inter the remains in a cemetery plot. You can inter the remains in a niche or columbarium, or you can keep the ashes at home.  Keepsake urns even enable you to disperse the ashes between several family members, or choose to scatter some and retain a ‘keepsake’ memorial.

Ash scattering is also more common these days and there are many options for how you can create a befitting ash scattering ceremony.

Can I preplan a direct cremation at an affordable cost?

Yes.  You can preplan a simple direct cremation service.  This is generally funded through an insurance product that will cover this cost when the need arises.  All monies are secured in a trust fund.

How quickly can a cremation be performed?

It generally takes a few days to make the necessary arrangements, complete all the legal paperwork and schedule the cremation.  However, expedited services can be arranged if required.  In Florida there is a mandatory 24 hour wait period after death before a cremation can be conducted.

What do I do if I cannot even afford a cremation?

There is very little ‘free’ money to help families with funeral costs.   What is available is constantly changing due to budget constraints, and varies by county.  Some counties do have a provision to assist needy or low-income families.  Contact Volusia county DFCS to find out what may be available to you locally: Volusia County DFCS, 107 Canal St, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168 Phone: (386) 423-3309

There is also a $255 lump sum social security death benefit payment if the deceased qualifies, and your funeral director can help you claim this.  So you may find that a low-cost cremation at $895 with DFS Memorials is a dignified, yet affordable, disposition alternative if your family is struggling financially.

What is the service area around Deltona?

The $895 direct cremation package is in Deltona and surrounding counties.

If you have further questions about cremation, feel free to call us on (386) 487-2922 and we will be happy to try and help you.

*funeral prices obtained from online funeral price survey website 2018

What is a cremation plan and why should you consider one?

The nation is shifting towards cremation as a preferred disposition method.  What do you need to know about preplanning a cremation?  We are being asked more frequently about a cremation plan, how to set up a plan, how much it costs, and what it entails, so here let’s try and answer some of those questions.

What is a cremation plan?

Cremation planningA cremation plan is simply a preplanned cremation option.  It is much like a funeral plan, you take the time to make final arrangements for yourself (or a loved one) and ensure the important documentation is prepared.

Many people still find it a bit undesirable to discuss death-care plans.  But planning ahead can save your loved ones from the stress and financial burden of making arrangements when the time comes.

How can you set up a cremation plan?

You can choose several ways to set up a cremation plan.  Just like preplanning a funeral, you can visit a local funeral services provider, discuss your requirements, and prepare the necessary documentation.  You can opt to preplan and pay for your cremation plan.  Funds for a preplanned cremation are generally either put into trust (as legally required in most states), or sometimes a plan can be funded by an insurance product that will cover your final costs.

However, it is also possible to plan for a cremation, without having to prepay.  This can be desirable if you wish to have the legal documentation in order, but do not want to prepay the funds.  This is more of a matter of laying out your wishes for cremation, and signing the required Cremation Authorization Form.  It is then possible to set aside funds in a POD account to cover the cremation cost.

A cremation cannot legally proceed unless a Cremation Authorization Form has been signed by the legal next of kin.  This can sometimes cause family disputes and delay a cremation proceeding.  If cremation is what you, or a family member, want…then it can make it easier for surviving family, and your next of kin, if this document has already been completed as part of a cremation plan.  It is possible to pre-authorize a cremation as part of a cremation plan in those states that allow it.

How much does it cost for a cremation plan?

The price for a cremation plan will differ.  It will depend on which service provider you select, and on the payment terms determined.  If you require a simple direct cremation plan, then the costs for this type of cremation plan are within the region of $1,200 to $3,000.  A direct cremation service (at-need) costs around $1,000 on average, but with a preplan there is a need to build in inflation costs.

Can I pay for a cremation plan in installments?

Some cremation providers do offer cremation plans that can be paid over an installment period.  So, you would agree your plan with the provider, who would determine the cost, and Saving on cremation costsoffer you the option to make payments over an agreed period.

This can help for those families that would like the option to plan and prepay, but do not want to make the payment all at once.

If anything should happen before the plan is paid in full, surviving family would be liable for the outstanding balance.

It is also VERY important to ensure your family know about your cremation plan, and have access to the documentation.  It is not unheard of that surviving family have already made funeral plans, or even gone ahead with a funeral, before finding out that their loved one actually had a cremation plan in place.

What do you need to do know about preplanning a cremation?

Cremation prearrangements ensure that your wishes are met.  Today, I meet with a lot of people who say, “I just want to be cremated”, along with ideas about what kind of memorialization they would like.  If you, or a loved one, has specific requests about cremation and your final disposition then preplanning helps ensure you are in control.  Losing a loved one is a very difficult time, and if the key decisions have already been itemized, it can make it so much easier emotionally for family.

Many of our senior population are realizing their children may not financially be in a position to unexpectedly pay out funeral costs.  Preplanning a cremation enables them to have peace of mind that their funeral wishes will be met, without burdening their children.

What are the advantages of setting up a cremation plan?

I have outlined below the key advantages of setting up a cremation plan:

Preplan cremation

Relieve family of the financial & emotional burden

By far, one of the main reasons people choose to preplan is to relieve their family of making these emotional decisions and bearing the burden of the financial cost.  Too often, grieving family make emotional decisions that can end up costing them even more on a funeral bill.

Instead of having to spend time, and answer questions, about arrangements, everyone can refer to the specifics of the cremation plan and wishes as they were set out.

Peace of mind

Unfortunately, we do not like to talk about death.  We especially are not fond of discussing this topic with our loved ones.  This can sometimes leave parents, or grandparents, worried about how they can communicate their wishes and how we will cope in the aftermath of their loss.  Taking the time to make a cremation plan can provide peace of mind, knowing that your loved ones will have a ‘plan’ to go to when the time comes.

Control of your final wishes

If you have decided that your final wish is to be cremated, it can help to have planned.  This ensures your wish will be honored.  As mentioned, there are legal requirements that MUST be met before a cremation can be conducted.  It is such a final disposition method, that these laws are in place to help protect families.

Personalization

We all embrace personalizes our lives these days….so why not choose how you wish to personalize your final passage?  Taking the time to make a cremation plan enables you to make specific personal requests.  Is there particular music you would like played?  A special place for a memorial service or an ash-scattering?  If you have not had chance, or it has been difficult, to discuss this with your family, then making a plan allows you to outline what your personal requests are.

Discussing death is still somewhat of a taboo subject.  But times are changing and with over 54% of Americans now opting for cremation as a final disposition, it becomes more important than ever to make plans.

Cremation rate rises faster than forecast!

The annual National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) Cremation & Burial report has been released, and the data forecasts that the cremation rate is rising faster than originally predicted.

The cremation rate was originally predicted to reach 75% by 2035, now it appears the cremation rate is more likely to reach 80% by 2035.  This forecast has implications for the funeral business as a whole, when within the last 10 years, the cremation rate has risen exponentially affecting a funeral home’s gross annual revenue.

Cremation rates in the US between 1960-2035

Credit: Statista.com

Why is the cremation rate rising so fast?

The rise in cremation is largely being driven by consumer demand for more affordable, flexible and simple funeral alternatives.  This new market of baby boomers, families living paycheck to paycheck, and consumers moving away from conventional rituals is leading a shift towards cremation services.

Comparing Cremation PricesCremation is more affordable.  The average cremation service is likely to be half to a third of the cost of a burial service.  A casket is not required, especially if a cremation memorial or direct cremation is performed.

Some funeral homes are even offering rental caskets now for the purpose of conducting a cremation funeral.  This can save $500 – $1,500 on funeral costs alone.

There is no immediate need for a cemetery plot or burial vault, both of which can add $2,000+ to the overall cost of conducting a burial service.  Embalming is not required for a cremation, so this is another general cost eliminated from the total funeral bill.  Embalming can cost anywhere between $500 – $1,000.

So, as you can quickly surmise, cremation can present an immediate saving on funeral costs of approximately $4,000.

Cremation rates across the United States

Although the cremation rate this year is forecast to be around 53%, the cremation rate still varies across the nation.  The states with the highest cremation rate (over 70%) are Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.  These are now being fast followed by states such as Arizona, California, Florida, and New Mexico.

The cremation rate is lower among the Midwest states and the southern states, although these states that had traditionally had a much lower interest in cremation, are reporting a more significant increase in their cremation rates.

An industry in change: funeral homes adapting to a new market

The funeral industry has long been a very traditional and stoic industry.  Some critics would describe it as a slow to respond to change.  However, there are funeral companies that are now specifically catering to the growing demand for cremation services.

Service Corporation International (SCI) has reduced its base cremation price in recent months, and begun a marketing campaign aimed at cremation customers.  SCI also bought 70% shares in The Neptune Society in 2011, a direct cremation company, operate a very active cremation plan direct marketing campaign, and have increased the number of Neptune Society locations in the last 5 years.

The average independent funeral home has maybe found this market shift to cremation more challenging to respond to.  A cremation service has a lower price value.  In the case of direct cremation, very minimal input is required by a funeral director, as no ceremony is provided by the funeral home.  With no casket, no funeral service, and a simple cremation service….a funeral home is looking at a significant drop in revenues!

Comparing cremation prices

Arrange a cremation onlineIt seems todays’ potential cremation consumer has become savvier, and more concerned, with comparing the costs for cremation.  Funeral homes are having to respond to this demand for transparent cremation pricing by openly disclosing cremation prices, either online or over the phone.  More funeral homes are choosing to openly offer their general price list (GPL) and cremation package pricing on their websites.  California even now legally requires a funeral home to disclose their GPL on their website.

A number of online platforms and websites have emerged aimed at providing cremation cost comparison services over the last few years.  However, a consumer must consider the subjectivity of the information provided.   Websites like Heritage Cremation and Legacy Cremation advertise a cremation service nationwide between $695 – $1,395, but do not provide a specific price for an area.  Other websites have gathered GPL’s from a range of funeral homes in an area, but may not include ALL funeral homes in an area, and require a visitor to search through funeral home after funeral home to compare pricing.  Or require a fee for a pricing report, or to submit your personal contact information to obtain a cremation price.

Some funeral home websites provide their own funeral pricing comparison charts for their own market, but may choose to omit any local providers offering a lower price than them.

DFS Memorials aims to help you quickly identify a local, independent cremation provider and provide you with his direct cremation service charge.  So, at your time of need, you do not have to become overwhelmed comparing cremation prices.  Cremation providers selected for the network all offer a ‘best value’ direct cremation package to their local community.

5 Funeral Trends that are changing death care traditions as we know them

The funeral industry is experiencing an era of change in the 21st century.  It is probably the most seismic change the death care business has experienced for over 2 centuries.  A once very traditional and stoic industry is being affected by shifts in consumer demand.

So, what funeral trends are happening?  And how are they affecting funeral homes and funeral consumers?

Funeral & Cremation Trends 2018#1  The demand for affordable cremation

Cremation has soared in popularity in the last 10 years, and in the last 3 years has moved to becoming the preferred option for the majority of Americans, with the cremation rate reaching 55% last year and set to reach 71% by 2030 according to Cremation Association of North America (CANA).

Although some families choose cremation with a funeral or memorial service, it is the demand for direct cremation as a simple, no-fuss and affordable funeral alternative that is making up the core of the cremation business.  Providers in the DFS Memorials Affordable Cremation Network report that up to 80% of cremation cases they handle are now direct cremation cases.

#2  An interest in eco-friendlier funeral alternatives

There appears to be a growing interest (especially in certain states) for eco-friendlier funeral options.  Many consider cremation eco-friendlier than a traditional burial with embalming fluids, concrete and steel being buried into the earth.  Some families that still opt for burial are considering natural burial, and even traditional cemeteries are adding hybrid green burial sections to their cemetery to cater to this demand.

#3  A break away from convention in rituals

Society is changing, and how we approach life rituals is part of that change.  There have been changes in our attitudes to how we approach births for some time now, with a greater interest in natural birthing processes.  Some families have moved away from a somber funeral ritual to choose a Life Celebration event instead, breaking the convention of a traditional funeral service.

#4  Personalization

Personalization has become quite the ‘buzz’ concept of culture today.  We all look for myriad ways to personalize our lives.  We personalize our daily lives and possessions to stamp our identity, so why not choose to host a funeral that exemplifies this quality of personalization?

This trend has meant that funeral homes are having to adapt to cater to personalized services.

#5  A return to the 19th century concept of family-led funerals

Back in the days an undertaker was largely just responsible for making a coffin and burying the deceased.  The family would prepare their loved one and lay them to rest in the parlor, holding a vigil at home to mourn their departed family member.  Eventually the business of undertaking extended to funeral parlors, and today funeral homes and funeral directors.

However, there is a trend affecting the funeral industry today, where more families are wishing to conduct a ‘DIY’ funeral for their loved one instead of just using a funeral home to conduct everything.

There are 10 states that DO require a family to employ a funeral director to conduct funeral services and handle a deceased’s body.  But that still leaves 40 states where a family can, if they so choose, opt to handle the funeral services themselves.  There are several organizations nationwide they support families who wish to conduct a family-led funeral.

These 5 trends are changing an industry that has been very traditional for many decades.  Some in the business recognize these changes and are adapting to meet the demand.  But for some in the industry, these trends are presenting them with challenges.