What is a direct cremation service? A simple and affordable alternative

direct-cremation-servicesIt is common knowledge that we are experiencing a cremation trend in the United States but maybe not as readily acknowledged that there has also been a growing demand for direct cremation services.

A direct cremation is a simple cremation without any ceremony or additional services being offered by the funeral services provider.

Some funeral service providers refer to it as a “direct cremation with no ceremonial services”.  The deceased is collected from the place of death, transferred to a crematory and/or funeral home, all the legal documentation is completed and then the deceased is cremated and the cremated remains returned directly to the family.

The growing demand for this type of cremation service is largely due to the need for more affordable and simple disposition services.  More families either cannot afford an expensive funeral service, or simply do not want to spend unnecessarily on funeral costs.  Aside from the cost factor, more families do not want fussy traditional funeral rituals and more families are dispersed than living together in a state or city, so a simple cremation can provide an effective and efficient means to take care of the remains of a loved one.

Which funeral service providers offer direct cremation services?

I believe it is fair to say that nearly all funeral service locations offer a “direct cremation” service on their General Price List.  It is often towards the bottom of the price list.  It can be the lowest cost cremation service on a price list as it involves the most minimal services from the funeral location.  Historically it has not been promoted as a service offering as many funeral directors feel it does not reflect the level of service they would prefer to offer a family.  And, of course, there is not the same level of profit in a direct cremation!

The funeral profession, in the main, still feel that we need the ritual of a funeral service in order to have closure on a death.  Although I can acknowledge that this is very important to some individuals, some families today do not feel that an immediate ritual is necessary.

Some funeral providers have opted to focus on cremation, and sometimes indeed direct cremation, as the core of their funeral businesses.  These providers will clearly promote their direct cremation packages and prices.

Independent Cremation Societies have emerged offering a variety of cremation services, including direct cremation.  Service Corporation International has its cremation brands with National Cremation and Neptune Society.  A number of online cremation networks or portals have emerged that help you arrange a direct cremation online at a lower cost.  These vary between networks of independent funeral homes such as DFS Memorials, Parting.com and Cremation.com who all openly disclose the funeral homes that participate in their network and direct you immediately to the local funeral home.

In difference to these networks there are also online portals trying to capitalize on the opportunity to resell cremation services into funeral businesses at a cost and not disclosing which funeral company you would be dealing with.  Heritage Cremation Provider, Legacy Cremation Services and Simple Cremation Online are examples of such portals.

Direct cremation is going to provide the simplest and most economical disposition method for those who either do not want any services, or cannot afford services.   As this market grows there will be more and more competition between funeral service providers, and it will be imperative to ensure you compare prices and inclusive services and check exactly WHO you are dealing with.

Why do people choose cremation?

Cremation is taking the death care industry in the USA by storm!  From a nation once entrenched in the tradition of burial, within a decade our nation has shifted to prefer cremation, with the cremation rate overtaking the burial rate this year.

So why are families now opting for cremation instead of burial?

The most popular reason is driven by the consumer demand for more affordable funeral services.  Since the economic downturn of 2008 more and more families simply cannot afford the cost of a full-service funeral.

According the NFDA a typical burial costs $7,045 (and this is without the cemetery costs).  Many families today living paycheck to paycheck cannot afford this cost, especially if no provision or life insurance was in place.

Thus the demand for cheaper alternatives has grown, and cremation can save thousands on the cost of a funeral.

Direct cremation costs even less than a memorial cremation service, and in most metro areas in the US a direct cremation can be arranged for between $600 and $1000 complete.

Check out this infographic gives a useful overview of why people are choosing cremation.


Affordable Cremation in Central Florida $795

low-cost-cremationCremation is a popular choice in Central Florida.  Florida has a retirement population, many of which opt for cremation as an inexpensive and convenient means to make final arrangements.

The cost of cremation services can play a significant part in this decision, as a direct cremation can be arranged in central Florida for just $795 complete.  The cremated remains can be transported (if required) to anywhere in the U.S., or overseas, if there is a need to return remains to family outside of Florida.

The DFS Memorials provider for Orlando and Central Florida can be reached on (407) 710-8865.

If you have an immediate, or imminent, need for a simple low cost cremation then we can help you arrange everything for one low price of $795*.  Families’ attitudes to funerals are changing and cremation offers families greater flexibility in arranging end of life services.   We understand that many families just want a simple, “no fuss” option, one that can be delivered at a low cost.

A direct cremation package can help you arrange a low cost funeral.  The direct cremation takes care of the immediate disposition of the deceased, and once the cremated remains are available, a memorial or ash-scattering service can be conducted.

When you can take care of everything for $795*, and are dealing with a family-owned funeral business, why should you pay more than this?

What is included in the $795* Simple Cremation Package?

Our simple cremation service includes:

  • Collection of the deceased from the place of death
  • Transfer to the funeral facility*
  • Shelter of the deceased
  • Filing of death certificate and cremation permit
  • The cremation process
  • Return of the cremated remains in a temporary cremation urn

*an additional mileage fee can apply if outside our basic service area

 Are there any extra costs?

The additional fees are county fees, which are subject to change and payable to the county in order to facilitate the cremation proceeding.  Death certificate fees in Florida are $10 per copy at present.

Can we still have a funeral service if we arrange a direct cremation?

Yes, of course.  You can arrange a memorial service once you have the cremated remains returned.  A memorial service is the type of funeral service where the deceased’s body is not present.  You can hold a memorial service with, or without, the cremation urn present.  A memorial funeral service can also take the shape of an ash scattering ceremony, or a candlelit vigil or tribute.  We have some useful resources to help you plan and make your own memorial tributes in our Memorialization section.

Our lowest cost cremation is available throughout the Greater Orlando area and the counties of Flagler, Lake, Orange, Putnam, Seminole, and Volusia.

*There is an additional $100 processing fee

Affordable Cremation Services in El Paso $925

low-cost-cremationThe DFS Memorials member serving El Paso will ensure that you can arrange a dignified funeral for an affordable cost.  Covering funeral costs can be a worry, and there is no need to be paying out thousands of dollars just to bury or cremate your loved one.  Our family-owned & operated funeral home in El Paso offers a compassionate and professional service at an inexpensive price.

Working with our provider in El Paso, we can help your family conduct a low cost cremation or burial.   They have 4 locations serving the Greater El Paso area, plus a cemetery and can therefore offer you these  affordable funeral packages:

Complete Direct Cremation Service :  $925

Complete Traditional Funeral Service (Incl. Casket & burial plot) : $3,995

Call (915) 201-2446 for immediate assistance, to preplan a funeral,                            or with any questions you have.  Se Habla Español

¿Está Vd. buscando un entierro simple, digno y asequible?

¿Quiere Vd. rebajar los gastos funerarios por miles de dolares?

DFS Memorials es una red de funerarias autorizadas, familiares que sirven a sus comunidades locales.

llamar por teléfono a nuestro proveedor en El Paso ahora.   Cremación directa completo  – $925

$750 cremation available to residents of Sunset Heights, East El Paso, Ysleta, Mission Valley El Paso, West El Paso or Upper Valley, Northeast El Paso,West Central El Paso and Anthony, Canutillo, Clint, Fabens, Homestead Meadows North, Homestead Meadows South, Horizon City, Montana Vista, San Elizario, Socorro, Sparks, Vinton, Tornillo, & Westway.


National Cremation

affordable cremationNational Cremation is owned by Service Corporation International (SCI).  It operates as a low cost cremation brand for SCI offering families simple and affordable cremation services.  National Cremation operates out of 28 locations in 15 states.

I think it is fair to say that National Cremation is the most ‘budget’ brand that SCI operates, and their direct cremation prices can be fairly comparable to the local market price for a low cost direct cremation.

They also offer prepayment options where the cost for a direct cremation can be prepaid over a given period.  There may be incremental costs for this.

Need to find an inexpensive cremation option in NW Arkansas?

basic-cremation-costDFS Memorials offers the best value direct cremation package to residents of Northwestern Arkansas.  A simple direct cremation package covers everything to immediately take care of the disposition of the deceased.  Collection from the place of death, transportation to the funeral facility, completion of all required documentation (death certificate, cremation authorizations and cremation permits), a basic cremation container, the cremation and returning the cremated remains to the family in a temporary urn.  A wider service area can be served although an additional mileage fee may apply depending on location.

Simple, direct cremation for $790

  Call now on  (479) 259-2812 for immediate assistance and to ask any questions you may have

If you have limited resources and need to find the lowest cost funeral option available to you, then your local DFS Memorials member can offer you ‘quality service at a low price’, ensuring you can arrange dignified yet inexpensive funeral services.

Serving residents in the areas of Benton, Conway, Fayetteville, Forrest City, Ft. Smith, Hot Springs Jacksonville, Jonesboro, Little Rock, Pine Bluff, Rogers, Russellville & Searcy, and in Craighead, Faulkner, Garland, Lonoke, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Sebastian, St. Francis, and Washington counties.

Arranging a low cost cremation in Connecticut

funeral-pricesDFS Memorials now has an affordable cremation provider serving Connecticut.  All State Cremation & Funeral Care can help you arrange the lowest cost cremation services in the state of Connecticut.  A complete direct cremation is available for $1,400.

Peter and his team are available to assist you at your time of need.  Call (203) 864-6010 with any questions you may have.  They cover the whole state of Connecticut offering a low cost cremation.

Serving: Bridgeport – Hartford- New Haven – Stamford – Waterbury


How is our aging population going to be able to afford to die?

According to a new study from Feeding America millions of aging Americans can little afford to eat, never mind afford to cover their end of life expenses.  The study reports that a significant number of Baby Boomers (defined as those now between the ages of 50 and 64) are not the affluent generation we once believed, and are actually facing numerous economic and health issues.

A report by Feeding America and AARP found that approximately 8 million boomers are struggling to afford to eat and are turning to charity for food!  10,000 people turn 65 every day and this growing aging population, overwhelmed with financial issues, is going to have a knock-on effect on the billion dollar death care industry.

How are seniors changing their funeral plans?

affordable-funeralsWhat we are witnessing right now in the US is a huge shift towards cremation as a funeral alternative. Why? Mainly because it presents a much lower-cost option for those families who cannot afford to spend thousands of dollars on a funeral.

In fact, what we are observing through the DFS Memorials network is that the real shift is towards ‘direct cremation’.  This is the lowest cost disposition option available and means that the funeral services provider just delivers the service to cremate the deceased without any ceremony and returns the ashes to the family.  In most metro areas in America a direct cremation costs between $695 and $995…so as you can see this makes for a much more affordable death care option.

With a more mobile retiring population and the less traditional sentiment of the boomers, direct cremation provides an inexpensive and more versatile disposition choice.

The sad reality is that not only is there a generation of boomers struggling financially, their children are also struggling under the weight of the poor economy.  CNN reports that 76% of American families are living paycheck to paycheck which really demonstrates the real financial situation.  If Mom or Pop have not put funds aside in a funeral plan or life insurance….who really has the funds to pay for a funeral?

How will this affect the death care industry?

Profits are down across the nation as we shift from that traditional $10,000 – $15,000 funeral to a simpler cremation alternative that can cost anywhere between $995 and $3,500.  This means many funeral homes are themselves struggling financially.  Many have already closed or amalgamated and the largest corporate death company has bought out its two nearest competitors over the last few years!

The industry is still largely embracing cremation as an opportunity to sell creative ‘personalized’ services under the notion that boomers want something different and are prepared to spend on unique life celebrations.  Whilst there will always be those individuals who can afford to spend on an extravagant send-off, there will be far more who want the simple and least expensive cremation option.

“A society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members and among the most vulnerable are surely the unborn and the dying,”

~Pope John Paul II

Does selecting a direct cremation mean you are sacrificing service for price?

Direct cremation is becoming a realistic funeral choice for many families today.  It offers an inexpensive, practical and affordable alternative when it comes to death care services.  The cremation rate is increasing exponentially across the United States, largely driven by the fact that many families just cannot afford to pay out thousands of dollars for a funeral these days.

Choosing a direct cremation does not mean that you did not love your family member, and it is not a less dignified means of disposition.  It provides a simple way to conduct an immediate disposition of remains by cremation.

direct-cremation-servicesWhat exactly is a direct cremation?

A direct cremation is the funeral trade term for a basic cremation without any services or ceremony.  The deceased is collected from the place of death, taken to the funeral home or crematory where he or she is sheltered in refrigerated storage whilst the legal documentation is completed. After all the paperwork is complete and any legal waiting period has transpired, the cremation is carried out using a simple cremation container (reinforced cardboard box).  The cremated remains are returned to the family in a temporary cremation urn (generally a basic plastic or cardboard receptacle).

What is included with a direct cremation package?

Many funeral service providers offer a direct cremation service, and it will include the minimum services of the funeral director to complete the necessary paperwork, collection of the deceased within a certain radius (additional fees may apply outside of a specific radius), and if the deceased passed at a residential address there may be extra charges for collection.

With most direct cremation packages the crematory fee is included, however, I do know of a few providers who do not include it, so be sure to check this.  Similarly the cremation container is generally included, especially by most providers who specialize in offering direct cremation packages.  Funeral homes who do not want to promote their direct cremation service offering tend to include it at the bottom of their General Price List (GPL).

Death certificates and any fees for the cremation permit are not, for the most part, included in a package as they are considered ‘cash advance items’ payable to the county.  However, some cremation service providers do actually include these fees in their direct cremation package.

Why is direct cremation so inexpensive?

save_money_cremationDirect cremation is a basic service offering, this means that a funeral services provider can afford to price-mark it at a lower cost.  It does not mean you are purchasing an inferior quality of service.  Strict legislation governs the cremation of human remains and all funeral service providers treat any case with compassion and dignity.

In most metro areas now a direct cremation package can be purchased for between $800 and $1,300.  Some areas where the cremation rate is high may charge less than $800, and some areas may charge over $1,300.  Check out your nearest DFS Memorials provider to find out the cost near you.

Can I still have a funeral service or ceremony with a direct cremation?

There is no reason whatsoever that you cannot still have a funeral service or ceremony with a direct cremation.  Once the cremation is performed you can hold a memorial service with (or without) the cremation ashes present, or even have an ash-scattering service.  Being able to hold the services yourself, at a time and place that suits the family, can save significantly on your overall funeral costs.

Can I still have a viewing with a direct cremation?

Most cremation providers will facilitate a viewing if so requested prior to performing the cremation.  Some providers may charge an additional small fee but not all do.

Do I have to visit the funeral home or crematory to arrange a direct cremation?

No, in fact many cremation providers offering low-cost direct cremation services can offer the service at such a low cost because they eliminate a lot of their overhead by completing everything online.  Even if you speak to the funeral director he or she may ask you to complete all the required forms online and submit them.

Can cremated remains be shipped to me after a direct cremation?

Yes, if you do not want to visit the funeral home or have arranged a direct cremation from another location to the deceased, the funeral home can arrange to ship the cremated remains to you.  There is an additional charge for this.  It is usually charged at between $50 – $100 depending on the weight of the cremated remains.

Funeral Poverty Crisis Affecting Families

indigent-funeral-assistanceRecent reports in the news are attempting to highlight the growing concern about thousands of families that are too poor today to afford a funeral.  A report from the UK claims that those unable to pay for a funeral has skyrocketed by 80% in the last 10 years, and this issue is no different here in the United States.  According to a CBS report in 2011 48% of Americans fell into the bracket of low-income or poverty.  This is a staggering percentage of Americans that find themselves struggling with everyday living costs…never mind dealing with an unexpected, or unprepared for, death in the family.

Every day at DFS Memorials we receive calls from families desperate and distraught as they try and find their way through the process of taking care of a lost loved one without sufficient means to really pay for a funeral.

So what happens if you do not have the money to pay for a funeral?

There are very limited resources available to help those families with insufficient resources to pay for a funeral.  Some states do provide some level of support and some do not.  In some states there is devolved funding at county level.  If you are on any kind of state-assisted welfare or benefits you may qualify for some limited assistance.

In most cases it is likely that you will have to arrange the lowest cost type of funeral that the funds will assist with.  This will mean arranging a basic cremation or a simple burial with minimal funeral services.

Will the State help you cover funeral costs?

If you are fortunate enough to be in a state or county that does offer some assistance, you will find that it does only cover a limited amount.  There is also generally a limitation of the level of family contribution. i.e. you cannot claim funds for an indigent funeral and then have family members all contribute funds.  Use this table for a state by state breakdown of what is available to assist families with an indigent burial.

Bear in mind that although most states still refer to ‘indigent burial programs’ in many states only cremation is now offered as this is far more economical and helps the state, or county, use their budget effectively.

What are the implications of accepting state assistance for a funeral?

When you turn to the state or municipal to pay for a funeral, then you cannot expect the full range of services or much autonomy over what kind of services are available.  In some cases only a basic direct cremation or direct burial is offered as a public aid disposition.

There are also limitations on how much family members can contribute towards the overall funeral cost.

What if the deceased had no life insurance, and surviving family have no money to pay for the funeral?

If there is no life insurance to meet funeral expenses, and you do not qualify for any kind of public assistance, you will have to meet a decision about how to meet any funeral costs.  As mentioned a basic cremation can be conducted in most areas for around $800.  If family can rally round, and make contributions, it may be possible to pool funds and meet a basic disposition.  A simple family memorial service, or ash-scattering service, can be held once the cremated remains are back with the family.

To read more about what options you have to arrange a low-cost funeral service, read this article on Indigent Burial Assistance and assistance for funeral funding.