How do direct cremation prices vary in an area?

The price for a direct cremation service can vary considerably in a geographical area from different funeral service providers.  Why is this? When presumably if it is the service package from a funeral home’s General Price List, it is a standard itemized service from all funeral homes.

A direct cremation service usually includes:

  • Local transfer of remains to the funeral home or crematory
  • Basic services of funeral director & staff for completion of all legal requirements, paperwork & obtaining permits
  • Shelter of remains (additional storage fees may be added if shelter of remains exceeds a defined number of days)
  • Temporary cremation urn

The following are included in the majority of direct cremation packages, however, there are funeral homes who charge these as additional fees.

  • Basic cremation container
  • Crematory fee

cremation costsThe Funeral Consumers Alliance have argued that there should be no difference in pricing as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires that direct cremation service packages be identical from all funeral and cremation providers.

Yet funeral homes will argue that the price they charge for a direct cremation reflects the standard of service and quality their establishment offers.

I understand a difference in pricing for a direct cremation when services are delivered without staff time to conduct in-person arrangements at the funeral home.  For example, there are a growing number of cremation service providers offering ‘online only’ discounted pricing.

When a family submits the required forms online and makes payment, this can save a funeral home considerable staff time.  The funeral business can then off-set this saving to the family.

However, when comparing direct cremation prices in a given area, one will still see a distinct disparity in the range of prices for the same service.  In many metro areas, the range of price for a direct cremation can vary from $795 to $3,300.

It is important to ensure like-for-like comparison, and check if there are any ‘hidden’ fees that are added to a lower price direct cremation package.