Over 50% of families are now choosing cremation for their funeral needs. A major reason for this is that cremation is way cheaper than a traditional burial. It is also a lot more flexible and can facilitate an immediate disposition of the deceased without the immediate need for a funeral service.
This short guide aims to give you an overview of cremation and cremation costs in Reading. If you are looking for a more affordable funeral option, then we can help you understand how to arrange a dignified cremation service for just $1,295.
How much does a funeral cost in Reading, PA?
A traditional funeral can amount to thousands of dollars, depending on how expensive a casket is chosen and cemetery plot fees. The average cost of a funeral in Reading is $7,788*, with the lowest cost offered at $3,995.
How much does a cremation cost in Reading, PA?
Cremation costs less than a traditional burial as it is not always necessary to have a casket. A cremation can legally be conducted using a cremation container (a reinforced cardboard box). This saves a large expense ($1,000 – $3,000 for a casket). If you do wish to hold a service before the cremation, a casket may be required, although some funeral service providers will offer rental caskets for this purpose.
The average cost of a cremation service in Reading is $4,685*, although it is possible to arrange a cremation memorial for around $1,595 with an affordable cremation provider.
If you are looking for the most affordable cremation option, this would be a ‘direct cremation’. We often refer to this as a simple cremation. This is where no ceremony or services are provided by the funeral home. They simply collect the deceased, shelter him/her whilst the legal paperwork is completed, conduct the cremation and return the cremated remains directly to the family.
Of course, the family can then choose to conduct their own memorial service as and when desired. This can be carried out at a place of worship, home, community location or just a special place to the deceased and their family. This can save significantly on funeral costs.
The cost of a direct cremation in Reading is $1,295.
Why choose cremation?
Cremation has been around for centuries in some cultures. In some countries, and indeed in some states in the US, cremation has been the preferred disposition choice for families for some years now. Now it is becoming the preferred choice for the majority of Americans, even in once-traditional areas.
Cremation is convenient, affordable and more environmentally-friendly. It costs approximately half, or even less, than a traditional burial. For those families who just want simplicity and ‘no-fuss’ it is proving the disposition preference. For families where money is a concern and they lack the funds to pay for a full funeral, it offers a much more affordable alternative.
How can I compare the cost of a cremation in Reading, PA?
It can be an overwhelming trying to call around and compare cremation prices, especially if the death has already occurred or is imminent. You can often find that not all funeral homes will answer questions about cremation prices simply!
This is why we conducted funeral price comparison for DFS Memorials to locate a best-value funeral service provider. We have included below a sample of cremation prices in Reading to give you some idea of how cremation costs compare.
All prices were accurate from funeral home GPL at time of publishing (August 2017). However, prices can and do change, so please check directly with a funeral service provider to verify current price.
What do I need to understand about cremation?
As cremation is a very final disposition of the body, there are strict laws and codes governing the cremation of human remains. Licensed funeral homes and crematories must abide by these laws. Legally the next of kin must sign to authorize a cremation before it can proceed. A ‘Cremation Authorization Form’ must be signed by ALL legal next of kin.
If you are considering preplanning a cremation, you can pre-sign and authorize to relieve your family of this decision, and prevent disagreements between family members.
There is generally a legal wait period after death before a cremation can proceed. In Pennsylvania, the mandatory period is a minimum of 24-hours.
That being said it usually takes longer than this to complete arrangements and have legal documentation certified. The funeral director has to submit to Berks County for the death certificate and obtain a permit to cremate.
All human cremations are handled in a very dignified manner, and many ID checks are made along the way. Only one human body can ever be cremated in a retort at one time.
The DFS Memorials provider for Reading operates his own crematory on-site, which is another assurance that your loved one never leaves the care, or shelter, of the funeral home.
Is there any financial assistance for funerals in Berks County, PA?
“The deceased had no life insurance. What do we do?” We are asked this question so often these days. Unfortunately, there is very little financial assistance available to just help a family struggling financially to pay for a cremation. Berks County has a program to assist with indigent funerals but this is only for indigents they become responsible for.
What other financial assistance may be offered by a county can vary considerably, so we would recommend you contact Berks County Assistance Office on the address below:
Reading State Office Building
625 Cherry Street
Reading, PA 19602 Phone: (610) 736-4211
What if the deceased is at the Medical Examiners?
If the deceased is at the Medical Examiner’s office, you will need to employ the services of a funeral director. Only a licensed funeral director can collect a body from the county morgue. As they will be dealing directly with the county coroner it does expedite the process for the legal documentation.
Hopefully you now know how to arrange a simple cremation for an affordable price with a reputable, local funeral home in Reading. You understand the importance of comparing cremation costs, as not all cremation providers charge the same for a cremation service.
If you have any further questions, please call your local DFS Memorials provider on (610) 273-8022 and they will be happy to assist you.
*Prices obtained from online funeral price survey website 2017 [Parting]