Affordable cremation services in Staten Island, NY – $485 direct cremation

Americans are demanding more affordable death care options.  With the high cost of traditional funerals and especially burial plot costs in NYC, cremation is proving an alternative disposition choice that is more affordable.

Cremation cost Staten Island NYWhy is cremation more affordable?

In simple terms, a cremation eliminates several services and funeral products that usually have a high price-tag.  You do not need a casket for a cremation service.

Although some funeral homes offer rental caskets if you wish to have a funeral service prior to the cremation.  You do not need a burial vault or cemetery plot, and embalming is not required for cremation.  Eliminating these few things can reduce the cost by between $3,000 – $8,000.

Cemetery plots in NYC are expensive due to the shortage of space.  A typical plot can cost around $14,000.  This adds a huge cost to a funeral bill.

What does a cremation cost in Staten Island?

The price of cremation varies.  Firstly, it depends on what type of cremation service you select.  A cremation funeral is very like a traditional funeral, but the deceased is cremated after the service, so now the burial plot is required.  A cremation funeral will generally cost from around $3,600 depending on the type of ceremony, the purchase of a casket, and the funeral home selected.

A cremation memorial is where the deceased is cremated prior to holding a memorial service with the cremation urn.  This type of cremation service is usually less than a cremation funeral.

What is a direct cremation?

A direct cremation is the industry term for a simple cremation with no ceremony or services.  This is the least expensive cremation option.  The price for a direct cremation in Staten Island differs from different funeral homes, but you can arrange a direct cremation for as little as $485.

Why is the crematory fee added to a funeral home’s direct cremation service fee?

cremation servicesIn NY, a funeral home is not allowed to own and operate a crematory.  All crematories are not-for-profit operations.  This means that a funeral director has to pay the crematory fee as a ‘third-party’ fee and therefore must charge the fee separate to his basic service funeral charge.

There are several crematories operating throughout NYC and NJ that funeral homes use, and the prices vary for the crematory fee.  The best value crematory fee is $140, but the price can be as much as $408, depending on the crematory used.

What additional fees are there to pay for a direct cremation in Staten Island?

There is a $40 NYC cremation permit charge, and the cost for the death certificate at $15.  If the deceased passed away at home, there is an additional charge for a residential collection, as this requires an additional person.  The additional fee is $150.

The other additional fee can be the mailing of cremated remains.  The cost to mail the ashes is $40 to mail cremated remains within NYC and $75 to mail outside of the boroughs.

What are the legal requirements for a cremation to proceed?

As cremation is a very final disposition method, there are strict laws that govern the practice. The legal next of kin must sign a ‘Cremation Authorization Form’ before a cremation can proceed.  The funeral director will file for the death certificate and permit to cremate.  Once all this paperwork is in order, the cremation can be scheduled.

What can you do with the cremated remains after the direct cremation?

ash scatteringThe cremated remains are returned immediately to the family after a direct cremation.  The family can choose to hold their own memorial service, or ash-scattering service is so desired.  The ashes can be kept at home, or interred in a cremation niche, or family cemetery plot.

Scattering at sea in Staten Island can be added to a direct cremation package for an additional $290.

For more options about what to do with cremated remains and how to memorialize, check out our Memorialization and What to do with the Cremation Ashes section on the blog.

What if the deceased is at the Medical Examiners?

If the deceased was transferred to the ME, you need the services of a funeral director to collect the deceased and transfer them to the crematory.  This can sometimes be an expedited service as the FD can collect all the permits and paperwork as he or she collects the deceased.

Is there any help with cremation costs in Staten Island?

Unfortunately, more families are finding themselves struggling with funeral expenses these days.  NYC does offer a burial assistance program to NYC residents on low-income.  You can download the form from the link here.

There is also the $255 Social Security lump-sum death benefit payment (if the deceased qualified).

6 Things You Should Know About Direct Cremation

Cremation now accounts for over 54 percent of all funerals in the United States, yet there are still many misconceptions about cremation services. Several years ago when DFS Memorials started working with local cremation service providers, the term ‘direct cremation’ was not even a common term.  More often people asked for a ‘simple cremation’ or a ‘basic cremation’.

Now the term direct cremation is more commonly used by funeral homes and families searching for simple and affordable cremation.  But, there are still questions that families ask, that demonstrate some common misunderstandings about direct cremation.

So, let’s look at some of these common myths.

Cremation Memorial Service#1  You can still have a funeral service or memorial after a direct cremation

Many people think that if a cremation is chosen, then you cannot have a funeral service.  This is not true.  In fact, choosing to have a direct cremation just offers more flexibility in when and how to conduct a memorial or funeral service.

#2  Every cremation is conducted individually

This is one of the most FAQs and most common misconceptions about cremation.  Each body has to be cremated individually.  There are very strict rules about the cremation of human remains.  One of the key laws being that a body must be individually cremated, and the cremation chamber fully cleared before the next cremation.

#3  It is possible to witness, or even start, the cremation process

Yes.  Many crematories are arranged so that it is possible for family to witness the start of the cremation process.  Some faiths require that a member of the family can commence the cremation process.  So, this can be arranged, although you may need to make an advance request to ensure the crematory can facilitate this.

#4  In many states you can arrange a direct cremation without visiting a funeral home

You can arrange a direct cremation without the need to attend a funeral home.  All arrangements can be made by phone or online, or an arranger can often come to your home to complete arrangements.  In some states you can make arrangements directly with a crematory, without the need to employ a funeral director.

#5  Embalming is NOT required for a direct cremation

There is no legal requirement for embalming.  Unless there is a public health directive.  It is a common myth that all bodies are embalmed for a funeral or cremation.  But this is not the case.  And avoiding embalming can save you between $600 – $800.

#6  There are many personalization options available with cremation

cremation laws.  You can choose the traditional options of burying a cremation urn, placing the urn in a columbarium niche, or keeping the urn at home.  But you can choose from a range of personalized options that include using some of the ashes to make cremation jewelry, fireworks, tattoos and a whole plethora of other creative memorials.

According to some surveys and industry statistics, of the 54% of cremations conducted, around 80% are now direct cremations.  Direct cremation is inexpensive and offers more flexibility in making funeral arrangements.  A low-cost direct cremation can be arranged in most cities for around $800, although many full-service funeral homes will still charge in the region of $2,700 for a direct cremation service.

It is important to shop around and compare prices when considering cremation services.  Visit this article for tips on saving on cremation costs.

Cremation Memorial Service Ideas

Cremation offers versatility in memorialization.  If a family member has been cremated, and you are planning a cremation memorial service, this guide can help you discover everything you need to know about how to creatively memorialize a loved one.

beach memorial servicesIf a family member preplanned a cremation, he or she may have planned some ideas about what kind of memorial service they wanted.  However, very often it is left to surviving family members to decide on, and plan, a memorial service.  It can seem a daunting task to be responsible for arranging a memorial service, but the information below should help you honor a lost loved one and create a befitting tribute.

When should you hold a cremation memorial service?

The flexibility of holding a memorial service, as the deceased’s body is not present, means it can be held at any time after the death.  A cremation memorial can be held immediately after the cremation, or a period of time can elapse.  Sometimes families find it be easier to plan for, and have time to grieve, before holding a memorial service.

Being able to take time, and coordinate gathering together those you wish to invite, can lead to a more meaningful service.

Where can you hold a cremation memorial service?

A memorial service can be held wherever you choose, or feel was significant to the deceased.  It can be at a place of worship, or a graveside service.  Alternatively, you can be imaginative and host a service somewhere more unconventional.  Some families conduct a memorial service as part of an ash-scattering, and therefore opt to have the memorial service outdoors.

What elements make up a memorial service?

Cremation optionsI would dare to say there is no set format to how a memorial service should be conducted.  However, it is considered customary to deliver a eulogy, pay tribute to the life of the deceased, and conduct some form of final disposition of the remains.

There are many other elements that can form part of a memorial service, including photo boards, slideshows, video, and music.  These days families are also choosing to hold memorial services that are Life Celebration events that can involve dove, lantern or butterfly releases as a final tribute and metaphorical symbol.  Guests can all be asked to wear something, or a color, that was special to the deceased.

Tips on how to prepare a tribute for a memorial

Planning is the cornerstone of any successful event, and a memorial service is no different.  Sometimes, this is why a family prefers to employ a funeral director or life celebrant to help plan and host a memorial service, as these professionals have skills and experience.  However, some families choose to prepare and hold a service themselves.  This just requires some preparation.

Cremation Memorial Service

The cremation urn:

  • Will the urn be present at the memorial service? And if so, do you need to set up an urn arrangement or altar?
  • If a scattering is to be conducted as part of the memorial service, think about the techniques for scattering cremated remains safely.

Eulogy:

  • Decide who is going to be responsible for delivering the eulogy or final words at the service.
  • Ensure that he or she has had time to prepare, and that the context of their eulogy meets the audience and the tone of the memorial service.

Location:

  • Think about a suitable location.
  • Is it somewhere sentimental to the deceased?
  • Is it easily accessible for all guests?

Tributes:

  • Do you want to have flowers or other memorial tributes? Or donations to a cause close to the deceased’s heart?
  • Will a presentation be made by slideshow or video? Do you want music playing? And is there a suitable power point?
  • If you want to have a memory book for everyone to sign, is there somewhere suitable to locate it?

A cremation memorial service can be as short, or as long, as you wish for it to be, and as appropriate.  Memorializing after cremation does present so many more options than holding a traditional funeral service.  We are becoming more embracing of the unconventional and contemporary in our funeral rituals, so being creative and personalizing a memorial service, can make it so much more meaningful for all those who attend to say their final goodbyes.

Memorialization and Cremation Tribute Ideas

This section contains information, and guides, on how to memorialize a loved one following a cremation.  If you are tasked with the job of arranging a cremation memorial service, it can sometimes seem a daunting task and a great responsibility.  Here we cover everything you need to know about memorializing a loved one.  We cover:

  • Understanding what a memorial service entails and represents
  • How a memorial service differs to a funeral service
  • Planning of a personalized cremation memorial service
  • Creating memorial tributes with words, memorabilia, and artifacts
  • Setting up an online memorial page or website
  • The role of technology and memorial services
  • Deciding on the final disposition of the cremated remains
  • How direct cremation and a family memorial service can save thousands on funeral costs

Cremation Memorial Service

Memorialization Explained

A change in how we memorialize with cremation

Cremation offers much greater flexibility in how we can memorialize a loved one that has passed.  As there is no body present at a memorial service, there are many more options of how you can conduct a memorial service.  It does not need to be at a funeral home, and you do not need to hold the service immediately after the death has occurred.

This is leading to a change in how we view the whole funeral process.  The role of a funeral director is changing too.  The funeral home need to handle the disposition – the cremation – aspect of a funeral, but a family can then opt to host their own memorial service once they have the cremated remains returned.  The need to use the services of a funeral home for a memorial service is not necessarily required.  Families are choosing to use a place of worship, community centers, event venues, their own home or even outdoors.  Sometimes a family feels that they can do a better job of memorializing their lost loved one.  They can make it very personal and original.

So, what does a memorial service entail and represent?

A memorial service is a ceremony to remember a loved one that has died. It is considered a form of closure following a loss, and a chance to ‘pay last respects’ and say a final goodbye.  It represents a remembrance of a life lived and an opportunity to pay tribute to the memory of the person who has passed.

With the shift towards cremation as a death-care option, memorial services are now typically held after a cremation, and referred to as a Cremation Memorial.

A memorial service can take many different forms.  It can be very similar to a funeral service format, or it can be uniquely personalized, and held at a significant place that was meaningful to the departed.

How does a memorial service differ to a funeral service?

A funeral service is held with the body present in a casket.  A memorial service is held without the body present.  If a cremation has been performed, a memorial service can be held with the cremation urn present, but many memorial services are conducted with no remains at the ceremony.

Memorial services are sometimes more uplifting and less somber.  This can often be because they are not necessarily held immediately after the death, so family have had more time to come to terms with their grief, and feel a memorial service held later gives them more opportunity to make it a celebratory event to honor their lost loved one.

How to plan a personalized cremation memorial service

Cremation optionsIf you have been asked to organize a memorial service, it can be helpful to plan out how you anticipate a service should run.  As there will be no body present, a memorial service can be very flexible and at any venue.  If the cremation urn will be present, this can form a ‘center point’, similar to a casket at a funeral service.

You will need to decide on the location the service is to be held, who to invite, what format you wish the service to take, and what memorial tributes are required.  Such as a memory book, photos, prayer cards, music etc.  It can help a memorial service to run smoothly if there is some organization, and deciding who is going to manage the service and who is going to speak and deliver a eulogy or final words.

How to create memorial tributes with words, memorabilia, and artefacts

If you are arranging a memorial service, you may oversee organizing the memorial tributes for the ceremony.  This can be arranging flowers, photos, memory cards, candles, music, video and even food.  Memorial tributes were often managed by the funeral home for an additional fee, but if you are organizing a service without using a funeral home, you can either purchase tribute products or make your own.  Fortunately, with so many resources online these days, there are many companies that make and sell memorial tributes, and lots of ideas for how to make your own memorial products.

In MemoryHow to create a personalized cremation tribute

‘Personalization’ is something we embrace in everyday life today.  It is something that has become important to all of us.  And personalization of a memorial service can often be achieved so much better when the family are arranging and conducting it.  No more of those slip-ups when a funeral director mispronounces a name, or omits a key detail about the deceased.

You can make a cremation memorial personal in many ways, but generally stories about the deceased, photos from their life, memorabilia that attendees will associate with the deceased, and music that the deceased loved are all good tributes.

What is a Life Celebration tribute?

A life celebration is a type of memorial service that is more focused on celebrating the life of the deceased.  So, it is more uplifting and joyful, instead of a sad somber service.  Some families choose to employ the services of a funeral celebrant to lead the service.  A celebrant has been trained in how to memorialize a service with focus on the celebration of a life ‘well-lived’.

Funeral homes also offer customized life celebration services, or you can prepare your own life celebration tribute for a loved one.

How to set up an online memorial page or website

As many of us live our life’s and connect online these days, setting up an online memorial page or website, can be a great way to have a lasting tribute to a lost loved one, and enable friends and family far and wide to participate in creating a memorial tribute.

Arrange a cremation onlineSome funeral homes now offer online memorial pages to their client families.  These are sometimes free, but often if you pay a nominal fee for the online memorial page, it guarantees it will be hosted indefinitely.

Similarly, there are several companies that specialize in offering online memorial tributes and offer different packages depending on how long you wish it to be hosted and how much information and photos you wish to add.

Facebook offer a Memorial page option.  This can also allow a wider circle of friends from all over to engage, share and contribute to an online memorial.  Facebook will automatically convert the Facebook profile of someone that has deceased into a memorial page, with the words ‘remembering’ next to their name on the profile.

The role of technology in delivering a memorial service

Technology has changed the world as we know it, and this is also true of funerals.  Today funerals can be live-streamed to enable those not able to be present to watch the funeral in ‘real-time’.  With technology like FaceTime and Skype, it is possible to do this even if you are holding your own memorial service.

The use of photo-editing and video-editing software or PowerPoint presentations can all be useful tools to help you put together something that brings media into a memorial service.  A video or slideshow can prove a lasting tribute for family to keep as a tribute, share, and revisit as time goes by or on the anniversary of a death.

Do we need to hold a memorial service?

No, you do not need to hold a memorial service if it is not considered necessary, or perhaps a very elderly relative passed without many family or friends still alive to attend.  Deciding to hold a memorial service is just a personal choice.

Some people decide to just go ahead and scatter the cremated remains without any service or ceremony.  Conducting an ash-scattering can be regarded as a memorial act, even if no formal service, or specific tributes are arranged for the scattering.

What to do with the cremated remains after a cremation memorial service: The final disposition

Deciding what to do with cremated remains still poses a question for some families.  Often families end up keeping an urn at home as they are undecided what to do.  Cremation has removed the immediate need to buy a burial plot and inter the remains, although some families opt to purchase a cremation niche and have the cremated remains interred.

Cremation Memorial IdeasScattering the ashes is becoming a more popular option.  The cremated remains can be scattered in a bespoke Memorial Garden, or in nature somewhere.  For more information on how to scatter ashes, read our ash-scattering guide.  Do bear in mind that it is wise not to rush to scatter the ashes to quickly after the passing, as you may change your mind later.  Another thing to consider is keeping a small amount of the ashes in a keepsake urn, and scattering the rest.

Cremated remains can also be made into a number of memorial artifacts, including memorial diamonds, blown-glass, birdbaths, reef balls, paintings, vinyl records, shotgun shells or tattoos.

How direct cremation and a family memorial service can save thousands on funeral costs

Direct cremation is the simple, no-fuss, no service cremation option that is very affordable.  The funeral home handles everything to cremate the deceased, but then returns the cremated remains to the family.  A direct cremation can be arranged for under $1,000 in many areas. [The cost for a direct cremation varies by provider, state and city, but can be as low as $595 and as high as $3,000].  Visit our main DFS Memorials site to check the local prices near you.

Following a direct cremation, if family and friends arrange a memorial service themselves, this can reduce the overall costs for a funeral.  With a simple direct cremation and a family-led memorial service, a dignified funeral can easily be achieved for under $2,000.  In fact, it can be less if direct cremation is being offered at a low-cost in your area.

Family-led memorial services are becoming a new ‘norm’.  It is almost a return to family values of decades ago before the modern era of the funeral establishment.  And why should we pay thousands of dollars to a funeral business, when we can host a family and friends gathering at a fraction of the cost of a traditional funeral service?

Although holding a memorial service is not necessary after a cremation, it does provide opportunity for closure and a sense of being able to say a final goodbye to a lost loved one.  The unique thing about a memorial service is that there is no time-critical timeline about holding it.  You can hold a memorial service shortly after the death and cremation, or you can wait months, or even a year.

5 Reasons that Families are now choosing Cremation

Cremation has overtaken burial as the American ‘preferred’ option for death-care.  In 2018, it is forecast that 53% of Americans will opt for cremation over burial.  The cremation rate is increasing year-on-year exponentially, and forecast to reach almost 80% over the next 17 years.

Why is cremation becoming the preferred choice for families?

Funeral & Cremation Trends 2018#1 The cost of cremation vs. burial

Choosing cremation instead of burial is likely to reduce a funeral bill by half, if not two-thirds.  Whereas a typical burial funeral will cost a family between $8,000 – $15,000, a cremation funeral cost in the region of $3,000 – $8,000.  This all depends upon the funeral products and services selected.  However, without question, cremation is cheaper.  There is no requirement for a casket, burial vault or cemetery plot, and embalming of the deceased.  All of which add thousands of dollars to a funeral bill.

#2 Interest in more environmentally-friendly alternatives

Some families see cremation as a friendlier alternative to a traditional burial, where embalming fluids, concrete and steel are deposited into the earth.  Gas & omissions are still an environmental concern, but less so, especially with the newer cremation machines that cremate faster and use less gas.  In some cases, families are seeking out greener alternatives, such as burying ashes in a tree pod.

#3 Families are more dispersed

People have moved around so much more today and families are often dispersed across states, or even countries.  This can make it so much more difficult to coordinate a funeral burial service and bring people together at short notice.  Families are not so tied to the notion of a family burial plot if relatives have moved away, and the notion of it being a memorial site to visit is not of the same significance if families live far away.

Cremation Memorial Services#4 The ‘unconventional’ and personalization are key aspects of funeral tributes & memorialization

Cremation is gaining acceptance, and even popularity, as we all become more accepting of the unconventional.  We are moving into a new era where traditional values are not held in as high esteem.  New ‘norms’ are being embraced…. and being, or doing, the unconventional is popularized.

We have seen examples of this emerging within funeral services, as families opt for non-traditional services, and lean towards services as life celebration events.

Today, we seek personalization in our everyday lives, so why not take this ‘to the grave’…..so to speak!  Cremation offers much more versatility in what kind of memorial services can be held, ……when, where and how.

Even the options of personalizing artifacts with cremated remains is becoming a new industry, with a whole plethora of creative ways to design cremation tributes and scatter ashes.

#5 We need more flexibility in arranging funeral services

Cremation offers much more flexibility in arranging a funeral.  Firstly, it can enable an immediate disposition of the deceased without the immediate need to arrange a funeral service.  One of the hardest things when unexpectedly faced with arranging a funeral service, is the need to make so many decisions quickly.  Often families can find this so overwhelming, and later regret that they didn’t have more time to think through the choices they made.

Choosing a cremation can help remove that immediate need to make decisions about holding a funeral service and what to do to memorialize the remains.  A cremation memorial service is where the cremation is conducted first, and then a memorial service held afterwards.  Of course, with a cremation, there is no ‘rush’ to hold the funeral (or memorial) service immediately.  This can allow time for families to reflect on exactly what kind of memorial service to conduct.  With time to prepare and grieve, families can then find that a memorial service held later is much more meaningful and up-lifting.  It can provide time for families to plan to get together, especially if family are dispersed.

Considering these key reasons why families choose cremation can help us to understand why the cremation rate is increasing.  Cremation offers an affordable, flexible, environmentally-friendly and personalized option to approach death-care.

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.

What do I do with the ashes after a direct cremation?

With more families turning to direct cremation as a simple and affordable cremation solution, we are finding that this question is arising more frequently.  “What shall we do with the cremation ashes?”.  In many cases, the family opted for a direct cremation as they had already decided against interment, and simply wanted to take care of the immediate disposition of their loved one in an inexpensive, ‘no-fuss’ manner.

Opting for a direct cremation does enable family to take care of the immediate need, and requests, to arrange a funeral.  But once the temporary urn is made available for collection, some folks just aren’t sure what the next steps are.

Having a direct cremation does not mean that you cannot memorialize in your own way, and in your own time!  What can you do to memorialize after a direct cremation?

Ash Scattering Memorial

ash scattering An ash scattering is proving a popular choice for families who feel an interment is unnecessary.  Either the deceased specified an ash scattering or families feel that this is a more befitting final rite.

You can choose to scatter all, or just some, of the cremated remains, and there all many options on where and how.  The options include scattering at sea or over water, scattering in a designated memorial garden, scattering from a plane or scattering just about anywhere that you feel is appropriate.  Families often ask about the legalities and permits required for scattering, and it has thus far been something of an ‘un-regulated’ act.  Certain state and public parks may require a permit, but in the main, there are no regulations, just a need to have a regard for other people and the environment.  Cremated remains are organic and sterile, so pose no threat to the environment, but it is important to be mindful of other people and how they feel about this as a final rite.

If scattering at sea EPA regulations do stipulate that a scattering should occur at least 3 nautical miles from the shoreline.  That being said, it is not uncommon for families to choose to do a beach scattering in the surf on a quiet spot of the coastline.

It is important to think and prepare for an ash scattering.  It is final, and there are right and wrong ways of scattering remains.  The wind direction plays a major part.  We all remember that Big Lebowski blow-back moment!  Ensure you, and your assembled party are all standing downwind.

Hold a Memorial Service

You can conduct your own memorial service.  This means you can hold your own service led and directed by the family.  Or you can enlist a person to conduct it for you – a celebrant, minister or friend of the family.  There are again many options in terms of where to conduct a memorial service.  You can hold it anywhere that you feel is appropriate, from at home, to a community center, church, outdoors or golf club!

Inter cremation remains

Of course, you can still choose to inter cremated remains, and more cemeteries are adding columbarium’s to their cemetery estate to accommodate the demand for cremation niches.  The cost to inter a cremation urn is generally cheaper than a body and casket, but there are some quite expensive niches out there as well!

Cemeteries will sometimes facilitate the opening and closing of an existing cemetery plot to add a cremation urn.  The fees for this differ by cemetery.

Create a cremation artifact memorial

Cremation has inspired a new generation of imagination in what we can do with cremation ashes creatively.   The possibilities are almost endless but listed below are some suggestions of artifacts that are made with cremation ashes:

  • Memorial reef
  • Diamond
  • Blown glass
  • Birdbath
  • Vinyl Record
  • Bullets
  • Tattoo

Share cremated remains and create family keepsakes

If you are unsure just what you want to do with the cremation ashes, you can always opt for sharing between family members with keepsake urns. These are generally a set of small urns and come in various designs and selection of quantity.

Cremation Urns

If you are in need of a simple, low-cost direct cremation, DFS Memorials has a network of affordable cremation providers nationwide.  Select your state and city to find your nearest provider.

How to arrange an affordable cremation in Palo Alto, CA – Just $850

Cremation cost Palo Alto CADo you need to know how to arrange a dignified funeral at an affordable cost? We have put together this short guide to help you understand how you can save thousands arranging a funeral.  In fact, you can arrange a simple, basic cremation for just $850!

The average cost of a traditional funeral in Palo Alto is $5,775*, 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.

average cremation cost palo alto caWhat 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 are given back to the family.  There are some variances around these 3 main options, such as a private viewing before the cremation, an observed cremation, or a graveside interment of a cremation urn.

How much does a cremation cost in Palo Alto?

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 $2,580*, depending upon the length of service held and what kind of casket you purchase or rent.  The average cost of a direct cremation is $1,275*, although a direct cremation package can be conducted for just $850 with DFS Memorials.

Call DFS Memorials now on (650) 209-7212 to arrange a direct cremation for just $850

Direct cremation services in Palo Alton, CA

If you are working on 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 Palo Alto on (650) 209-7212 who offers a complete direct cremation package for just $850.

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.

cremation plan palo alto caComparing cremation costs in Palo Alto, CA

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 General Price List if you request cremation price information, either in person or by phone.  If they fail to do this, they are breaching the federal ‘funeral rule’ according to FTC rules.

According to funeral price research surveys in Palo Alto, the average cost of a direct cremation is $1,275*, although a direct cremation can be arranged for less than this with some cremation providers.  DFS Memorials offer a direct cremation service for $850.

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 in a given time-frame?  Death certificates cost $21 for the first certificate and $21 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 Palo Alto?

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 California, 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.

cremation plan palo altoCan 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 the 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 does not have the burden of 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 Santa Clara County Social Services Agency at 333 West Julian Street, 5th Floor, San Jose,  CA  95110   Phone: 877-962-3633   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 $850.

What is “no-cost cremation”?

Some funeral homes now offer this option in Palo Alto.  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: Santa Clara County
70 W Hedding St, 1st Fl, County Gov’t Ctr, East Wing, San Jose, CA 95110, (408)-299-2481

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.

Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner Office 850 Thornton Way, San Jose, CA 95128  Phone: (408) 793-1900

Hopefully, this short guide to arranging an affordable cremation service in Palo Alto 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 2019

Cremation options: choosing a cremation ceremony

This infographic from Skylawn Memorial Park gives a great and simple overview of the various cremation ceremony and cremation memorial options you can choose from.

Memorializing after the direct cremation

Understanding Direct Cremation Part 4 – Save on your memorialization costs

A direct cremation offers a family the opportunity to ‘simply’ employ the services of a funeral director and/or crematory to conduct the disposition of the deceased.  As mentioned in my earlier posts on Understanding Direct Cremation, it can help the family to arrange a direct cremation at a low cost, and then the family can arrange their own memorial service.

cremation-memorialOnce the direct cremation has been performed and the family have the ashes returned, a memorial service or life celebration service can be held.  This can be held anywhere and does not need to be in a funeral home.  Indeed it can be more befitting and uplifting to hold a memorial service somewhere that is special to the family or the deceased.  It can be held in a place of worship, a community center, a golf course clubhouse or outdoors in a garden or park.  The possibilities are endless!

Some in the funeral industry will have us believe that the ritual of memorialization is integral to how we grieve.  I believe that how everyone handles loss and grieving differs, and that a family are far better equipped to know and commemorate their loved one that has passed.

Some families need a funeral director, a minister or a Celebrant to help them conduct an appropriate and befitting tribute.  However, there is no ‘rule’ that says that this is right for every family.  If you feel you wish to conduct your own personalized memorial service, there are many resources and ideas online to help you.family-led-memorial-service

These days you can quite easily make your own memorial products such as memory tables or boards, memorial candles or balloons, memorial DVD tributes or a dedicated online memorial webpage.  If you are considering scattering some (or all) of your loved ones ashes, there are many creative ways to do so.

Part 6: Death away from home – a direct cremation & shipping cremated remains

[Sara Marsden] Google+