A Guide to Cremation Costs in Texas 2021

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What is the average cost of a funeral in Texas today?

More than ever Texans are turning to the internet to compare prices and get fair deals.  So why not ensure we apply the same mentality to checking cremation costs?  Traditional funerals are expensive.  The average cost of a funeral service in Texas is $5,192*, and this does not include any cemetery fees.  Adding cemetery expenses is likely to bring the full cost up to $7,000 – $9,000 for a ‘standard’ funeral service.  More extravagant funerals can cost double this!

In reality, there are not many families who can afford to pay out thousands for a funeral service these days.  A key reason why the cremation rate has increased so significantly in recent years. Choosing cremation reduces funeral expenses dramatically.  In fact, opting for a simple direct cremation can reduce your funeral expense to less than $1,000 in most cities in Texas.

What is the average cost of cremation in Texas?

Quoting the average cost of a cremation can depend on the type of cremation service.  It is fair to say that the average price for a cremation service is around $2,000 – $3,000 for a simple service.  You can pay more for an elaborate cremation funeral with a gathering.  Or you can pay less for just a basic cremation service.

As you can eliminate certain items from the funeral expenses, such as embalming, a casket, a grave liner, and a cemetery plot – this does save you money on the full cost of a funeral with burial.

What is the least expensive cremation service?

Direct cremation is the least expensive cremation option.  This is when just cremation is carried out, with no additional services or ceremony.  It is a simple dignified cremation of the deceased with minimal ‘fuss’, and at a minimal cost.

The cremated remains are returned to the next of kin after everything has been taken care of.  A family can choose to hold a memorial service if they wish when they are ready.

Direct cremation cost comparison in the 16 top cities in Texas

To help you understand how cremation costs can (and do) vary considerably, we have compiled some data on cremation costs in the major cities across Texas.  The table below provides a breakdown of the average direct cremation price vs. a low-cost direct cremation.  As you can see, in most areas, a direct cremation service can be arranged for less than $1,000.

City

Average direct cremation cost*

Low cost direct cremation

Immediate help

(DFS Memorials)

Abilene

$2,025

$1,125

 

Amarillo

$1,566

$975

 

Austin

$2,003

$675

(512) 253-1110

Brownsville

$1,426

$795

 

College Station

$2,025

$975

(979) 314-3889

Corpus Christi

$2,218

$1,175

(361) 208-0765

Dallas

$1,833

$755

(214) 380-4964

East Texas

$2,338

$795

 

El Paso

$1,259

$925

(915) 201-2446

Fort Worth

$1,819

$755

(817) 369-5240

Houston

$2,296

$640

(713) 309-6059

Laredo

$1,855

$995

 

Midland-Odessa

$2,285

$1,195

 

McAllen

$2,101

$995

 

San Antonio

$2,039

$675

(210) 460-1911

Waco

$1,483

$995

(254) 221-6609

Are there extra fees added to a low-cost cremation service package?

The service charge for a direct cremation is listed on the funeral provider’s General Price List. This should include the basic services of the funeral director, collection and transfer of the deceased, completing the legal paperwork, and conducting the cremation.  It usually includes a simple cardboard cremation container and a temporary urn.

The funeral director will pay third-party fees to the local county to obtain the death certificate and pay for any permit charges.  These are third-party fees that are added to the direct cremation service fee.  Cremation permit fees vary by county but are generally between $10 – $40 (if a charge is made).

Death certificates cost $20.00 for the initial certificate and $3.00 for each additional copy ordered at the same time.

Other possible additional charges would be:

  • Residential collection
  • Removal of a pace-maker
  • Overweight surcharge (above 250 pounds)
  • Family arrangement consultation
  • Mailing of cremated remains

What Texas funeral legislation governs cremation arrangements?

Texas has a mandatory 48-hour wait period after death before a cremation can proceed. As cremation is such a final disposition and destroys all DNA, there are strict codes and rules that govern the cremation of human remains.  A ‘Cremation Authorization Form’ must be signed by the legal next of kin before a cremation permit can be issued by the county coroner.

Can you get a free cremation in Texas?

Unfortunately, very little in life or death is ‘free’!  What is sometimes referred to as a “free” cremation or “no-cost” cremation is actually a whole-body donation.  Once the donation is performed, the remains are cremated free of charge.  However, in some cases, there are costs associated with transporting the deceased and obtaining death certificates.  Read more in this funeral planning guide.

Is there any financial assistance towards funeral expenses for families with no money?

Local Texas counties manage their own budgets to assist needy families and take care of the needs of indigents.  You should contact the social or human services department of your local county to inquire if any support is available.

There are other organizations, charities, and church groups that may offer some contribution to help families who are struggling with funeral expenses.  Arranging a basic direct cremation is the most economical option.

What happens if I cannot pay for a funeral?

The responsibility to pay the funeral bill falls to the immediate next of kin if the deceased had no pre-paid funeral plan or life insurance.  This can be very stressful if you lose a family member and become responsible for the funeral arrangements without any resources.  This resource on What to do if you cannot afford a funeral might help.

Do any cremation service providers offer discounts for hospice patients?

Yes, some cremation service providers do offer a discount to hospice patients seeking a direct cremation.  A discount is often based on the relationship with the hospice and the ease of arranging the collection and completing paperwork. This can reduce the time and manpower the funeral director needs to allocate to a case, and therefore he can offset this in the means of a discount to a hospice cremation service.

How much does a cremation cost if the deceased is at the Medical Examiner’s morgue?

If the deceased is at the coroner’s office, you will need to make arrangements with a funeral service provider to collect the body when the coroner signs the release form.  You will need to give authorization to the funeral director to collect your loved one and transfer him or her into their care.

As most funeral directors deal with the coroner’s office on a regular basis, and the ME issues the authorization and permit to cremate, it can make the arrangements easier.  For this reason, some funeral homes can offer a budget direct cremation when handling remains from the Medical Examiner.

* Average direct cremation prices data gathered from Funeralocity 2021.  Low-cost direct cremation prices obtained from DFS Memorials providers in Texas.

This entry was posted in Direct Cremation, How to Save Money on Funerals and tagged , , , by Sara Marsden. Bookmark the permalink.

About Sara Marsden

I have been researching and writing about the death care industry for the last ten years. End of life services and experiences are something most of us choose not to reflect upon until we are suddenly faced with dealing with it. I have been contributing comprehensive and independent resources for families that explain how the funeral industry operates, and the laws that govern funeral practices. Sara writes for US Funerals Online and DFS Memorials LLC, as well as contributing to other forums and publications for the death care industry. I have a BA in Cultural Studies. This helps my analysis of cultural death care rituals, alongside a career background in Business Management. The death care industry is undergoing an epoch of change and this fascinates me.