Average cremation costs in Boston, MA

As more and more families opt for cremation over a traditional burial, we find families are seeking out information to help them better understand their options.  This article provides a brief overview of cremation in Boston, how you can save money by arranging cremation services and helps you to compare cremation costs between funeral service providers in Boston.

How can you save money by arranging a cremation?

A cremation is likely to save you 40 – 50% on the cost of a traditional burial funeral.  Why is this? It is largely because you can eliminate some of the largest outlays associated with a funeral.  With cremation, there is no need for a casket, embalming, a burial vault, cemetery plot or full-size grave marker.  Eliminating these funeral merchandise items/services can save you a few thousand dollars!  Another way that cremation can save money is that it is possible to hold a memorial service (with the cremated remains present) without having to go ahead with a funeral ceremony immediately.  This can allow families time to make decisions.  Often this can mean that money-savings options can be more thoroughly explored.  Some families even choose to conduct their own memorial service, which can save on venue and staff costs, plus it also makes a service so much more personalized.

What is the average cost of a cremation in Boston?

Cremation prices do differ considerably between different funeral homes in Boston.  For this reason an ‘average’ cremation cost has to be put into the perspective depending on what kind of cremation services are being assessed.  Nationally the average cost of a cremation funeral is $3,745 for a cremation with a ceremony and a mid-range urn.  Average cremation costs in Boston are on par with this price.  However, cheaper cremation options are available as mentioned below.

Cremation Packages

A funeral home must have a general price list (GPL) outlining their service charges but many funeral homes also offer cremation packages, where a price is offered for a complete cremation service.  In comparing costs and services between funeral homes, it is important to ensure you are comparing like-for-like services, especially when it is a quoted cremation package price.  Not all cremation providers quote a fully inclusive price when quoting a cremation package.

Cremation ServiceDirect cremation in Boston

Direct cremation, or immediate cremation, is becoming an increasingly popular choice for funeral consumers.  A direct cremation is the simplest, and least expensive, option.  It involves the funeral home collecting the deceased, transferring him/her into their care, completing all the necessary paperwork and conducting the cremation (after the legal waiting period of 48-hours).  A basic cremation container is used and the ashes are generally returned in a temporary urn.  Direct cremation in Boston can cost anywhere between $1,395 and $3,000.

How do I choose a cremation provider in Boston?

Choosing a cremation provider can depend upon what kind of services you require.  If you are looking for a cremation with a ceremony or interment committal, then you will need a funeral home that offers the facilities for a ceremony and that is in a good location for your family.

If you have decided upon a simple direct cremation at the most affordable price, then you may consider the services of a provider who specifically offers a direct cremation at a low cost.  The locale of the funeral home is not as essential if no services are being held.  And many funeral homes have extended their service area for direct cremation services.

It is always wise to shop around and compare services and costs.  We do it in any other large purchase we make – so why not when purchasing end of life services?

What about preplanning a simple, affordable cremation?

Most budget cremation packages offered are an ‘at need’ price.  If you wish to purchase a simple cremation plan, you can expect the cost to be higher.  How much a cremation plan will cost will depend upon how it is funded and your age at the time of purchasing a prepaid plan.  Do consider that an alternative is to document your funeral wishes and put aside the appropriate funds to cover a basic cremation in a POD account [Payable on Death or Totten Trust].  Your money is safe and accumulating interest for you, and your surviving family/beneficiary can access the funds when the need arises.

What if the deceased had no life insurance? Is there any help with cremation costs in Boston?

Sadly more families are finding themselves struggling to meet funeral costs.  Public aid can be a little patchy depending upon where you are.  In Boston, the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) will pay for part of the cost of a funeral for MassHealth (Medicaid) members and other low-income, financially qualifying individuals. The DTA will pay up to $1,100 for funeral expenses that do not exceed $1,500.  You must inform your chosen funeral director that you are claiming a Medicaid or MassHealth funeral and the funeral director will then bill the DTA.  The deceased’s family must pay the remaining $400 to the funeral home.

There is also the $255 Social Security lump sum death benefit for those that qualify, and various union, faith, and charitable organizations may offer some support to families to assist with covering funeral costs

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