The cremation trend is changing the way we think about arranging a funeral. Although the cremation rate in Texas has typically been below the national rate, the demand for low-cost funeral alternatives is changing the way many Texans approach death care.
This guide aims to help you understand how to arrange a cremation in Houston and save on funeral costs.
Economic reasons for choosing cremation
Deciding whether to bury or cremate is very much a personal choice. For some families, the decision is dictated by the budget they have for a funeral. A cremation service will cost much less than a traditional burial funeral.
On average, a cremation service is going to save you at least 40% on the cost of a burial, sometimes, you can save as much as 60% on the cost of a burial service. More families are leaning towards cremation as it does offer greater flexibility.
The funeral service does not have to go ahead immediately. A cremation can be performed, and then a service can be held at a later date convenient to the family.
The economy has certainly impacted how we manage death care today. Many families simply cannot, or do not, want to spend unnecessarily on funeral costs. A cremation provides a simple, efficient, and economical means to conduct a disposition.
What is the cost of a direct cremation in Houston?
Firstly, it is important to state that cremation prices in Houston DO vary quite considerably between funeral homes, depending on what type of cremation service you opt for. Not all funeral homes have their own crematory but will use the services of a local crematory. Houston has become very competitive for affordable cremation services and you will find a number of cremation providers offering direct cremation packages in Houston for between $749 – $3,000.
A basic cremation can be conducted in Houston for $749. This is what is known as a “direct cremation.” No services are performed. The deceased is collected, transported to the funeral facility, prepared for cremation, and the cremation is conducted.
The cremated remains are returned to the family in a temporary plastic urn. If desired, the family can arrange a brief final goodbye viewing at the funeral home.
Call DFS Memorials now at (713) 309-6059 to arrange a direct cremation in Houston for $749
What type of cremation services are available?
You can select from a range of cremation services and packages. These will start with a basic cremation without any additional services, which is the cheapest type of cremation package.
You can have a full-service funeral that is followed by the cremation, a cremation followed by a memorial service, or just a viewing followed by a cremation. The change in the funeral industry today is the move towards ‘personalization’ and making a funeral service that fits the needs of the family, whatever they are.
How do I know that the cremated remains I get back are my loved one’s remains?
This is probably the most common cremation question we are asked. Strict laws govern the cremation of human remains, and identity checks have to be made along the way. The cremation retort has to be completely cleared following a cremation, and only one cremation can be performed at a time.
The remains are cleared into a machine that filters out any metal parts (tooth fillings, hip replacements, etc) and then ground into the fine ‘dust’ that is returned as cremation ashes.
Understanding the legal requirements for cremation in Houston
As mentioned above, there are laws in place regarding the cremation of human remains. A cremation cannot be performed until a cremation permit is issued by the medical examiner’s office.
The legal next of kin must sign a Cremation Authorization Form, and there is a mandatory legal waiting period in Texas of 48 hours after death before a cremation can go ahead.
It is not necessary to embalm a body for cremation, and refrigerated storage is used to preserve the body until the cremation is performed. The funeral home will generally store the body for up to 5 days in refrigerated storage at no extra charge. If the cremation does not go ahead within 5 days, an additional fee for storage may be incurred.
What can we do with the cremated remains?
Cremation offers some greater flexibility in what you can do with the cremated remains once you have them returned. You can, of course, inter them in a grave plot or niche.
However, you can choose to store them in an urn at home or scatter the cremated remains.
There are also options, such as having cremation artifacts made from cremated remains, such as cremation diamonds, glass jewelry, birdbaths, and paintings.
Preplanning an affordable direct cremation service in Houston
If you wish to preplan a simple cremation, you can lock in a low-cost cremation price of $749. This may depend upon your age at the time of setting up a prepaid cremation plan. A cremation plan can be set up using an insurance policy where the funds are put into a trust.
You can also opt to preplan your cremation service without prepaying. This ensures that your surviving family can proceed with arrangements at the time of need without having to worry about completing the paperwork or making difficult decisions. The money to pay for the cremation can be put aside in a POD account (Payable on Death), which your beneficiary can draw out upon death immediately without probate.
Can an overweight body be cremated?
A standard cremation at the inclusive cremation cost of $749 is for a person who weighs up to 300 pounds. Over this weight, there is an additional charge as additional work is required to prepare the body, reinforce the cremation container, and extra gas usage. The additional amount will depend upon the weight of the deceased.
The deceased had no life insurance – is there any help with cremation costs?
It is sadly a reality that more folks are passing without leaving the means to pay for their funeral. If you are faced with this situation, you need to explore what help may be available to you. Social Security pays out a $255 lump sum death benefit (if you qualify), and your funeral director can assist you with this.
The support for indigent burials differs so much by state and county. To find out what may be available, you should contact the Harris, Fort Bend, and Montgomery County Human Services Departments.
DFS Memorials low-cost cremation services are available to residents all residents of Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Brazoria, Galveston, Liberty, Waller, Chambers, Austin, and San Jacinto counties. Large cities we service include Houston, Pearland, Conroe, Deer Park, Friendswood, Galveston, Lake Jackson, La Porte, League City, Missouri City, Sugar Land, Texas City, and The Woodlands. Surrounding cities included in our service area include Alvin, Angleton, Bellaire, Clute, Dickinson, Freeport, Galena Park, Humble, Jacinto City, Katy, La Marque, Richmond, Rosenberg, South Houston, Stafford, and West University Place.
*death certificates not included in basic direct cremation package
This package at $749 is available when the deceased is held in morgue facilities, either at the Medical Examiners or at a hospital morgue. Additional fees may apply for a residential or nursing home collection.
Visit this Guide to Cremation Costs in Texas 2023 for more information.