How much does direct cremation cost in 2022?

The last two years have brought significant changes to the funeral industry. Funeral homes were unexpectedly thrust into a crisis as COVID-19 deaths and restrictions on social gatherings forced the industry to adapt very quickly as last responders. So, here we review what we can expect for cremation costs in 2022.

The table below provides a breakdown of low-cost direct cremation costs in major cities and links to contact a local low-cost cremation provider if you have an immediate need for an affordable cremation service.

Change in the cremation rate 2021

Cremation was already a fast-growing trend that funeral homes were adapting to.  The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) Cremation & Burial Report projected the cremation rate at 56% for 2020.  But in the face of the pandemic, cremation became the only viable disposition option for many families, and funeral homes, faced with making funeral arrangements without holding a funeral service.

Although no data is yet available on the cremation rate for 2021, I expect it to be higher than projected as a result of the unprecedented crisis.

The shift to online cremation price comparison and arrangement

Arrange a cremation onlineAnother trend in funeral consumer behavior is the expectation to find cremation prices online.  According to The Foresight Company 2020 Funeral and Cemetery Consumer Study, 75% of people seeking cremation services want transparent online pricing.  With 52% claiming they only want to arrange services with a funeral home that provides clear online cremation pricing.  This consumer behavior trend could likely continue to impact cremation pricing into 2022, with more funeral homes adopting online price lists.  And, as cremation consumers continue to price-shop online, funeral homes will need to adapt their marketing strategies for online cremation consumers.

How 2021 has impacted cremation prices in 2022?

From our observations with the DFS Memorials low-cost cremation network, the impact we have observed is some fluctuation in direct cremation prices going into 2022.  With an increased volume of cremation cases and a competitive market for cremation services, I had anticipated the cost of cremation to remain static or even decrease.  We have seen prices increase in some cities and yet decrease in others.

So, why do cremation prices seem to be fluctuating in some areas?

This may be because there is still a comparative shortage of cremation retorts serving some areas.  Installing cremation equipment can be costly. Many small funeral homes could not afford to install their own cremation retort as the cremation rate grew. Instead, using the trade services of another local crematory.  Also, some funeral homes have faced zoning issues when trying to add crematory facilities. Especially as traditionally funeral homes were located in residential areas.  Funeral homes have encountered resistance from residents who have expressed concern about the potential emissions from a crematory nearby.

The rise in gas prices in 2022 is now affecting cremation costs across the country.  We are witnessing cremation package price increases to reflect the rising cost of transport charges and crematory gas supply.

2022 Breakdown of cremation costs

The price for a cremation service still varies considerably.  Even within the same area, you will find different funeral homes and cremation providers charging different prices for a similar service.  Therefore, it pays to shop around some. Below we have included a breakdown of the low and high cremation prices in the top most populated metropolitan areas in the United States to give you an idea of how much a cremation cost can vary in a city.

Click on a city to contact the DFS Memorials provider for the area.

City State DFS Memorials -Low-cost cremation price Most expensive cremation price
New York City NY $395 $10,200
Los Angeles CA $750 $4,450
Chicago IL $1,165 $4,600
Houston TX $640 $6,570
Phoenix AZ $725 $5,975
Philadelphia PA $1,095 $4,950
San Antonio TX $725 $3,875
San Diego CA $995 $2,790
Dallas TX $755 $6,300
Austin TX $725 $3,095
Jacksonville FL $695 $3,695
Fort Worth TX $795 $4,045
Columbus OH $650 $4,090
Charlotte NC $1,225 $4,400
San Francisco CA $995 $3,790
Indianapolis IN $650 $6,100
Seattle WA $1,050 $3,855
Denver CO $999 $4,012
Washington DC DC $1,645 $7,600
El Paso TX $925 $2,090
Nashville TN $995 $4,400
Las Vegas NV $795 $2,350
Atlanta GA $995 $4,590
Miami FL $696 $4,545

The prices quoted are for a direct cremation service.

What is a direct cremation?

Direct cremation is sometimes referred to as low-cost cremation, basic cremation, or economical cremation.  No funeral services are provided as part of the service. The deceased is collected from the place of death, sheltered in refrigeration, the legal paperwork is completed, and then the cremation is conducted.  There is no viewing, embalming, or ceremony. Once the cremation is completed, the cremated remains are returned to the family.

It is a simple and direct service which is what keeps the costs down.  This simple, affordable, ‘no-fuss’ cremation option is proving a growth trend in the cremation sector. It had been a steadily growing trend, and the pandemic only exacerbated the demand.

In some states,t is even possible to arrange a direct cremation without needing the services of a funeral home.

Will cremation costs remain the same in 2022?

We would all love to be able to predict the future! But, alas, the best forecasts can be affected by unexpected events.  Last year proved that to us all.  Funeral homes and crematories in some cities witnessed overwhelming demand for cremations last year. In some cases, older crematories (such as in New York City) simply could not cope with the increased demand. Older equipment overheated trying to keep up with the capacity.  Newer cremation equipment can handle a higher capacity of cremations per day, but installing new equipment (or upgrading) is an overhead that a funeral home will need to recover in its costs.  Many small independent funeral homes, already coping with declining revenue due to the shift to cremation, cannot afford the overhead (or risk) to now add new cremation equipment.

How the rising costs of gas, cremation permits, and emission regulation may continue to affect cremation prices.

The cost of gas is another factor that could impact cremation prices in 2022.  According to a report from Met Group in 2020 forecasting natural gas prices from 2020 to 2025, we are likely to see a rise in price from 2022 due to a few factors.

  • The continuing coronavirus pandemic
  • The switch to greener, renewable energy sources
  • The Saudi Arabia-Russia price wars
  • Weather

Before a cremation can go ahead, the local county coroner must issue a cremation permit to the crematory or funeral home.  A few years ago, coroners often issued permits to the funeral director at no charge. Today, these permits vary in price depending on the county, and many have increased the charge for issuing a cremation permit significantly.  Most cremation permits range from $10.00 to $60.00, but Wisconsin has some of the highest charges in the country. A cremation permit in Milwaukee County costs $357.00.

With the current focus on renewable energy and reducing carbon emissions, it is quite possible that new legislation on monitoring and managing crematory emissions may affect existing crematories.  In some EU countries, where the cremation rate has been at 70% (or above) for some years, recent EU emissions legislation meant many crematories had to install new equipment to reduce their emissions.  The cost of this resulted in consumer cremation costs increasing.

Cremation funeralWhat alternatives to low-cost cremation may emerge?

Cremation has gained traction in the last decade most significantly because of cost.  Yes, there are other influencing factors. But, simply put, for many families, direct cremation became the only low-cost alternative to arrange a funeral.  Some counties even switched from indigent burial to direct cremation to reduce their budgets for indigent funerals.

However, with more focus on climate change and greener alternatives, new green funeral alternatives are emerging.  Water cremation and natural organic reduction (NOR) or human composting are two new greener disposition alternatives.  At the moment, both these options are still relatively costly compared to a low-cost direct cremation.  Similarly, natural green burial presents a more affordable and natural alternative to cremation but still costs more than a simple cremation.  If there is an increasing interest in natural burial, there is a chance the costs could decrease.  A 2019 survey by the NFDA found that almost 52% of Americans expressed an interest in green burial options.

In 2022, a green burial is still going to cost between $3,000 and $5,500 because it is a niche option, and there are limited green burial sites and providers.  Natural burial potentially could offer a long-term solution to addressing affordability and sustainability in the death care industry.  If natural burial could be offered at a comparative cost to cremation.

Pre-planning a direct cremation in 2022

2020 brought death to the forefront of our world. The fear of death shrouded us all for a period of time and still lurks in the corner.  The taboo subject of discussing death and dying was given a renewed life.

Are you thinking about the benefits of establishing a cremation plan? Do you want to ensure you have a pre-need plan in place for your own peace of mind and your family?

Pre-arranging a cremation now is a great way to lock in prices.  But, do be aware that any plan or policy you take out now will include an incremental cost element to cover future cremation costs.

Another way to pre-plan is to document your final wishes, sign the authorizations, and secure the appropriate funds in a POD bank account.  You can adjust the funds annually to reflect the current direct cremation price in your area.

Final thoughts….

These last couple of years have reminded us that nothing endures and that we should make the most of what we have right now.  But, it also reminded us that we should be prepared for the unexpected.

As Benjamin Franklin famously quoted, “Nothing is certain except death and taxes” in this world.   It often seems to me that the people have been extorted by both for a century or so.  Funerals DO NOT need to be expensive.  A simple cremation, or simple burial, can be conducted for less than $1,500.  Hopefully, with the online tools we now have and a greater awareness of researching options, more families will access affordable funeral options in 2022.

The DFS Memorials affordable cremation network aims to help families connect with a local cremation option from an independent funeral home.

What you need to know about cremation services and costs in California in 2022

Affordable Cremation Service CaliforniaWhat is the cremation rate in California?

California is ranked as the state in the U.S. with the highest population (39,466,917 in 2021) which represents about 12% of the total population. The states in the West also have some of the highest cremation rates, with California ranking at 14th, and a cremation rate of 63.4% in 2015 (latest state by state data).  This is above the national cremation rate, which reached 53.5% in 2017.

So, it is apparent that cremation is a preferred alternative to burial for families across the West Coast.  How has this affected the funeral industry in California? And, more importantly, has this made cremation a more affordable option for Californians?

The average traditional burial funeral service in California can run to $10,000 or more, whereas the average price for a cremation service is between $600 to $3,000.  This means cremation services offer a more affordable, and more flexible, alternative to traditional funeral services.

How much does it cost for a cremation in Los Angeles?

As mentioned above, cremations can cost between $700 to $3,000.  This can depend on the type of cremation service selected, and the cremation service provider chosen.  A direct cremation is the cheapest cremation option.

Call (323) 798-9055   Direct Cremation $750

Online sources quote that in LA, the average cost for a cremation memorial service is $5,278*, and the average cost for a direct cremation is $1,656*.

In the Greater Los Angeles area, a direct cremation service can be conducted for as little as $750.  A direct cremation is a basic cremation without any ceremony or services conducted by the funeral home or mortuary.  The deceased is collected directly from the place of death and transported to the funeral home or crematory.  The cremation is conducted, and the cremated remains then returned to the family.

The chart here provides a sample of direct cremation prices from a selection of Los Angeles direct cremation service providers in 2022.

How do cremation prices compare in the Bay Area?

The Bay Area, including San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, and Stockton, compares very similarly to LA, with cremation prices ranging from around $800 to $3,300.  Marin County has one of the highest cremation rates in the country, and cremation is certainly a popular choice for many Bay Area residents.  There are several cremation companies that have chosen to focus on the demand for simple and low-cost direct cremation, and offer arrangements without the need to even visit a funeral home.  So, you will find a number of direct cremation providers competing for this affordable cremation market and offering direct cremation services for around $1,000.

Call (415) 286-9121   Direct Cremation $995

What can you expect to pay for cremation in Sacramento?

The average cost for a direct cremation in Sacramento is $1,613*, although again, there are cremation providers offering lower-cost direct cremation.  The best price for affordable direct cremation in Sacramento is around $995.

Call (916) 229-6142   Direct Cremation $995

Cremation costs in Northern California.

The basic cost rises somewhat in Northern California, and a simple direct cremation service will cost in and around $995 in Redding and in the region of $1,400 in Chico.

Direct cremation in Southern California.

San Diego has a high cremation rate and a low direct cremation priceThe average price for a direct cremation is $1,374*, although the lowest cost is $600.  As the cremation market is competitive in San Diego, there are several funeral homes offering a direct cremation service for under $1,000.

Call (619) 268-1962   Direct Cremation $995

Where is the cheapest place to be cremated in California?

Southern California proves to be the cheapest place to be cremated.  In Los Angeles and San Diego, direct cremation services are available for between $700 – $1,000.  Being that both these cities have the largest populations in California, there will be growing interest from funeral service providers to capture more of the cremation market, as the cremation rate continues to climb.  So, it is possible that the cremation market will become even more competitive and drive prices lower.

What laws govern cremation services in California?

Each state has a funeral licensing body.  It is their responsibility to ensure that state laws pertaining to the disposition of a body are correctly implemented and to conduct inspections and licensed establishments.

Before cremation can be performed, a ‘Declaration for Disposition of Cremated Remains Form’ must be legally signed.  This must be signed by the legal immediate next-of-kin, or if you are preplanning, you can sign the form for yourself.  This form is a written authorization for the cremation to proceed.  A contract with the cremation service provider should also specify the location and time of disposition, and an agreement to pay the cost for the cremation service.

The funeral director must obtain a ‘Permit for Disposition of Human Remains VS 9’ from the county health department.  Commonly referred to as a cremation permit.  Once all the legal paperwork is completed, the cremation process can go ahead.

According to California law, there is no requirement for a casket for cremation, but a ‘combustible cremation container’ must be used for the purpose of cremation.

Cremation Service CAHow long does cremation take in California?

A cremation can proceed when all the required legal paperwork and permits are authorized and completed.  Firstly, the death certificate must be obtained.  How long this takes can depend on the doctor signing the death certificate off, and the nature of the cause of death.  Once, a death certificate is obtained and the Cremation Authorization Form is in order, the funeral director can obtain the permit to cremate from the county.

Generally, this all takes a few days, and the cremated remains should be available for you to collect within 7 to 10 days after the deceased was taken into the care of the cremation services provider.

Can you deal directly with a crematory in California?

In California, the use of a funeral home is not required by law. Therefore, if you so choose, you can deal directly with a crematory to handle the cremation. If you are not using the services of a funeral director, you would need to apply for, and file, the death certificate and obtain the Permit for Disposition from the county registrar.

Arranging a direct cremation & conducting a family memorial or ash-scattering in California

More families are opting to choose direct cremation and then perform their own memorial service.  This is a significant way to make death care affordable and personalized.  Once the funeral home has completed the direct cremation and the family has the ashes returned, a memorial can be organized at a time and place that is appropriate and meaningful.  All this can be arranged at a fraction of the cost of a cremation funeral or a burial funeral with a funeral home.

What is the cost of an ash-scattering at sea off the coast of California?

California has an expansive coastline and therefore attracts many residents who wish to perform a scattering of cremated remains at the coast, or in the Pacific Ocean.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires a sea scattering to be performed 3 nautical miles out at sea.

There are numerous charter services from Southern and Central California.  The cost for a sea scattering will vary, depending on whether it is accompanied or unaccompanied.  Unaccompanied scattering can start at around $200, especially if offered as an ‘add-on’ service by your cremation provider.  Charters for groups to go out to conduct a sea scattering ceremony will again vary, depending on the size of the boat, people attending, and how many hours at sea are requested.

What happens if you cannot afford a cremation in California?

Sadly, we are entering an era of ‘funeral poverty’ where too many families find themselves unprepared for funeral expenses.  Counties generally have an obligation to cover the costs for indigent dispositions.  However, there is very limited financial assistance for those that are low-income or simply living paycheck to paycheck.

A low-cost direct cremation is the most inexpensive option, but most cremation providers will require payment in full before they will collect the deceased and transfer he or she into their care.

If you have any further questions about cremation services in California, call your nearest DFS Memorials affordable cremation provider, who will be happy to assist you.

Sources:

The cremation rate in California

Population data

*Prices obtained from Funeralocity website May 2022

Online Cremation Arrangements or Pre-planning online

If someone had told me 10 years ago that a family would make online cremation arrangements for a funeral without ever visiting my funeral home, I would have said they were crazy!”  stated Vincent, the DFS Memorials funeral director for New York during a recent conversation we had.

A fourth-generation funeral director he has witnessed a significant change in the industry over the last decade, and now embraces how the Internet is revolutionizing what he, and his family,  has known as a traditional business for generations.

He is one of a number of more progressive funeral professionals who recognize how embracing and utilizing technology can help them be on the cusp of great change within death care in the U.S.

The COVID pandemic further pushed the funeral industry to adapt to change.  A change in technology, and being able to offer online cremation arrangements, and remote document signatures. The pandemic also gave the cremation rate a driver. Many families had no choice but to arrange a cremation to take care of a family member’s immediate disposition.

cremations-onlineThe Rise of Online Funeral Arrangement

There is no doubt, nor room for debate, that we have become a culture of online consumers.  According to a study by BIA/Kelsey 97% of consumers now use some form of online media to research products and services, and it is widely accepted that with smartphones and tablets, we are all much more intuitive to that ‘instant gratification’ of information….wherever we are!  Whilst 93% of the U.S. population is now online, a study by Pew in 2021 reported that 85% of U.S. adults now own a smartphone, whilst 53% own a tablet.  This clearly demonstrates that our access to online technology significantly positions the majority of us to make purchase decisions online.

A few years ago the notion of Online Funerals was often synonymous with the notion of webcast funerals – the live streaming of a funeral service over the web.  Today online funerals take on a whole new meaning as families can conduct all arrangements for a funeral without ever needing to visit a funeral home.

Why Arrange a Cremation Online?

The cremation trend can be seen as attributable to this rise in making funeral arrangements online.  Cremation has brought about a more simplistic and flexible approach to a funeral.  We often hear people (especially the Baby Boomer generation) say “I just want a simple cremation”.  Opting for cremation as a simple, no-fuss disposition means that it can be easily facilitated by making arrangements with the funeral home or crematory either online or by phone.

One of the fastest-growing sectors of cremation is direct cremation.  This is a basic cremation with no services. As no services are held, and an immediate cremation is performed after any mandatory period has elapsed, those families opting for a direct cremation often feel there is little value in visiting the funeral home.

Keep funeral costs down: Stay in Charge of the funeral decision-making process!

In many cases, the family has opted for the lowest cost cremation because they could not afford anything else, and the last thing they want is to enter a funeral home and feel uncomfortable asking for low-cost services!  Being able to make all the arrangements online can alleviate them from the human emotional aspect of dealing with a funeral salesperson.

Many funeral homes that offer online cremation arrangements offer very simplistic interfaces that enable the family to make their choices from clearly marked selections – be it choosing a cremation package, selecting an urn, or posting an obituary.  The simple online arrangement option means that you can calmly and more objectively work through the arrangement details and make decisions from the comfort of your own home.

Read our post on What happens during the cremation process? From the Funeral Home receiving the deceased for a cremation to giving the family the cremated remains to understand more about the whole cremation process.

3 Simple Steps to Arranging a Cremation Online

It can be as easy as 1-2-3!  Those funeral homes that offer online cremation arrangements generally have a completely automated system that requires you to follow the steps required to complete the arrangement process.

step-one#1  You need to submit the necessary personal information about the deceased in order that the funeral home can obtain the death certificate, notify social security and obtain the necessary authorization and permits to conduct the cremation.

 

step-two#2  Secondly, you will be asked to complete a ‘Cremation Authorization Form’.  This must be completed by the legal next of kin, and the person thereby authorized to make funeral arrangements.

 

step-three#3  Finally, you will need to make a selection of what kind of cremation package you require and any cremation merchandise you require, such as cremation urns or any additional copies of death certificates.

Generally, once you have completed the online forms and submitted the information, a funeral director will contact you to finalize the arrangements and complete the payment process.  The whole online process should take no longer than about 20 minutes to complete.  Payment can be made by credit card, or by sending in a check or money order.  In some cases, you can pay with PayPal or Bitcoin!  How easy is that?

What about Human Interaction?

Some of my co-workers are skeptical about the future growth of online arrangement tools.  “What about the human interaction?” they claim, “People still want to talk to someone”.

Almost all funeral homes that offer online funeral arrangements tools also offer a funeral director at the end of the phone should you have any questions or queries.  For many funeral homes where revenue is declining as families turn to cremation [average funeral home revenues are down 37%], being able to offer online arrangements enables them to keep cremation prices down and minimize their overhead.

If for any reason you feel uncomfortable about completing arrangements online, you should first consult with the funeral home.  In many cases talking to a funeral professional can help to salve any concerns you may have.  I have known of funeral directors who will actually complete the process online with the family on the end of the phone.

I know of several funeral homes offering online arrangements that DO require the family to phone first for a secure password to access the online arrangement tool.  This is to help prevent unnecessary spam use or competitors soliciting information.

Save on Cremation Costs: Discounts for Online Cremation Arrangements

Don’t we all love a deal these days? How about $100 off if you arrange online?  Several of the cremation providers we work with offer specially discounted cremation prices for those families that will complete the arrangement process online.  The savings that they can make on overhead can be passed on to the families they serve.  It may well be that their web advertised direct cremation price is an “Internet-Only” offer, or you will be offered some kind of cash discount off the cost of cremation if you DO complete all the arrangement process online.

A Word of Warning:  Watch out for Add-On Pricing!

As a final note – do be aware that in some cases that enticing low-cost cremation price may be a very basic price, and you may find add-on items bump this price up as you complete the online process.  It is wise to ensure you have read the full breakdown of what is included with the package you are selecting before starting the online process.

Check that the package includes the cremation container, any crematory fee, and at least 1 copy of a death certificate.   A temporary cremation urn (a plastic/cardboard container) is generally provided with a direct cremation but you can select an upgraded urn.

For those that are comfortable with making purchases online, organizing the elements of a simple cremation disposition online may come relatively easily, for others this may still seem too giant a leap of custom and culture.

However, the fact that a significant number of progressive and entrepreneurial funeral businesses are now offering this as an alternative option to traditional methods of funeral arrangement certainly does signify that there is a demand in the funeral marketplace.

The separation between the disposition (cremation) element of the funeral ritual and the memorialization (service) highlights how the funeral industry is to some degree fragmenting.  Today many families seek the disposition only element from the funeral home and then organize the memorialization themselves.  Whether this is by enlisting a funeral celebrant, a local minister or simply arranging their own secular memorial service.  Being able to organize the disposition online via a simple e-arrangement system, can help make this a simple process to manage.

Arranging a basic cremation in Toronto for $1,595.15 complete

Cremation is a popular choice for Canadians, with around 73% opting for cremation as their final disposition Statista 2020). The cost of a cremation can vary considerably throughout the GTA area, and basic cremations are advertised for between $1,595.15 and $5,000. If you are arranging a simple cremation in Toronto you may want to compare cremation services and prices between the budget cremation providers.

There are several lower-cost cremation options being offered, but not all will include exactly the same services, so it is important to check that a cremation price advertised is fully inclusive of all service charges.  For example, cash disbursements are often NOT included in a quoted price and these can include such items as the death certificate, cremation permit, and sometimes even the crematorium fee (if the funeral home is using a third-party crematorium).

Cost of a direct cremation in Toronto

Simple or basic cremation is generally a cremation without a service.  It is called a ‘direct’ cremation in the funeral industry.  This is the cheapest cremation option in Toronto. The cost of a basic cremation in Toronto can be anything from $1,595.15 to $5,000.  This can depend upon the cremation service provider and whereabouts you are located.

Some providers will offer an all-inclusive price +GST.

The average cost of a cremation in GTA

basic-cremation-toronto

Cremation costs vary between funeral homes and cremation providers.  The price of a cremation will also differ depending upon the type of cremation service you select.  The lowest cost cremation in Toronto is a direct cremation, which can be arranged for just $1,595.15.  A cremation with a full funeral service, on the other hand, is likely to cost in the region of $4,000 to $8,000.

 

Arranging cremation services in Toronto

If you need to find a funeral services provider in Toronto you can use this funeral homes in Toronto directory of all funeral service providers in GTA.  If you require a guide to arranging a cremation in Toronto, then this funeral planning guide for Toronto may be useful to you.

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.

What can we do with the cremated remains?

ash scatteringCremation 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 Toronto

If you wish to preplan a simple cremation you can lock in a low-cost cremation price in Toronto. 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 make 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.

Call your local DFS provider now on (437) 886-4318 to discuss pre-planning a direct cremation.

Can an overweight body be cremated?

A standard cremation at the inclusive cremation cost of $1,595.15 is for a person who weighed 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.

Affordable cremation $1,595.15 available throughout the GTA area and to residents of East York, Etobicoke, Scarborough, North York, York, Burlington, Guelph, Halton Hills, Hamilton, Mississauga, & Oakville

Green Burial: An affordable and environmentally-friendly alternative death care option

Natural Burial Explained

What is a green burial or natural burial?

A natural burial, or green burial, focuses on an environmentally sustainable and organic way to conduct the disposition of a deceased body.  The deceased is not embalmed, and the body is interred into the ground, using only a biodegradable coffin or shroud.   The deceased is buried directly into the earth, without a concrete burial vault, or any metal parts on the coffin.

The aim is to allow the body to naturally decompose and return to the soil, as in the phrase so commonly used around death of “ashes to ashes, dust to dust”.

Natural burialWhy Opt for a natural burial?

Green funerals have been around for some time.  Indeed, what we know as a traditional American Funeral, was closer to being a natural burial in the mid-19th century, when undertakers built wooden coffins and interment was direct into the earth.

Some faiths practice only natural burial, such as Muslims and Jews, where beliefs mandate a natural, organic approach to death care.

Natural burial is experiencing something of a revival today.  It is gaining more attention in states where there is also a greater awareness, and undertaking, to be more sustainable and protect our planet and its resources.  There is also a growing interest in home funerals or family-led funerals.  Read more about conducting a DIY Funeral.

The main reasons people consider a green burial are:

  • Simplicity
  • Cost
  • Conserving natural resources & natural areas
  • Eliminating the exposure to hazardous chemicals

Simplicity

Those who opt for a natural burial are often seeking a more simple and holistic approach to death care.  They want funeral arrangements that are simple, have a minimal intervention on the body, and provide a lasting green impact on the planet.  There are options for the deceased to be buried with a seedling, allowing a tree to grow from the remains of someone who passed.  This does seem a wonderful legacy to re-oxygenate our planet and have a long-term memorial arboretum.

Cost

According to the NFDA 2020 Cremation & Burial report, a typical traditional funeral, including casket, embalming, and burial vault costs $8,755, and this is without a cemetery plot fee.  Items such as embalming, a casket, a burial vault, and a plot in perpetuity in a designated cemetery, are all costly.

A natural burial works out much less expensive as none of these items are required.

Conserving natural resources & natural areas

Natural Conservation Burial SiteEvery year the U.S. buries 17,000 tons of steel and copper in vaults, 90,000 tons of steel in caskets, 30 million board feet of hardwood, and 1.6 million tons of concrete.  A natural burial is not demanding on our resources as fewer resources are consumed.  Cremation, which has become more popular over the last decade, requires the resource of gas, so although sometimes considered more environmentally friendly, it is still consuming a natural resource.

Green burial also helps to conserve our natural areas, and even create new natural forests and meadows.  Visit our post on Why Should You Consider a Green Funeral.

Eliminating the exposure to hazardous chemicals

Formaldehyde which is used in embalming fluid is a hazardous chemical.  It is a known respiratory irritant and carcinogen.  Aside from embalming fluid absorbing into our planet as a body decomposes, it is not safe to expose funeral home workers and morticians to this hazardous substance on a routine basis.

Can a natural burial be affordable?

Yes, green burial or natural burial, is significantly more affordable than a traditional funeral.  The need for the embalming process, an expensive casket, and a burial vault are all eliminated.

The costs for a simple cardboard container to hold the deceased, a simple pine coffin, or a muslin shroud are way less than a steel or copper casket.

There are some natural burial sites that offer interment at very affordable prices.  It is fair to say that a simple, natural burial can cost between $500 – $1,500.

How do I choose a green burial site?

There are certain things you need to consider if you are seeking a green burial site.  Do you want a bespoke natural cemetery? Or a specially-designated ‘green’ section within a conventional cemetery.  This is what is known as a ‘hybrid’ green burial cemetery.  There are more conventional cemeteries that are adding green burial sections to cater to the demand for a natural burial.  Some of these cemeteries may still have plot fees that are considered more expensive than a conservation natural burial ground, as they still have costs associated with cemetery ground maintenance.

If you are interested in a ‘wild’ conservation area burial site, then you need to be more selective in which site you choose.

Click here for a list of all green burial cemeteries in the U.S.

What if there is no green burial cemetery locally?

You can consider making a burial in a cemetery greener by choosing not to have embalming performed, and using a biodegradable casket.  If the cemetery will allow it, you can choose not to use a concrete burial vault.

If the family owns rural land, you can consider a home burial.  Most states allow natural burial on private property.  Each county has its own zoning requirements, so you would need to apply for the correct permit.  Just bear in mind that unless you have established a protected family cemetery on the land, if the land-use should change, the remains could become inaccessible or disturbed.

Do I need a funeral director?  And, how do I choose a funeral company for a green burial?

In most states, you do not legally need to employ a funeral director.  It is just a convention that we do.  There are 8 states that have legislation that stipulates only a funeral director can transport the deceased and obtain the necessary permits and death certificates.  If you have decided on a natural burial for a family member, in the 42 states where you do not legally have to use the services of a funeral director, you have the option to conduct a family-led funeral and transfer the deceased to the natural burial ground for interment.

Most funeral homes can assist you with a green burial option if this is what you choose.  There are also several funeral companies that are specialized in offering natural burial options.

How do I choose a receptacle for a natural burial?

Green Burial ContainerYou need to choose a biodegradable container.  This can range from a plain wooden coffin, reinforced cardboard container, wicker basket to a simple muslin shroud.  It is all about what is right for your loved one, and your family.  A wooden coffin is likely to cost more but is easier to safely transport.  Reinforced cardboard containers can be purchased at a low cost, and can be hand-decorated with messages by family and friends before being interred at a burial site.

Shrouds offer very limited support for transferring the deceased to a cemetery but have the most minimal resistance as a biodegradable barrier.

What kind of memorial marker can be erected in a green burial cemetery?

This depends on the burial site.  If it is a hybrid green cemetery, you may be able to erect a conventional grave marker.  In conservation natural burial sites, the objective is to minimize the impact on the natural terrain.  Therefore, markers are typically only a simple natural rock or native plant.  Some green burial sites will offer some plaques that sit very flush with the ground.  Most natural burial sites offer grave locations recorded by GPS so that you have a permanent ‘marker’ of the gravesite location.

What does a natural burial cost?

The cost of a natural burial varies by region and what type of burial site you opt for.  In general terms, a green burial for a body will range from $1,000 to $4,000.  Interment of cremated remains in a natural burial site is likely to cost between $200 and $1,000.

Although a natural burial can be achieved at a fraction of the cost of a traditional burial, some funeral home charges for a green burial can seem expensive.  A funeral home will use a simple pine casket, that they will likely mark up.  You can purchase, or make, your own container, as the funeral home must accept any ‘appropriate’ container you provide. This can make a significant saving on the cost of the burial.

A natural burial is a very simplistic and humanist approach to death care.  Many families who opt for a natural burial feel strongly about being in control of the process, and the ritual, of death care.

A green burial can often be arranged as an inexpensive option for direct burial.

State Assistance for Funerals: What help is available from state budgets for funeral costs for those who cannot afford a funeral?

The reality for many families in the United States today is that a funeral can mean a financial crisis.  With 76% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, 25% living below the poverty line, and 35% in debt recovery, these really are hard times for many average hard-working Americans!  The story is a familiar one, working two jobs, juggling mortgage, utility, and car payments, seeking out deals wherever money can be saved, and hoping that nothing comes along unexpectedly to disrupt this fine balance!

In this guide, we have outlined what help is available, who qualifies for financial assistance, how to find out about indigent burial, how whole-body donation can be an option, how you may be able to claim for a COVID death, and other fund-raising options.

Visit How Much does Cremation Cost in 2021? for a breakdown of direct cremation costs.

cremation-costsWho is responsible for paying the funeral bill?

If the deceased died without a funeral plan, money in his/her estate, or a life insurance policy, then the immediate next of kin (and generally the person making the funeral arrangements) becomes responsible for paying the funeral home bill.  In many cases, several family members may agree to share the costs.

If the funeral home has collected the deceased and arranged a funeral planning conference with the family, a ‘funeral contract’ will be drafted that outlines exactly what the costs are.  Once signed this is a legally binding contract for services, and if you fail to honor this contract and pay for services as agreed, the funeral home can take you to court.

What responsibility does the state have to help families with funeral costs?

The state has responsibility for conducting the dispositions of those individuals who die within the care of the state.  Primarily this means those who have been residents in state-owned institutions, such as those individuals who have been incarcerated in prisons, sectioned into mental institutions, in care in residential nursing homes, homeless individuals, and sometimes those who are a victim of a crime.  These are referred to as “indigents”.  The state only has a responsibility to perform the most basic of disposition services.  Traditionally this was a very basic burial in a ‘pauper’ section of a local municipal cemetery.  What could also be referred to as a “pauper burial”.   Today, more counties are opting to use direct cremation as a cheaper and simpler alternative to burial.  A direct cremation can be performed in most states (at a cost to the county) for around $300 – $500.

Unfortunately, more counties are finding their own budgets stretched as more families struggle financially.  Where a county would maybe have to deal with 10 – 20 cases a year, numbers in 2018 began to inflate significantly.  Several local news outlets have reported indigent cases rising by as much as 50%, as this recent story from Salt Lake County in Utah exposes.

indigent-burialWhat is an indigent burial?

Where a state has an ‘indigent burial assistance’ program, there may be some ascribed funding to support those on welfare with a basic disposition.  The level of support varies tremendously by state and county, and in many areas has been axed as municipal budgets have been tightened.  25% of Americans may be below the poverty line, but in most cases, only 50% of those under the poverty line are considered indigent.1

What financial help is there for low-income families with the cost of a funeral?

The Federal Poverty Level (FPL) is used to assess how an individual/family may qualify for many low-income assistance programs, and the same applies to fund funeral costs.  Many families often misinterpret the phrase ‘indigent death’, believing it to mean an entitlement for a low-income stipend and assuming that the city will automatically take over the costs.   If you are a low-income family or individual and wish to find out IF there is any financial support available to you to assist with funeral costs, you should consult your local county Human Services Department to ascertain what (if any) assistance there may be.  Check out these state funeral planning guides for state-relevant information (if available).

indigent-cemeteryYou must be prepared for the fact that you WILL have to conform to rigid assessments for qualification, and if the state provides funding they will only offer basic services over which you will have very little control!  The state is likely to offer a direct cremation or a basic funeral.  Do bear in mind that in many areas now you can arrange a simple, basic and dignified cremation for between $500 – $995.  This enables you to remain in control of the disposition process and provides the opportunity to conduct a family-led funeral by having the deceased immediately cremated and then conducting your own memorial or ash scattering services.

The DFS Memorials network of low-cost cremation providers can help you find your nearest and most affordable cremation provider.

If the deceased qualified – you may also be able to claim the $255 lump-sum death benefit payment that Social Security pays out. (The funeral director will assist you with submitting this claim)  Another possibility that has more recently become available as an alternative for those families who cannot afford a funeral is whole body donation.  This is where is the deceased’s body is donated to an institution for research, and the costs of cremation are covered by the institution or body donation organization.  In some areas, funeral homes have affiliated with body donation organizations and can directly offer this to families. Some funeral homes refuse to on the grounds that it is not part of the level of funeral ‘service’ they wish to offer.  You can, however, deal directly with a body donation organization to make a donation.  You can read more about ‘Body Donation’ on US Funerals Online.

unclaimed-deadHow does a family claim financial assistance from the county for a funeral?

Budgets are generally managed at a county or city level, and the Human Services (or sometimes Social Services) department handles these budgets and claims for assistance.   The application process can be onerous and stringent and any assets, life insurance, and savings will be taken into account.  In some areas, a county judge has the ultimate authority to decide whether to accept or decline applications for a burial assistance program.  If funding is awarded for a low-income case, this will usually seal the cost that can be spent on a funeral.  For example, in Massachusetts, a program offers burial support of costs up to $1,100 for a funeral that cannot exceed a total cost of $1,500, and in New York, a low-income family (if qualifying) can claim up to $900 towards the cost of a funeral, but it must not exceed a total cost of $1,700.

If you want to find out if funding is available in your county, check with your Human Services or Social Services department.

What if I don’t qualify for financial support and I still cannot afford a funeral?

Your best option is to arrange the least expensive disposition available to you.  This is a direct cremation.  You can generally arrange this for between $500 and $1,000 in most metro areas, and for under $1,500 in most other areas.  This can still be a simple and yet dignified send-off.  Once the direct cremation is conducted and you have the cremation ashes back, you can arrange a family gathering and a private memorial ceremony.   Contact your nearest DFS Memorials provider to find a low-cost cremation.

Fund-raising to meet funeral expenses

More families are forced down this route today.  If you opt for a simple, basic cremation this can be achieved for between $500 – $1000, and this is a more realistic amount to raise with some fund-raising activity.  Be it car washes, BBQs, yard sales, or a community event – this can prove a means to help meet the full cost of a cremation.

‘No Cost’ cremation

If you absolutely have no funds to cover funeral expenses, and cannot raise funds to pay for a basic cremation or burial, then you may wish to consider a whole-body donation.  This is not always the easy solution, as not every donation is accepted.   However, it may be a solution if you cannot afford a funeral and you are willing to consider an anatomical donation.  You can donate via a local medical school or through a national donation company.  Many funeral homes now even liaise on your behalf.

FEMA Funeral Assistance Program

From April 2021, a new fund was made available via FEMA to help families who incurred funeral expenses as a result of losing a loved one to COVID.  Up to $9,000 can be claimed for funeral costs, for deaths occurring after January 2020.  Read our Guide to FEMA Funeral Assistance for full details on how to claim,

There are some other options you can consider to help you raise funds for a funeral.  Reading  ‘What are your options on how to pay for a funeral or cremation?’ and ‘Crowdfunding a Funeral’ may give you some further ideas.

Sources:

1 Abandoned Bodies on the Rise in Tom Green County

A Guide to Cremation Costs in Texas 2021

DFS Memorials Texas – Click Here to Find a local Provider & Price

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

$725

(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

$795

(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

$725

(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.

Guide to arranging an affordable cremation service in Greenville, SC – $1,195

As we experience a huge shift to cremation in the US, more families are seeking to find out just what cremation means in terms of funeral costs.  The cremation trend is largely being driven by families demanding more affordable death care alternatives. An affordable cremation service can be arranged for just $1,195 in Greenville. 

For many years families arranged a traditional funeral without much thought to how much it would cost.  Today, many folks either do not want to spend thousands of dollars unnecessarily, or they simply cannot afford to spend $7000-$15,000 on a funeral service.

So, let’s take a look at what average costs for a burial or cremation in Greenville are, and how you can find the most affordable cremation service in Greenville, SC.

What is the average cost of a funeral in Greenville?

These days we are discerning consumers, very mindful of costs, and people are now realizing they can price-shop for funeral services.  Why should we not ask how much it costs?

The Internet offers a great tool to research funeral costs from the comfort of your own home.  Unfortunately, not all funeral homes have websites or put their prices online, so we have put this guide together to outline the average funeral and cremation costs in Greenville for you.

According to Funeralocity (2021), the average cost of a traditional funeral in Greenville is $7,370.  This is for a full traditional funeral service, including a casket, but not including any cemetery costs.

So how do cremation costs compare in Greenville?

Cremation offers a cheaper and more flexible alternative to a traditional burial, and can therefore significantly reduce funeral costs.  No casket, cemetery plot, or burial vault is required, immediately reducing some of the most expensive purchases related to funeral expenses.

Cremation costs greenville scThe average price for a cremation funeral service in Greenville is $6,128 (Funeralocity 2021).  Although a basic cremation with a short service can be arranged for less than this.

It is important to be aware that prices can vary quite a bit between different funeral homes or cremation providers.  We have conducted a cremation price comparison between providers in Greenville.  This means we can help you quickly connect with a local, low-cost cremation services provider to save you from conducting extensive price comparisons.

Direct cremation services in Greenville, SC

Direct cremation is the industry term for a ‘simple cremation’.  Only the cremation service is provided by the funeral home.  No ceremony or funeral services are provided by the funeral home.  The deceased is collected, cremated and the remains returned to the family in a basic urn.

Direct cremation offers families lower-cost funeral services and more control over the time and type of memorial ceremonial services they desire.  A memorial service can be held in a place of worship, a community venue, or even outdoors.  In Greenville, the cremation service can be conducted with, or without, the cremation urn present, and can even take the form of an ash-scattering ceremony or interment in a cremation niche or scattering garden.

A basic direct cremation service is available in Greenville for $1,195, although the average price for a direct cremation is $2,437*.

Call DFS Memorials now on (864) 249-4737 to arrange a low-cost cremation for just $1,195

Are there are additional fees to a low-cost $1,195 cremation package?

In order for a cremation to be conducted a ‘disposition permit’ must be issued by the county.  This is a county charge and costs can vary by county.  Death certificates are an additional cost, as these are issued by the county, and are a third-party expense.  Death certificates cost $12 for the first certificate and $3 for each additional copy issued.

direct cremationHow do I know that I am getting the remains of my loved one back?

This is one of the most frequent questions families ask about cremation.  Strict laws govern the cremation of human remains and identity checks must be made all along the way.  The cremation retort must 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) and then ground into the fine ‘dust’ that is returned as cremation ashes.

What if I am not sure about cremation or the family cannot agree about cremation?

Cremation is such a final disposition, you do need to ensure that you are completely sure that this IS the ‘right’ disposition choice for you.  Certain laws are in place to ensure this final disposition can only proceed if the legal next of kin has authorized it.  A Cremation Authorization Form must be signed by the legal next of kin, and in the case of children, many funeral directors will require all children to sign.

You can authorize an agent for your final disposition or sign the authorization when you preplan a cremation.

What can you do with the cremated remains?

The options of what you can do with the cremated remains of your loved one are one of the reasons cremation is becoming more popular.  You can, of course, just choose to inter the remains in a cemetery plot. You can inter the remains in a niche or columbarium, or you can keep the ashes at home.  Keepsake urns even enable you to disperse the ashes between several family members or choose to scatter some and retain a ‘keepsake’ memorial.

Ash scattering is also more common these days and there are many options for how you can create a befitting ash scattering ceremony.

cremation plan greenville scCan I preplan a direct cremation service at an affordable cost in Greenville?

Yes.  You can preplan a simple direct cremation service.  This is generally funded through an insurance product, or a pre-need cremation plan, that will cover this cost when the need arises. All monies are secured in a trust fund.

How quickly can a cremation be performed?

It generally takes a few days to make the necessary arrangements, complete all the legal paperwork and schedule the cremation.  However, expedited services can be arranged if required.  In South Carolina, there is a mandatory 24 hour wait period after death before a cremation can be conducted.

What do I do if I cannot even afford a cremation?

There is very little ‘free’ money to help families with funeral costs.   What is available is constantly changing due to budget constraints, and varies by county.  Some counties do have a provision to assist needy or low-income families.  Contact the South Carolina Department of Social Services to find out what Assistance Programs may be available to you locally.

SCDSS, 1535 Confederate Avenue, Columbia, SC 29201  Phone: (803) 898-7601

There is also a $255 lump-sum social security death benefit payment if the deceased qualifies, and your funeral director can help you claim this.  So, you may find that a low-cost cremation at $1,195 with DFS Memorials is a dignified, yet affordable, disposition alternative if your family is struggling financially.

If the deceased is held at the county morgue as the Medical Examiner is involved, you will need the services of a licensed funeral director to arrange for the release of the body.

What is the service area around Greenville?

The $1,195 direct cremation package is available in Greenville throughout all the 10 upstate counties of South Carolina.

What is a direct burial? Your most inexpensive burial option

There is a lot of talk around the death-care industry about direct cremation.  More families are seeking out direct cremation services when they want a simple and affordable funeral alternative.  But what about the option for a direct burial?  A direct burial is similarly a simple and affordable burial alternative.

A direct cremation service offering is on every funeral home’s General Price List (GPL), but usually towards the end of their listing of services.  It is the most minimal cremation offering available, and therefore also their least expensive funeral service option.  It is possible (in most metro areas) to be able to arrange a direct cremation for around $800. [The price range varies between $695 to $1,395].

However, although some families are searching for affordability and simplicity, cremation is not the choice for everyone.  There are still around 46% of Americans choosing burial services.  A funeral home also has, as standard, a direct burial service package offering.  This is also often located at the bottom of their GPL.

What if you want something simple and inexpensive but still want a burial service?

Then a direct burial might be the solution.

What does a direct burial entail?

Direct burial serviceA direct burial is a similar direct disposition to direct cremation.  There is no formal funeral service conducted at the funeral home, and many of the traditional products and services associated with the cost of a traditional burial are eliminated.

The deceased is taken directly to the cemetery for burial in the days following the death, once the legal paperwork has been completed.  Often a simple wooden casket is used to help to keep the costs down and keep the whole service simple and affordable.

As there is no viewing, visitation, or funeral ceremony, the deceased does not need to be embalmed.

There is the option to hold a simple graveside interment service, if so wished, for an additional cost. Or a memorial service can be conducted at a later date. But we should be clear that a direct burial service is generally different from a graveside burial service on a GPL.

Many of the DFS Memorials affordable service providers offer a low-cost direct burial service.

Visit your state and city to locate a provider near you.

How is a direct burial service different from a green burial service?

In many cases, a direct burial can be the same as a green burial.  If there is no embalming and a simple eco-friendly casket, such as wood, reinforced cardboard, or wicker, this is a natural or green burial.  It will then depend upon the cemetery, whether a green burial plot is chosen.

A green burial can also be considered a direct burial. There is a growing interest in natural burial alternatives. Natural burial can offer a simple and affordable solution to arranging a funeral, especially for those families (or individuals) who do not wish to be cremated.

Funeral homes are reporting a slow trend towards green burial services, but more funeral homes are starting to add simple burial packages to their service offerings. For families where a family plot had already been purchased, a direct burial can be an affordable option to conduct a burial without the expensive costs of a funeral service.

How much does a direct burial cost?

A direct burial is the funeral director’s least expensive burial option.  The cost will range depending on the funeral home, but it is fair to say that a direct burial can be arranged for in the region of $1,200 to $1,600.  The cost of the casket can make a difference to the final cost of the funeral.  This does not include the cemetery fees either.

A direct burial can be an inexpensive funeral option, and suitable if the deceased already have a cemetery plot purchased or a family plot for burial.

This article explains how families can conduct their own Home Funeral or DIY Funeral without the need to even employ a funeral director.  However, do note, there are at least 10 States where funeral licensing laws do require a funeral director is employed at some level.  Whether to register the death certificate & obtain the necessary burial permit, transport the deceased or oversee the interment of the deceased.

Arranging a low cost funeral or cremation in Atlanta

Over 56% of Americans choose cremation instead of burial for their final disposition (Statista 2020). The cremation trend has been sweeping across our nation as it offers a more affordable and flexible end of life alternative to traditional burial.  There are numerous reasons cited for why we are all opting for cremation, but the 2 key reasons are cost and flexibility.  A cremation is much cheaper than a traditional burial – usually at least 40% – 60% less.  Also, cremation offers more options for memorialization.  For those families who have migrated or are transplants – cremated remains can be transferred back to a home state, or divided amongst family to be kept close.  You can inter cremated remains, scatter them, or choose from a whole array of cremation artifacts! Read on to find out more about how to save on cremation costs in Atlanta.

What is the average cost of a cremation in Atlanta?

This is THE question that many families turn to the Internet to find out today.  Maybe they are curious about how much a cremation costs, or in some cases they have been told by a funeral home in Atlanta just how much a funeral is going to cost!

The cost of a cremation does vary considerably – depending on which funeral home you select and what kind of cremation service you opt for.  The average cost of a full-service cremation in the Atlanta Metropolitan area is $6,689 (Funeralocity 2021), although you can arrange a simple, direct cremation for much less than this.

Cremation Packages

Many funeral service providers in Atlanta will offer cremation packages.  This can be a great way to save on the ‘a la carte’ General Price List of a funeral home, and know exactly what you are getting for a set price.

Generally there are 3 main types of cremation services.  Firstly, you can select a basic cremation (otherwise referred to as an immediate cremation or a direct cremation) which is where there is no ceremony or services.  A cremation memorial service is when the cremation is performed first and then a service held with the cremation ashes present (or not present).  Finally, there is a full-service cremation, which is much the same as a traditional funeral only the deceased is cremated after the service instead of buried.

Direct cremation in Atlanta

Direct cremation is fast becoming the most popular cremation choice today.  Why? Because it offers the cheapest and most flexible disposition option for families concerned about funeral costs and wanting a ‘simple’ solution.  Many families in Atlanta are choosing a direct cremation and then arranging their own memorial services.  This helps them saves a lot of money on cremation costs in Atlanta and puts the family firmly in control of the funeral service. Oftentimes, the price quoted for a direct cremation does NOT include things such as transport and service fees. Some funeral homes advertise a lower price which isn’t the complete price with all fees included. The DFS Memorials provider offers a direct cremation price of $995 complete, with no added fees or charges.

An immediate need direct cremation can be arranged in Atlanta for $995 complete. Call (404) 739-4924 now!

cremation services

What is included in a direct cremation?

It is wise to check exactly what is included for an advertised direct cremation price.  Not all providers include the cremation container, which can cost an extra $75-150.  Also, if the funeral home does not have a crematory, they may charge the crematory fee as a ‘cash advance’ fee.

A direct cremation generally includes:

  • Collecting the deceased & transporting he/she to the funeral home/crematory
  • Storage for the mandatory 48-hour waiting period for cremation
  • Completion of all the necessary paperwork & permits*
  • The cremation fee
  • The cremation container (an alternative cardboard container is generally used)
  • Returning the cremated remains to the family in a temporary container

*Death certificates & Medical Examiners fee are the only additional costs.

What extra costs may I have to pay for a cremation?

The fees that are paid to the county are generally extra costs that you have to pay upfront when you purchase a direct cremation package.  In Atlanta the fee for a death certificate is $25.00 and additional copies will cost $5.00 each. (You need at least 1 death certificate but possibly more).  It IS important to check what is included with a direct cremation package as some funeral service providers do not include items such as the cremation container or the crematory fee.

How do I choose a cremation provider in Atlanta?

It is always wise to check around with more than one provider to compare costs and services.  At DFS Memorials, we have already compared a selection of cremation service providers in Atlanta to find the best direct cremation prices.  We believe this saves you the stress at an emotional time.

How do cremation providers compare in Atlanta

It is always advisable to compare general price lists from several funeral service providers, as funeral costs can vary considerably for the exact same service from different service providers.  A funeral home is obligated by the FTC’s ‘funeral rule’ to disclose prices to you when you make an inquiry – whether face-to-face or by phone/email.

How can you save money by arranging a cremation?

You can actually save thousands of dollars in funeral costs by arranging a cremation, especially a direct cremation.  There is no need for a casket, embalming, burial vault or cemetery plot.  With a direct cremation, you can arrange your own memorial services at a location of your choice, and a time best for the family.

Preplanning a cremation in Atlanta

You can preplan a cremation with a cremation services provider.  You can even lock in the low cost of a direct cremation today in case gas prices do rise.  You can prepay a cremation plan using an insurance policy or funds are deposited into trust.  Alternatively, you can preplan by documenting your wishes and lay aside the required funds in a Payable on Death POD account.

Is there any help with cremation costs in Atlanta?

We do get asked this question too frequently!  Sadly there is patchy help available at best.  Any financial help for funeral costs differs by county, so you would need to consult your local county human services to explore if there is any assistance.  This article explains what options there are to help you pay for a funeral.

Our provider of affordable cremations and funerals in Atlanta offers a basic cremation or burial package:

Direct Cremation $995  – – – Traditional Funeral $2,895 (Incl. casket)

Call (404) 739-4924 for immediate assistance, if you wish to preplan a funeral, or if you have any questions.

The $995 direct cremation package is available in the cities of Athens, Atlanta Metro, Columbus, Dalton & Gainesville and the counties of Fulton, Clayton, Fayette, Carroll, Paulding, Cobb, Douglas, Gwinnett, Rockdale, De Kalb, Walton, Henry, Newton, Oconee, Barrow, Cherokee, Forsyth, Harris, Talbot,  and Dawson.