Does selecting a direct cremation mean you are sacrificing service for price?

Direct cremation is becoming a realistic funeral choice for many families today.  It offers an inexpensive, practical and affordable alternative when it comes to death care services.  The cremation rate is increasing exponentially across the United States, largely driven by the fact that many families just cannot afford to pay out thousands of dollars for a funeral these days.

Choosing a direct cremation does not mean that you did not love your family member, and it is not a less dignified means of disposition.  It provides a simple way to conduct an immediate disposition of remains by cremation.

direct-cremation-servicesWhat exactly is a direct cremation?

A direct cremation is the funeral trade term for a basic cremation without any services or ceremony.  The deceased is collected from the place of death, taken to the funeral home or crematory where he or she is sheltered in refrigerated storage whilst the legal documentation is completed. After all the paperwork is complete and any legal waiting period has transpired, the cremation is carried out using a simple cremation container (reinforced cardboard box).  The cremated remains are returned to the family in a temporary cremation urn (generally a basic plastic or cardboard receptacle).

What is included with a direct cremation package?

Many funeral service providers offer a direct cremation service, and it will include the minimum services of the funeral director to complete the necessary paperwork, collection of the deceased within a certain radius (additional fees may apply outside of a specific radius), and if the deceased passed at a residential address there may be extra charges for collection.

With most direct cremation packages the crematory fee is included, however, I do know of a few providers who do not include it, so be sure to check this.  Similarly the cremation container is generally included, especially by most providers who specialize in offering direct cremation packages.  Funeral homes who do not want to promote their direct cremation service offering tend to include it at the bottom of their General Price List (GPL).

Death certificates and any fees for the cremation permit are not, for the most part, included in a package as they are considered ‘cash advance items’ payable to the county.  However, some cremation service providers do actually include these fees in their direct cremation package.

Why is direct cremation so inexpensive?

save_money_cremationDirect cremation is a basic service offering, this means that a funeral services provider can afford to price-mark it at a lower cost.  It does not mean you are purchasing an inferior quality of service.  Strict legislation governs the cremation of human remains and all funeral service providers treat any case with compassion and dignity.

In most metro areas now a direct cremation package can be purchased for between $800 and $1,300.  Some areas where the cremation rate is high may charge less than $800, and some areas may charge over $1,300.  Check out your nearest DFS Memorials provider to find out the cost near you.

Can I still have a funeral service or ceremony with a direct cremation?

There is no reason whatsoever that you cannot still have a funeral service or ceremony with a direct cremation.  Once the cremation is performed you can hold a memorial service with (or without) the cremation ashes present, or even have an ash-scattering service.  Being able to hold the services yourself, at a time and place that suits the family, can save significantly on your overall funeral costs.

Can I still have a viewing with a direct cremation?

Most cremation providers will facilitate a viewing if so requested prior to performing the cremation.  Some providers may charge an additional small fee but not all do.

Do I have to visit the funeral home or crematory to arrange a direct cremation?

No, in fact many cremation providers offering low-cost direct cremation services can offer the service at such a low cost because they eliminate a lot of their overhead by completing everything online.  Even if you speak to the funeral director he or she may ask you to complete all the required forms online and submit them.

Can cremated remains be shipped to me after a direct cremation?

Yes, if you do not want to visit the funeral home or have arranged a direct cremation from another location to the deceased, the funeral home can arrange to ship the cremated remains to you.  There is an additional charge for this.  It is usually charged at between $50 – $100 depending on the weight of the cremated remains.

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