Cremation is now offering families a simple and affordable alternative to the costs associated with a traditional funeral. This short guide should help you understand what options you have for a cremation service, how choosing cremation can save you on funeral costs, and answer some other questions about cremation.
If you have the immediate need of a low-cost cremation service, call your local DFS Memorials provider on (504) 215-8264. Direct cremation service packages start at $1,550.
Why choose a cremation service?
The key reason more families are choosing a cremation service is cost. A cremation service costs significantly less than a traditional burial. There is no requirement for embalming, and a casket, burial vault and cemetery plot are not needed. All of which reduce your overall cost for a funeral by at least half, if not two-thirds.
In addition to this, a cremation service offers greater flexibility as a service does not have to be held immediately, or remains can be transported back to a different state if necessary.
Can you still have a funeral service if you choose cremation?
Yes, a cremation funeral is just the same as a traditional funeral, only the deceased is cremated following the service instead of interred.
If you opt to have a cremation conducted immediately, you can have a service after the cremation with the cremation urn present. This is known as a Cremation Memorial.
If you opt for a direct cremation, you can choose to arrange your own memorial service, after the cremated remains are returned to the family. A direct cremation service is a cremation without a ceremony. The funeral services provider simply conducts everything to take care of the cremation disposition, and then returns your loved one’s ashes directly to you.
What does a cremation cost?
This is the ‘million-dollar’ question, and what many people are using the Internet to establish right now. The first thing to say is that the cost for a cremation will vary. It will vary by cremation provider, by what type of cremation service option you select, and prices even vary by area.
To give you an idea of cremation costs, I can tell you that the average cost for a cremation memorial in Metairie is $5,546*, and the average cost for a direct cremation is $2,728*.
The chart below gives some examples of direct cremation costs from a selection of funeral homes in Metairie.
|Funeral Home or Cremation Services Provider||Direct cremation Price|
|DFS Memorials LLC||$1,550|
|Tharp-Sontheimer Funeral Home||$2,595|
|Leitz-Eagan Funeral Home||$2,745|
|Garden of Memories Funeral Home & Crematory||$2,845|
What legally do you need to know about cremation?
For a cremation to be legally conducted it must be authorized by the immediate next of kin. The funeral director will ask the next of kin to sign a Cremation Authorization Form.
There is generally a 24-72 hour wait period after the death occurred before the cremation can go ahead, although this is mandated differently in different states. The funeral director will need to obtain permission to cremate from the Jefferson Parish coroner, and obtain a cremation permit.
Once the wait period has expired, the cremation authorization form is correctly signed and notarized by the next of kin, and the coroner has issued the cremation permit, the cremation can be scheduled.
It will usually take 7-10 days to arrange a cremation, and the deceased will be sheltered in the funeral home in refrigerated storage. If there are delays completing all the legal paperwork, it can take a little longer. If the immediate next of kin are siblings (and there is more than one sibling), then all siblings need to sign the authorization form for a cremation to proceed. This tends to be one of the main reasons that a cremation gets delayed, as there is disagreement between siblings on authorizing the cremation.
What can you do with the cremated remains?
There is a whole realm of options for how to memorialize with cremated remains. You can, of course, inter the remains in a cemetery plot or cremation niche…. similar to a burial interment. Other options include: keeping the cremation urn at home, performing an ash-scattering or having a cremation tribute made from some of the remains.
A benefit of cremation, is that you do not need to make an immediate decision about the final disposition. Sometimes it can be easier to hold onto the urn for a while whilst you have time to reflect and consider what is the most befitting disposition.
Is there any financial help for families who cannot afford a funeral?
Sadly, there is little financial support for those families who find themselves in the unfortunate position of losing a loved one and having no funds for a funeral. What may be available varies so much by area. You would need to consult with Jefferson Parish Social Services department. Therefore, a direct cremation can offer a simple and affordable solution to handling the unexpected disposition of a family member if finances are an issue.
A dignified direct cremation can be conducted for $1,550 and then the family can arrange to hold their own memorial service.
There is the $255 lump-sum Social Services death benefit payment, if the deceased qualified, which can help towards the cremation cost.
For more information on cremation and what to do with cremated remains, check out the sections in our blog.
*Prices from Parting Funeral Survey 2018