Burial may still be the preferred choice for a funeral by many families in Birmingham, but cremation is growing fast. The cremation rate in the U.S. has now reached 42% and is expected to hit over 60% within the next 5 years. The cremation trend has been slower to take off in Alabama but is now becoming a choice for many families. Cost and wider acceptance by the Church are key reasons why cremation is gaining popularity.
This guide aims to answer some of your questions about cremation and help you choose a cremation provider.
This is one question that families frequently ask. The average cost of a cremation is around $3,500 for a cremation with a service.
However, this price can vary quite dramatically between funeral homes and you can pay anything between $895 and $7,000 for a cremation service.
It is important to understand the different kind of cremation services that are offered. A cremation funeral is basically the same as a full traditional burial funeral, only the deceased is cremated after the service, instead of buried. A cremation with a memorial tribute is generally where the cremation is conducted before a service and the memorial service is held with the cremated remains present.
Finally there are options such as a direct cremation or an immediate cremation. This is the most basic and simplest method of a cremation disposition. There are no services with a direct cremation. Due to the limited services provided by the funeral home – this is also the cheapest cremation service you can arrange.
Another option is where a short, private family viewing is held before a direct cremation. This offers a personal and yet more affordable cremation option for families to say a final goodbye.
How can I save money by arranging a cremation?
A cremation will usually cost you about half the cost of a traditional burial service. There is no need for a cemetery plot and burial vault. Embalming is not required (unless in certain circumstances) and you do not need to purchase a casket. All that Alabama law requires is for a cremation is a ‘rigid cremation container’ – this is usually a sturdy cardboard or plywood box. Eliminating these expensive funeral items saves you thousands of dollars. If you are planning on holding a public viewing or service before a cremation, you can often rent a casket for this purpose. However, renting a casket is not always cheap, it can sometimes cost almost as much as purchasing a standard casket from Walmart!
Basic cremation options: Direct cremation in Birmingham
A direct cremation is your least expensive cremation option. The deceased is collected from the place of death, sheltered for the mandatory 24-hour waiting period (or longer) and the documentation for cremation is completed. The next of kin must sign a cremation authorization form and the cremation permit and death certificate are processed. The cremation process goes ahead using a basic cremation container and the cremated remains are then returned to the family in a temporary urn. All this can be completed in Birmingham for $895 complete.
How do I choose a cremation provider in Birmingham?
This can depend upon what your requirements are. If you wish to hold a cremation funeral service, you may need the services of a funeral home locally who can offer facilities for conducting a ceremony. If money is a concern for the family and obtaining a low cost cremation is important – then you need to shop around and compare direct cremation costs.
Comparing cremation costs in Birmingham
The chart below compares the cost of a direct cremation from a few of the lower cost cremation providers in Birmingham.
Disclaimer: This cremation cost information was obtained from providers in October 2014. Prices are posted to help families make informed decisions. However, periodically providers change their prices. We make every effort to ensure the prices are accurate, but prices must be verified directly with the listed funeral home.
DFS Memorials Birmingham $895
Cremation Center of Birmingham $950
Eastside Funeral Home $995
Aubrey Bushelon Funeral Directing $995
Low cost cremation in Birmingham
If you are seeking the best value cremation service in the Birmingham area, you can trust the DFS Memorials provider to assist your family. The family-owned funeral home we work with in Birmingham offers the lowest cost cremation in Alabama.
DFS Memorials – Birmingham (205) 206-7785
Direct Cremation $895 complete
Is there any help with cremation costs in Birmingham?
Unfortunately, we are asked this question all too often at DFS Memorials. There is limited financial assistance available. All states have a responsibility to attend to indigent funerals – that is for those individuals who become a responsibility of Alabama State. To find out what local level pubic aid is available for low income or no income families, you need to contact your local county Social Services or Human Services Department. According to the information I have gleaned there is no specific state level assistance and the aid at county level is inconsistent and limited to around $400.
There is the Social Security $255 death benefit for those that do qualify. Also some groups such as unions, charities and church groups may assist families in need with fund-raising to cover funeral costs.
Serving families in Bibb, Blount, Jefferson, Shelby, & Walker Counties and throughout Airport Hills, Brownville, Cahaba, Crestline, Crestwood, East Birmingham, East Lake, East Pinson Valley, Ensley, Five Points West, Grasselli, Huffman, North Birmingham, Northside, Pratt City, Red Mountain, Roebuck/South East Lake, Smithfield, Southside, Southwest, Titusville, West End and Woodlawn.