A guide to arranging a direct cremation in San Diego, CA

Want to know how to arrange a dignified funeral at an affordable cost? We have put together this guide to help you understand how you can save thousands arranging a funeral.  In fact, you can arrange a simple, direct cremation in San Diego for just $1,195.

We have teamed with a local affordable cremation provider in San Diego to offer families simple and affordable cremation options.

Why choose cremation services?

Cremation offers an inexpensive and flexible alternative to a burial service.  Choosing cremation services can save you 40% to 60% (or sometimes more) on the cost of traditional burial services.  This is because a casket is not required, or embalming (unless required), and there is no immediate need for a cemetery plot or burial vault.  Eliminating just these few products and services saves thousands of dollars alone.

A cremation can offer a more flexible alternative that can accommodate families who have moved from their home state or when a funeral cannot be held straight away.  Cremation also offers a greater range of personalization options, a whole array of ash-scattering ceremony possibilities, and various cremation artifact products.

Visit our Complete Guide to Cremation to learn more about every step of the cremation process, cremation regulations, services, and costs.

average cremation costWhat different cremation alternatives do I have?

There are 3 main types of cremation service options.  A cremation funeral – where the funeral service is held with the deceased present, and a cremation is conducted after the service.  A cremation memorial – where the cremation is conducted before a memorial service is held.  This can be with or without the cremated remains present and can often take the form of an ash-scattering ceremony.

Or there is a direct cremation – this is where the deceased is cremated with no services, and the remains are given back to the family.  There are some variances around these 3 main options, such as a private viewing before the cremation, an observed cremation, or a graveside interment of a cremation urn.

How much does a cremation cost in San Diego?

The cost of a cremation can vary considerably.  This will depend upon the type of cremation service you opt for and the cremation services provider you select.  The average cost of a cremation with a memorial service will cost is $5,415*.  The true cost will depend upon the length of service held and what kind of casket you purchase or rent.

Direct cremation services in San Diego, CA

If you are working to a budget for your funeral expenses, you may wish to consider a direct cremation.  A direct cremation is the cheapest cremation option.  The funeral services provider does everything to take care of the immediate disposition of the deceased, but no viewing or services are held.  The deceased is cremated in a simple cremation container, and then the cremated remains are made available for the family to collect or, if requested, can be delivered or mailed.

A direct cremation can be arranged online or by phone without any need for you to visit a funeral home.  For your best price on a direct cremation, contact your DFS Memorials provider in San Diego at (619) 268-1962, who offers a complete direct cremation package for just $1,195.

The average cost for a direct cremation in San Diego is $1,729*.

cremation plan san diegoHow do I choose a cremation services provider?

This can sometimes be daunting when there are several funeral homes to choose between.  It may help to set yourself some clear criteria to help you select the provider that best suits your needs.

Which funeral service provider you select can be influenced by what facilities and services they offer or your budget.

As we have highlighted, costs can vary quite significantly between funeral homes for the exact same service.  This is why we conducted cremation comparison surveys to select an affordable provider to represent DFS Memorials in San Diego.

Comparing cremation costs in San Diego, CA

All funeral homes have a general price list (GPL), which should itemize all services and charges.  Legally a funeral home must provide you with a copy of their GPL if you request cremation price information, either in person or by phone.

When comparing costs and services, check what IS included, especially with a budget direct cremation package.  Is a copy of the death certificate included?  Is the cremation permit an additional cash advance item or included? What about if an out-of-hours collection is required? Is there an additional daily refrigeration charge if the cremation does not proceed after 48 hours?

Death certificates cost $21.00 each.  You should also note that the county coroner may charge a fee if he is required to sign the death certificate.

What legally do I need to know about arranging a cremation in San Diego?

You need to be aware of a few legal requirements if you are considering cremation. Firstly, the legal next-of-kin must all sign the ‘Cremation Authorization Form’ before a cremation can proceed.

In California, there is a mandatory wait period after death before the cremation can proceed, and the county health department must issue a permit to cremate.  The deceased will be refrigerated during this period and longer if required. However, you should be aware that many cremation packages will only include refrigeration for up to 5 days and will charge you a daily rate thereon.

Death certificates and permits are considered ‘cash advance’ items and are not generally included in a quoted cremation price.  The funeral director will generally obtain the death certificates on your behalf.

Can I preplan a cremation?

Yes, you can prearrange a cremation in San Diego.  Advance planning can help ensure you get the most appropriate services provider for your needs and save your surviving family the financial and emotional burden at the time of death.

There are various options open to you to plan ahead, so consult with your preferred services provider. Call your local DFS Memorials provider now at (619) 268-1962 to discuss preplanning options.

What can we do with the cremated remains?

There is versatility in what you can do with cremated remains.  You can inter a cremation urn in a cemetery plot or niche, keep an urn at home, scatter the remains or create a cremation artifact such as a cremation diamond, glass paperweight, bird bath, or memorial reef ball, to name but a few!  Check out this section on Memorialization to learn more.

The deceased had no life insurance – is there any help with cremation costs?

Sadly, there is little financial aid that supports those families that find themselves struggling with funeral costs.  Most counties do have a budget for indigent funerals, but this is generally for those individuals who truly are indigent.  Some counties do have limited funds to help low-income families with cremation costs, and this can vary county by county.

You would need to inquire with San Diego County Social Services Department to find out if any assistance is available.  In these cases, often the most basic of funeral services will be supported, with limited control over what happens.  A low-cost direct cremation in San Diego from a budget provider can be arranged for $1,195.

San Diego Health & Human Services Agency.  Contact: (858) 694-3900

What is “no-cost cremation”?

Some funeral homes now offer this option in California.  This is referring to whole body donation whereby after the donation is complete, the remains are cremated (free of charge) and then returned to the family or scattered.   Generally, funeral homes can get a referral fee from the whole body donation organization, plus they sometimes charge a transportation fee.  So all-in-all, they do still recoup their costs.

How do I obtain a copy of a death certificate?

You can obtain copies of a death certificate from the Vital Records office at:
HHSA Office of Vital Records
3851 Rosecrans Street. Suite 802
San Diego, CA 92110

What if the deceased is at the Medical Examiners?

If the death was unnatural, suspicious, or the result of a crime, the deceased may be taken to the Coroner.  The coroner will need to determine the cause of death to issue the death certificate.  Once this occurs, the body can be released to a licensed funeral director.  You will need to employ the services of a licensed funeral director immediately, as he/she can liaise with the coroner to arrange for the release of the deceased as soon as possible.

If you have any further questions about arranging a funeral or cremation in San Diego, please call your local DFS Memorials provider at (619) 268-1962.

*Prices obtained from online funeral price comparison (2022)

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