Funeral costs are a concern for many families today. Whether you choose not to spend unnecessarily on a funeral, or simply cannot afford the cost of a funeral. It can seem overwhelming trying to work out exactly what a funeral will cost in Santa Fe, and work out your options, especially if you have just lost a loved one. So we have put together this guide to help you understand funeral costs in Santa Fe and, more importantly, how to save money arranging a direct cremation for just $995.
What are my funeral service or cremation service options in Santa Fe?
You can arrange anything from a full-service traditional funeral to a simple direct cremation service in Santa Fe. You will need to decide if you want a traditional funeral, something more modern like a life celebration service, or if you want to consider cremation as a more affordable option. Read on to find out more about direct cremation and how it is your most affordable option.
What is the average cost of a funeral service in Santa Fe?
According to a recent survey, the average cost for an adult funeral in Santa Fe is $7,473. This is based on the most commonly selected items for a traditional funeral including a casket and vault. However, it does not include cemetery costs. A grave space, a grave marker, and opening/closing the grave can easily cost another $1,500 to $2,500. Therefore, a typical traditional funeral and burial cost is likely at least $9,000.
How much does a cremation cost in Santa Fe?
Cremation cost is generally more difficult to quote as it is dependent on the type of cremation service you choose. Whether you choose to have a cremation with a traditional service or a direct cremation without a service will significantly affect the overall cost.
Cremation is a cheaper alternative to a traditional funeral. You can arrange a simple direct cremation for $995, but a cremation with a memorial service will still cost upwards of $5,000, with an average cost of $6,048 in the Santa Fe area.
Low-cost cremation in Santa Fe
A simple cremation service with no ceremony, is referred to as a “direct cremation” in the funeral industry. A direct cremation can be arranged for just $995 in Santa Fe. This is the most economical funeral service arrangement available to families. The cost of a simple cremation can (and does) vary between different funeral service providers in the Santa Fe area. It is likely to cost closer to $1,500 to $2,500 with most funeral providers, with an average cost of $1,555 according to a recent survey.
It is always a good idea to check what is included in a low-cost direct cremation package to ensure there are no hidden fees. Sometimes what can appear low-cost can have additional fees added to the full package price.
County fees are generally ‘third-party’ additional charges –such as death certificates and cremation permits. But, some affordable direct cremation packages may include a death certificate and cremation permit fee. Extra charges that can be incurred on a budget direct cremation are fees for if a residential collection is required, if the deceased weighs over 300 pounds, and if a pace-maker needs to be removed prior to cremation.
Call (505) 234-7661 now to arrange a direct cremation for just $995.
Are there any legal issues I need to understand about arranging a funeral in New Mexico?
Each state has its own legislation that governs funeral and cremation practices. A crematory has to abide by certain practice standards in disposing of human remains by cremation. In New Mexico, a cremation can only be performed once a ‘Cremation Authorization Form’ has been signed by the legal next of kin and the coroner has issued the cremation permit. There is no mandatory waiting period before a cremation can proceed in New Mexico but that being said, it usually takes about 3 days to make all the necessary arrangements and complete the paperwork. A casket is NOT required by law for a cremation. All that is required is a suitable rigid container. A cremation container is usually a reinforced cardboard or plywood box. If you wish to hold a funeral service before the cremation, some funeral homes offer rental caskets.
How do I apply for a Death Certificate in New Mexico?
The funeral director will generally file for the death certificate for you and will ask how many copies you require. You can also obtain copies of death certificates from the Office of Vital Records (OVR), online, or by phone. The processing time is 3-5 business day and it cost $21.00 for regular U.S mail or $39.50 for next day air delivery by UPS (however there will still be a 3-5 business days processing time for the application). Alternatively, you can apply by mail by filling out the form found here, and sending it to:
New Mexico Department of Health
PO Box 25767
Albuquerque, NM 87125
What happens if the deceased is at the County Medical Examiner’s?
If the death occurred outside of a medical facility, was an accident, or unexplained, the body will be transferred to the Medical Examiner’s office. It is the responsibility of the coroner to determine a cause of death before a death certificate can be issued. You will need to arrange for a funeral home to collect your loved one once the coroner releases the body. Only a licensed funeral director can transport the deceased from the ME’s morgue, and the next of kin will need to sign a release form for the Medical Examiner to release the body into the care of a funeral home.
The Medical Examiner will issue the death certificate and permit to cremate once they release the body. If you have further questions about identifying the body and making arrangements for the transfer of the deceased, you can contact the Office of the Medical Investigator for Santa Fe at (505) 272-3053.
Alternatively, you can find them at:
Office of Medical Investigator
1101 Camino de Salud,
Albuquerque NM 87102
How do I prepare if my loved one is in hospice care?
If your loved one is in hospice care, and the support staff have advised you to prepare for his or her passing, it can help to have provisional arrangements in place. This is so that when the time comes, the hospice can immediately contact the funeral service provider and arrange the transfer of your loved one into their care. If you contact a funeral home ahead of time, you can have some of the preparation in place, this will alleviate some of the stress that comes with having to make arrangements on short notice. This also means the hospice know who to call, and the authorizations and other legal documentation can be pre-prepared.
Is there any help with cremation costs in Santa Fe?
Sadly we are asked this question all too often these days! With more families struggling financially, it can be crippling to be faced with unexpected funeral expenses. If qualifying, there is a $255 Social Security death benefit payment, and there are benefits for veterans. Each state has its own budget and governance for dealing with indigent funerals, although much funding has been axed in recent years. You can try contacting your local county Social or Human Services to inquire if any financial aid is available locally. This article on ‘How to Pay for a Funeral’ also covers some of the other ways that you can gain support towards funeral costs.
Can I arrange a no-cost cremation in Santa Fe?
A “no-cost” cremation normally refers to a whole body donation program where the deceased’s remains are cremated free of charge after the donation. If you wish to donate your body to science in New Mexico, The University of New Mexico has a Body Donation Program, but you will need to check with them directly as to any limitations on donor acceptance. You can find more information on their website here. However, you should be aware that an anatomical donation may not always be accepted at the time of death, so you should have a provisional funeral or cremation plan in the event a donation cannot be accepted.
I have questions, or concerns, about arranging a funeral in Santa Fe. Where can I find help?
You can contact the DFS Memorials affordable funeral service provider in Santa Fe on (505) 234-7661 with any questions you have. If you have a complaint against a funeral director or a funeral establishment you should attempt to resolve your complaint directly with the funeral home concerned. If this is unsuccessful, you should make your complaint in writing to the New Mexico State Regulation & Licensing Department Board of Funeral Services who regulate and license funeral businesses in New Mexico. They can be contacted at:
Board of Funeral Services
Toney Anaya Building
2550 Cerrillos Road, Second Floor
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Phone: (505) 476-4622