A Guide to Cremation Costs in Texas 2022

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What is the average cost of a funeral in Texas today?

Texans are turning to the internet to compare prices and get more fair deals.  So why not ensure we apply the same mentality to checking cremation costs?  Traditional funerals are expensive.  The average cost of a funeral service in Texas is $5,192*, and this does not include any cemetery fees.  Adding cemetery expenses is likely to bring the full cost up to $7,000 – $9,000 for a ‘standard’ funeral service.  More extravagant funerals can cost double this!

In reality, not many families can afford to pay out thousands for a funeral service these days.  A key reason why the cremation rate has increased so significantly in recent years. Choosing cremation reduces funeral expenses dramatically.  In fact, opting for a simple direct cremation can reduce your funeral expense to less than $1,000 in most cities in Texas.

What is the average cost of cremation in Texas?

Quoting the average cost of a cremation can depend on the type of cremation service.  It is fair to say that the average price for a cremation service is around $2,000 – $3,000 for a simple service.  You can pay more for an elaborate cremation funeral with a gathering.  Or you can pay less for just a basic cremation service.

As you can eliminate certain items from the funeral expenses, such as embalming, a casket, a grave liner, and a cemetery plot – this does save you money on the full cost of a funeral with burial.

What is the least expensive cremation service?

Direct cremation is the least expensive cremation option.  This is when just cremation is carried out, with no additional services or ceremony.  It is a simple, dignified cremation of the deceased with minimal ‘fuss’ and at a minimal cost.

The cremated remains are returned to the next of kin after everything has been taken care of.  A family can choose to hold a memorial service if they wish when they are ready.

Direct cremation cost comparison in the 16 top cities in Texas

To help you understand how cremation costs can (and do) vary considerably, we have compiled some data on cremation costs in the major cities across Texas.  The table below provides a breakdown of the average direct cremation price vs. a low-cost direct cremation.  As you can see, in most areas, a direct cremation service can be arranged for less than $1,000.

City

Average direct cremation cost*

Low cost direct cremation

Immediate help

(DFS Memorials)

Abilene

$2,025

$1,125

 

Amarillo

$1,566

$975

 

Austin

$2,003

$795

(512) 253-1110

Brownsville

$1,426

$795

 

College Station

$2,025

$775

(979) 314-3889

Corpus Christi

$2,218

$1,175

(361) 208-0765

Dallas

$1,833

$795

(214) 380-4964

East Texas

$2,338

$795

 

El Paso

$2,230

$1,850

(915) 201-2446

Fort Worth

$1,819

$795

(817) 369-5240

Houston

$2,296

$640

(713) 309-6059

Laredo

$1,855

$995

 

Midland-Odessa

$2,285

$1,195

 

McAllen

$2,101

$995

 

San Antonio

$2,039

$795

(210) 460-1911

Waco

$1,483

$1,095

(254) 221-6609

Are there extra fees added to a low-cost cremation service package?

The service charge for a direct cremation is listed on the funeral provider’s General Price List. This should include the basic services of the funeral director, collection and transfer of the deceased, completing the legal paperwork, and conducting the cremation.  It usually includes a simple cardboard cremation container and a temporary urn.

The funeral director will pay third-party fees to the local county to obtain the death certificate and pay for any permit charges.  These are third-party fees that are added to the direct cremation service fee.  Cremation permit fees vary by county but are generally between $10 – $40 (if a charge is made).

Death certificates cost $20.00 for the initial certificate and $3.00 for each additional copy ordered at the same time.

Other possible additional charges would be:

  • Residential collection
  • Removal of a pace-maker
  • Overweight surcharge (above 250 pounds)
  • Family arrangement consultation
  • Mailing of cremated remains

What Texas funeral legislation governs cremation arrangements?

Texas has a mandatory 48-hour wait period after death before a cremation can proceed. As cremation is such a final disposition and destroys all DNA, some strict codes and rules govern the cremation of human remains.  A ‘Cremation Authorization Form’ must be signed by the legal next of kin before the county coroner can issue a cremation permit.

Can you get a free cremation in Texas?

Unfortunately, very little in life or death is ‘free’!  What is sometimes referred to as a “free” cremation or “no-cost” cremation is actually a whole-body donation.  Once the donation is performed, the remains are cremated free of charge.  However, there are costs associated with transporting the deceased and obtaining death certificates in some cases.  Read more in this funeral planning guide.

Is there any financial assistance towards funeral expenses for families with no money?

Local Texas counties manage their own budgets to assist needy families and take care of the needs of indigents.  You should contact your local county’s social or human services department to inquire if any support is available.

Other organizations, charities, and church groups may offer some contribution to help families who are struggling with funeral expenses.  Arranging a basic direct cremation is the most economical option.

What happens if I cannot pay for a funeral?

The responsibility to pay the funeral bill falls to the immediate next of kin if the deceased had no pre-paid funeral plan or life insurance.  This can be very stressful if you lose a family member and become responsible for the funeral arrangements without any resources.  This resource on What to do if you cannot afford a funeral might help.

Do any cremation service providers offer discounts for hospice patients?

Yes, some cremation service providers do offer a discount to hospice patients seeking a direct cremation.  A discount is often based on the relationship with the hospice and the ease of arranging the collection and completing paperwork. This can reduce the time, and manpower the funeral director needs to allocate to a case, and therefore he can offset this in the means of a discount to a hospice cremation service.

How much does a cremation cost if the deceased is at the Medical Examiner’s morgue?

If the deceased is at the coroner’s office, you will need to make arrangements with a funeral service provider to collect the body when the coroner signs the release form.  You will need to give authorization to the funeral director to collect your loved one and transfer him or her into their care.

As most funeral directors deal with the coroner’s office on a regular basis, and the ME issues the authorization and permit to cremate, it can make the arrangements easier.  For this reason, some funeral homes can offer a budget direct cremation when handling remains from the Medical Examiner.

* Average direct cremation prices data gathered from Funeralocity 2022.  Low-cost direct cremation prices obtained from DFS Memorials providers in Texas.

 

How much does a cremation cost in Brownsville, TX?

The cremation trend is changing the way we think about arranging a funeral.  The cremation rate in Texas has typically been below the national rate. But the demand for low-cost funeral alternatives is changing the way many families today approach death care. Now there is a growing demand for simple and affordable cremation services in Texas.

Changing death care rituals and economic reasons for choosing cremation

Deciding whether to bury or cremate is very much a personal choice.  For some families, the decision is governed by the budget they have for a funeral.  A cremation service will cost much less than a traditional burial funeral.  On average a cremation service is going to save you at least 40% on the cost of a burial, sometimes you can save as much as 60% on the cost of a burial service.  More families are leaning towards cremation as it also offers greater flexibility. The funeral service does not have to go ahead immediately.  A cremation can be performed and then a service held at a later date convenient to the family.

The economy has certainly impacted on how we manage death care today.  Many families simply cannot (or do not want to) spend unnecessarily on funeral costs.  A cremation provides a simple, efficient and economical means to conduct a disposition.

So how much does a cremation cost in Brownsville?

Firstly, it is important to state that cremation prices in Brownsville DO vary quite considerably between funeral homes, and depending on what type of cremation service you opt for.  Not all funeral homes have their own crematory but will use the services of a local crematory.  The Cremation Association of North America (CANA) quotes the average cost of cremation at $3,200, however, it is possible to find much lower-priced cremation services in Brownsville.

A basic cremation can be conducted in Brownsville for as little as $1,095 complete*.  This is what is known as a “direct cremation”.  No services are performed, the deceased is collected, transported to the funeral facility, prepared for cremation and the cremation is conducted.  The cremated remains are returned to the family in a temporary plastic urn.  If desired the family can arrange a brief final goodbye viewing at the funeral home.

What type of cremation services are available?

direct-cremationYou can select from a range of cremation services and packages.  These will start with a basic cremation without any additional services, which is the cheapest type of cremation package.  You can have a full-service funeral that is followed by the cremation, a cremation followed by a memorial service, or just a viewing followed by a cremation.  The change in the funeral industry today is the move towards ‘personalization’ and making a funeral service that fits the needs of the family, whatever they are.

 

Comparing cremation costs in Brownsville, TX

As mentioned the cost of a cremation can vary enormously – for the exact same service – but from different cremation service providers.   Ensure that you compare like-for-like services.  Some cremation service providers include crematory fees and cremation container costs in a direct cremation package, and others do not always include these fees.  Death certificate fees and cremation permits are often additional ‘cash advance’ items.

How do I know that the cremated remains I get back are my loved one’s remains?

This is probably the most common cremation question we are asked.  Strict laws govern the cremation of human remains and identity checks have to be made along the way.  The cremation retort has to be completely cleared following a cremation and only one cremation can be performed at a time.  The remains are cleared into a machine that filters out any metal parts (tooth fillings, hip replacements, etc) and then ground into the fine ‘dust’ that is returned as cremation ashes.

Understanding the legal requirements for cremation in Brownsville

As mentioned above, there are laws in place regarding the cremation of human remains.  A cremation cannot be performed until a cremation permit is issued by the medical examiner’s office.  The legal next of kin must sign a Cremation Authorization Form.  It is not necessary to embalm a body for cremation and refrigerated storage is used to preserve the body until the cremation is performed.  The funeral home will generally store the body for up to 5 days in refrigerated storage at no extra charge.  If the cremation does not go ahead within 5 days, an additional fee for storage may be incurred.  There is a 48-hour mandatory waiting period after the death is declared before a cremation can be performed in Texas.

Preplanning an affordable cremation service in Brownsville

funeral-cost-brownsville-txIf you wish to preplan a simple cremation you can lock in a low-cost cremation price from as little as $1,295.  This may depend upon your age at the time of setting up a prepaid cremation plan.  A cremation plan can be set up using an insurance policy where the funds are put into a trust.  You can also opt to preplan your cremation service without prepaying.  This ensures that your surviving family can proceed with arrangements at the time of need, without having to worry about completing the paperwork or make difficult decisions.  The money to pay for the cremation can be put aside in a POD account (Payable on Death) which your beneficiary can draw out upon death immediately without probate.

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

It is sadly a reality that more folks are passing without leaving the means to pay for their funeral.  If you are faced with this situation, you need to explore what help may be available to you.  Social Security pay out a $255 lump sum death benefit (if you qualify) and your funeral director can assist you with this.

The support for indigent burials differs so much by state and county.  To find out what may be available you should contact Cameron County Human Services Department.

*death certificates not included in basic direct cremation package

Funeral Financing – Options on how to pay for funeral costs

Losing a loved one is traumatic enough but these days more families are struggling with the dilemma of how to pay for a funeral.  If the death was unexpected and no funeral provision had been made, you need to quickly assess your options for how you can pay for a funeral.

Firstly, you need to get a perspective on how to manage the overall costs of a funeral.  If you have concerns about how you are going to pay, then it should be a priority to keep costs as low as possible.  Cremation will work out much cheaper than a burial.  You do not need an expensive casket, embalming or a burial plot. You can still have a dignified service if that is what you wish, or you can have a very simple and minimal fuss cremation.  If for personal or religious reasons, you require a burial, then you need to keep ancillary services as simple as possible.

However simple your choices are, you are still going to need a budget to cover your funeral expenses.  There are a variety of options that may help you to cover the costs.  You can read in detail about these options on Funeral Financing – A Breakdown of your Options.  One option that you can consider is taking out a funeral loan.

Although credit has historically not been made readily available to customers purchasing funeral products and services, this seems to be changing in our credit-driven culture today.  There are a number of credit products on the market today to assist with meeting funeral expenses.   However, as with any other financing, a level of credit-rating is required.  Some funeral homes are now working with funeral financing organizations to help meet their families needs.  Before entering into any type of credit agreement for funeral finance, be sure that this is the right option for how you choose to manage your funeral payments.   Consider all your other options  – such as life assurance assignment, pension funds, liquidating assets, charity, church and service organization contributions, even fund-raising.  It is never a wise move to incur debt to cover funeral payments.

Locate your nearest DFS Memorials provider to find your best value funeral or cremation service.