Affordable cremation services in Staten Island, NY – $485 direct cremation

Americans are demanding more affordable death care options.  With the high cost of traditional funerals and especially burial plot costs in NYC, cremation is proving an alternative disposition choice that is more affordable.

Cremation cost Staten Island NYWhy is cremation more affordable?

In simple terms, a cremation eliminates several services and funeral products that usually have a high price-tag.  You do not need a casket for a cremation service.

Although some funeral homes offer rental caskets if you wish to have a funeral service prior to the cremation.  You do not need a burial vault or cemetery plot, and embalming is not required for cremation.  Eliminating these few things can reduce the cost by between $3,000 – $8,000.

Cemetery plots in NYC are expensive due to the shortage of space.  A typical plot can cost around $14,000.  This adds a huge cost to a funeral bill.

What does a cremation cost in Staten Island?

The price of cremation varies.  Firstly, it depends on what type of cremation service you select.  A cremation funeral is very like a traditional funeral, but the deceased is cremated after the service, so now the burial plot is required.  A cremation funeral will generally cost from around $3,600 depending on the type of ceremony, the purchase of a casket, and the funeral home selected.

A cremation memorial is where the deceased is cremated prior to holding a memorial service with the cremation urn.  This type of cremation service is usually less than a cremation funeral.

What is a direct cremation?

A direct cremation is the industry term for a simple cremation with no ceremony or services.  This is the least expensive cremation option.  The price for a direct cremation in Staten Island differs from different funeral homes, but you can arrange a direct cremation for as little as $485.

Why is the crematory fee added to a funeral home’s direct cremation service fee?

cremation servicesIn NY, a funeral home is not allowed to own and operate a crematory.  All crematories are not-for-profit operations.  This means that a funeral director has to pay the crematory fee as a ‘third-party’ fee and therefore must charge the fee separate to his basic service funeral charge.

There are several crematories operating throughout NYC and NJ that funeral homes use, and the prices vary for the crematory fee.  The best value crematory fee is $140, but the price can be as much as $408, depending on the crematory used.

What additional fees are there to pay for a direct cremation in Staten Island?

There is a $40 NYC cremation permit charge, and the cost for the death certificate at $15.  If the deceased passed away at home, there is an additional charge for a residential collection, as this requires an additional person.  The additional fee is $150.

The other additional fee can be the mailing of cremated remains.  The cost to mail the ashes is $40 to mail cremated remains within NYC and $75 to mail outside of the boroughs.

What are the legal requirements for a cremation to proceed?

As cremation is a very final disposition method, there are strict laws that govern the practice. The legal next of kin must sign a ‘Cremation Authorization Form’ before a cremation can proceed.  The funeral director will file for the death certificate and permit to cremate.  Once all this paperwork is in order, the cremation can be scheduled.

What can you do with the cremated remains after the direct cremation?

ash scatteringThe cremated remains are returned immediately to the family after a direct cremation.  The family can choose to hold their own memorial service, or ash-scattering service is so desired.  The ashes can be kept at home, or interred in a cremation niche, or family cemetery plot.

Scattering at sea in Staten Island can be added to a direct cremation package for an additional $290.

For more options about what to do with cremated remains and how to memorialize, check out our Memorialization and What to do with the Cremation Ashes section on the blog.

What if the deceased is at the Medical Examiners?

If the deceased was transferred to the ME, you need the services of a funeral director to collect the deceased and transfer them to the crematory.  This can sometimes be an expedited service as the FD can collect all the permits and paperwork as he or she collects the deceased.

Is there any help with cremation costs in Staten Island?

Unfortunately, more families are finding themselves struggling with funeral expenses these days.  NYC does offer a burial assistance program to NYC residents on low-income.  You can download the form from the link here.

There is also the $255 Social Security lump-sum death benefit payment (if the deceased qualified).

So, what is ‘Direct Cremation’? And why do many in the funeral industry not want to talk about it?

Our nation is changing its death care preferences and cremation now accounts for over 50% of funerals.  This trend is set to continue, with the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) forecasting the cremation rate to reach 85% by 2035.

This is leading more families to start considering cremation, and asking questions about what options they have if they choose cremation.

What do you understand about cremation?  How does this impact on our death care choices?

A cremation is an alternative means by which to conduct the disposition of a body.  A cremation can be conducted after holding a traditional funeral service.  The cremated remains can still be interred in a cemetery plot, as you would do with a casketed body.

Cremation is proving a growing trend for a number of reasons.  The primary reason is cost.  A cremation, even with a full funeral service, works out much cheaper than a traditional burial service.  No casket, burial vault or cemetery plot is immediately required.  Even if you opt to hold a funeral service prior to cremation, many funeral homes now offer rental caskets for the purpose of the service.

Cremation questions

Another reason why cremation is gaining popularity is that it is a simpler, ‘less fuss’ option that many people are preferring today.  Who wants to spend thousands of dollars on a single funeral expense, when a dignified cremation can be conducted simply for under $2,000?

Cremation is a very final disposition of a body and therefore there are strict laws governing the authorization of a cremation.  A Cremation Authorization Form must be signed by all legal next-of-kin before a cremation can proceed.  This is largely as it is such a final act, and if there is even the slightest dispute or uncertainly amongst surviving next-of-kin, then a cremation should not go ahead.

The county also must authorize that a cremation can be conducted.  Generally, the funeral director has to obtain a permit from the county before he can cremate.

What is a direct cremation?

Direct cremation is an industry term for a cremation conducted with no ceremony or services.  The funeral director’s services are merely those to collect, complete the legal paperwork, and conduct the cremation process.  The cremated remains are then returned directly to the family.  This is the least expensive cremation option, and in many cities, can be performed for under $1,000.

The funeral industry often prefers to refer to a direct cremation as a ‘simple cremation’, a ‘basic cremation’, or ‘No ceremony cremation’.

The price for a direct cremation must be listed on a funeral home’s general price list (GPL), but you will find it listed towards the bottom of a GPL.

How much should you expect to pay for a direct cremation?

As with all funeral services, prices do vary, and this is not just by area but also according to the service providers.  A direct cremation can cost anywhere between $495 and $3,200.  A full-service funeral home will generally charge a higher fee, as they have a greater overhead to off-set.

Saving on cremation costsSome traditional funeral homes offer more affordable direct cremation, but often through a separate cremation entity that they have established to cater specifically for the market for direct cremation.

It is always wise to check a few prices to compare direct cremation costs.  But more importantly ensure you ARE comparing like-for-like packages.  Be very mindful of what is included in a price for a direct cremation.  Often third-party fees, such as death certificates, permits and sometimes even the crematory fee are not included.  Some cremation providers and funeral homes offer an inclusive direct cremation package, that may include death certificates and a simple cremation urn.

How is cremation affecting the funeral industry?

The simple truth is that cremation is revolutionizing the funeral industry, and many within the industry have either been resistant to the change, or slow to respond.  It is understandable….when a traditional burial costs in the region of $10,000-$15,000 and a cremation funeral costs around $3,500…this represents a significant decline in income and profits for a funeral home.

For the last decade or so, we have had too many funeral homes to service the death care needs of their communities.  However, many survived because conducting maybe 2 traditional funerals a month was enough to exist on, and even make some money.  Now that has changed and this is, and will continue to have, a dramatic effect on the funeral industry.

Some more progressive funeral directors, especially those who were business-minded, have responded to, and even embraced the change.  They have strategically placed their funeral business to respond to the demand for cremation, they have formulated simple and affordable cremation packages, and openly disclose their cremation prices.

Whilst others have been slower to respond.  Still hoping that cremation is a trend and the industry will return to the ‘glory’ days of elaborate (and expensive) funerals.

Cremation funeralDirect cremation is for many their least-favored request from a family, and some will still be compelled to convince a family that it is not enough.  We at DFS Memorials believe this is not true.  Direct cremation offers families a simple, efficient, convenient and affordable means to conduct funeral services.  Once the family has the cremated remains returned from the funeral director, it is simple, personal and inexpensive for the family to conduct their own memorial services (without the expense of a funeral director).

Memorial services can be held at home, in a place of worship, community center, outdoors, or just about anywhere you wish!  The shift towards Life Celebration events to memorialize allows us to use our imagination to celebrate the life of a loved one, without the somber tone long preached by the funeral industry.

Guide to arranging a cremation in Birmingham, AL

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.

low-cost-cremation-birmingham-alWhat is the average cost of a cremation in Birmingham?

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.

Cremation Packages

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?

funeral-pricesA 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.

cremation-cost-birmingham-alDisclaimer: 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.