Cremation Costs in 2020: How cremation is disrupting the Funeral Industry

How much should you expect to pay for a cremation service in 2020?

Some of the most frequent questions we are asked these days are about cremation prices.  Now cremation has become mainstream and more Americans are considering cremation.  The Internet has also disrupted a service industry that once relied upon ‘traditional’ families, who would not even ask about funeral prices.  Five years ago, it was extremely rare to see a funeral home website disclose any cremation prices, now there is not only a growing number displaying cremation packages and prices online, but we also have funeral homes Google-advertising price-competitively.

So, what should you expect to pay for a cremation service as we come towards the end of 2019?  Are cremation prices going to go down in 2020 as more funeral homes install crematories?  A simple cremation service costs between $800 and $3,000 today.  The disparity in this price range is largely due to which cremation service provider you select.  All funeral homes have a basic cremation [direct cremation] on their General Price List (GPL).  The price differs by the provider, often based upon their overhead and profit margins.

Most of the states where the cremation rate is higher have funeral service providers offering lower-cost cremation services.  The table below gives some examples of median direct cremation costs in November 2019 in a selection of states and cities.

State City Direct Cremation Cost
California Los Angeles $625
San Francisco $698
Sacramento $695
Washington State-wide $600
Arizona Phoenix $639
Tucson $455
Florida Miami $696
SWFL $895
Orlando $895
Texas Austin $595
San Antonio $595
Houston $640
Dallas/Fort Worth $755
New York New York City $485
Illinois Chicago $995
Pennsylvania Pittsburgh $695
Ohio Columbus $599
Indiana Indianapolis $650

As you can see some of the most populated cities have the lowest cremation prices.  Prices tend to increase in rural areas, or where the cremation rate is lower than the national average. Find your nearest DFS Memorials provider to locate cremation costs.

What is the most popular cremation service?

The cremation rate nationally reached almost 55% last year and is forecast to grow to nearly 80% by 2040.  What is not disclosed is what percent of cremation families select full-service cremation services or just a simple cremation.  There has been a steady growth of interest in “just cremation” services, or what the industry refers to as a ‘direct cremation’.

Projected cremation and burial ratesA direct cremation is a basic cremation without any funeral ceremony performed by the funeral home.  The deceased is collected, cremated and the cremated remains returned directly to the family.  This is also the most economical disposition option available.  It is what families are asking for when they say “I just want a simple cremation…no fuss.”

From our survey with our DFS Memorials network of cremation providers, it is reported that 80% of cremations conducted are direct cremations in 2020.  Time magazine reported on how ‘Cremation Is Now Outpacing Traditional Burial’ with a case study from a funeral home in Boise, Idaho.  Robert Boetticher, Jr., of Cloverdale Funeral Home, shared how when in mortuary school in the 1980s cremation was barely mentioned, and now the cases at his funeral home in Boise are 60% cremation cases.

According to Barbara Kemmis, CANA’s executive director “Cremation has become the new tradition. It’s a seismic shift in the profession.”

So, although the funeral profession does not want to embrace it, it seems that direct cremation services are the popular cremation choice for families today.

How is the cremation trend impacting on cremation costs in 2020?

I have been observing the cremation trend and changes in cremation prices nationally for the last few years now. I would propose we are witnessing an impact on cremation pricing driven by the demand for low-cost direct cremation.  Cremation ‘price wars’ have been instigated in some areas.  With the decline in expensive traditional burials and the growth of simple cremation services, funeral homes’ profit-margins are significantly down.  This has resulted in closures, acquisitions, extended service area coverage and competition on pricing.

Are you happy to make cremation arrangements online?

In order to be able to offer cremation at the most affordable price, some funeral homes have set up a separate cremation business, where they seek to increase volume while reducing overhead.  Some of these cremation businesses offer an ‘online arrangement’ cremation price, as by enabling the consumer to complete all the information and payment online, this saves manpower for the cremation company.

Many of these online portals offer a 4-step process:

  1. Arrange online
  2. Collection of the deceased
  3. Registering the death & conducting the cremation
  4. Returning the cremated remains – by mail or in person.

Direct cremation onlineCremation costs and The Economy in 2020

There have been numerous reports and surveys on the rising cremation trend over the last 10 years.  The majority of these reports conclusively summarize that price has been the driving factor in the shift towards the more affordable alternative of cremation.  One could say that the funeral industry has brought this on themselves with their practice of gauging families with high funeral prices.  Since the economic downturn of 2008, we have seen slow but steady growth in the cremation rate.

CNBC reported in July this year that ‘Many Americans who can’t afford a $400 emergency blame debt’, quoting that 40% of Americans would struggle to raise $400 for an unexpected bill.  Sadly, we are on the brink of what I believe could be an era of funeral poverty.  Counties are struggling with their budgets for indigent funeral requests, as a growing number of low-income families find themselves faced with an unexpected funeral expense.  More counties are allocating their indigent burial budgets to direct cremation instead of burial services to cut costs.

Clearly, there is an intrinsic link between the state of the economy, the rise in the cremation rate and cremation costs.

Memorialization after cremation

There are two fundamental elements to the death care process: disposition of the body and memorialization.  For decades these two elements have been held solely in the domain of the funeral home.  However, cremation has allowed us to separate these two elements.  The disposition of the deceased can be handled clinically by the funeral director.  Cremation has enabled this to handled in a timely manner while removing the need to rush to arrange funeral services.  A memorial service can be held after the cremation, and therefore there is no rush to arrange a ceremony immediately.  This has dis-empowered funeral homes who often felt that we needed their memorialization services in order to grieve.

The rise of Personalization and Cremation

‘Personalization’ has become the new industry buzz word in recent years related especially to cremation services.  Once the cremation is performed and the family has the cremated remains, there are so many options of how to create a personalized memorial.  Families are embracing the flexibility this offers them, and how much money they can save by personally choosing how to commemorate a loved one.

Cremation Memorial ServiceSimple Cremation and baby boomers

There is a lot of talk about how the baby boomers are going to have an impact over the next 10-20 years on the death care industry.  They have re-invented life’s rituals and customs through each era of their lives, and now as they embark on the final journey, it is expected they will lead a re-invention of their final passage.  From surveys conducted with baby boomers, there is definitely an interest in simple cremation.

So, another year of flux for the funeral industry.  It seems on a whole they have finally accepted that cremation is not a passing trend but here to stay.  However, as more funeral businesses try to stay profitable with the expected lower cost of cremation services, I am sure there are more changes on the horizon.

1.Deathcare Services – Statistics & Facts. https://www.statista.com/topics/4731/death-care-services-in-the-us/ Published by E. Mazareanu, Jul 10, 2019

2. The United States Death Care Market Report 2018-2023: Market is Estimated to Reach Revenues of Around $68 Billion

In 2019 there were 19,177 funeral homes in the U.S.  The Provision of funeral homes and cemetery services generated combined revenue of $21 billion USD in 2019.  The main corporate funeral entities have the following shares of the market: SCI 1.9 billion, StoneMor Partners 261.94 million, Carriage Services. 210.7 million.

Cremation costs in 2019: How much should you pay for a direct cremation service?

Over 55% of Americans now choose cremation as their ‘preferred’ disposition and death care option.  This shift from traditional burial to cremation is having a huge impact on the funeral industry.  Because, while cremation means that funerals are becoming more affordable for families, it means that funeral homes’ revenue is declining.  What we are starting to witness in 2019 is the impact of cremation in terms of pricing.

Cremation saves on funeral costs

Often families think of cremation as a way to save costs.  And, although there are different reasons why a family chooses cremation, the lower cost of a cremation funeral is by far the primary reason.  A cremation service is generally at least half the cost of a burial service, if not more.  But, direct cremation is what is revolutionizing the funeral industry at present.  A direct cremation is the most economical cremation option.  And, what the industry is not telling us, is that direct cremation is now accounting for around 70% of all cremations performed.

What does a cremation cost?What is a direct cremation?  And why is this challenging the funeral industry?

A direct cremation, is where a simple cremation is conducted, without any ceremony or services.  This means the funeral establishment (or crematory) simply handle the collection of the deceased, complete the required legal administration, and perform the cremation.  The cremated remains are then returned directly to the family.  What this means is that it can be delivered at a much-reduced cost.  The demand for direct cremation is challenging an industry that once did not even feel a need to provide up-front funeral pricing.  Now, cremation consumers are shopping around to compare cremation prices, and seeking out the most affordable direct cremation service they can find.  As within other consumer sectors, why would you opt to pay hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars more, for the exact same product or service?

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

A direct cremation ranges in cost in any one area.  If you conduct a simple comparison between 5 funeral homes and cremation providers, asking for the cost of a direct cremation from their General Price List, you will see a difference in price.  Especially if you select a range of different providers from the small funeral home to large corporate funeral home.  In most major cities, a direct cremation can be conducted for between $595 to $995.  Rural areas tend to be more expensive, as there is less competition for the cremation market.

Comparing cremation prices

The chart below highlights the comparison between a DFS Memorials independent low-cost cremation provider and the average cost for a direct cremation in a city.

AREA DFS Provider direct cremation price Average direct cremation price*
New York City NY $485 $1,969
Los Angeles CA $625 $1,524
Houston TX $640 $2,173
Chicago IL $995 $1,949
Philadelphia PA $1,095 $1,798
Phoenix AZ $639 $1,337
San Antonio TX $595 $1,856
San Diego CA $600 $1,358
Jacksonville FL $695 $1,648
Dallas-Fort Worth TX $755 $1,944
Indianapolis IN $650 $2,261
Seattle WA $600 $1,519
Detroit MI $845 $1,199
Boston MA $1,395 $2,332
Memphis TN $995 $2,060
Oklahoma City OK $945 $1,914
Las Vegas NV $795 $1,526
Louisville KY $650 $1,880
Denver CO $995 $1,791

*Average direct cremation price 2019 obtained from Parting Funeral Home Comparison website

Are cremation prices likely to rise in 2019?

Cremation planningThe market for cremation services will continue to become more competitive.  Cremation has continued to disrupt the funeral industry in 2020 as this article explains.

Most funeral businesses need to increase their volume of cremation business to sustain their revenue.  This is already leading to cremation ‘price wars’ in some cities, where funeral homes are reducing their direct cremation price to increase their volume of cases.

However, at the same time, we are also witnessing an aggressive approach from corporate funeral entities, who need to acquire their own share of cremation business.  Corporate death care companies, such as Dignity Memorial and The Neptune Society, can afford to enlist the expertise of professional marketing services and ‘dominate’ in the domain of online advertising and direct mail.  Corporate and privately-owned funeral entities across the U.S. are acquiring successful independent cremation businesses to dominate a cremation market in a specific area.

We observed an example of this recently with Foundation Partners (a privately-owned funeral business with 80 locations in 17 states) acquiring a longstanding family business in Tucson.  The family business had offered the lowest cost direct cremation to families in Tucson and continues to operate under the existing funeral home name.  I would anticipate that once these large funeral entities position themselves to dominate a market, we are likely to see cremation prices rise again.

Pre-arranging cremation services

Taking out a pre-arrangement cremation plan today could potentially save you on the possibility of rising cremation costs.  A direct cremation plan can be funded by an insurance product or a trust and ensures you lock in today’s prices.  The terms will differ, depending on your state legislation on funeral plans, and your personal circumstances for making payment.

Pre-arrange cremation serviceAn important aspect of pre-arranging a cremation is to pre-authorize the cremation.  For a cremation to proceed, the legal next-of-kin must sign a Cremation Authorization Form.

But, when pre-arranging, you can pre-authorize your wish for cremation.  Saving the surviving family from the decision when the time comes.  Typically, a direct cremation that costs $650 today at-need, would cost approximately $1,200 to pre-plan and pre-pay over 24 months.

Alternatively, you can pre-plan by doing some research to determine an affordable cremation services provider near you, and put aside the required funds for an ‘at-need’ direct cremation in a POD (Payable on Death) account at your bank.  Many funeral service providers are happy to prepare the necessary paperwork for cremation and keep it on file for when the need arises.  This allows you to retain control of your funds for cremation, while having made the proper provision for your surviving family. Read more about pre-planning a cremation or funeral with a POD account.

So, the key ‘take-aways’ from this article are that you should ensure you compare cremation costs before deciding on a cremation service provider and be aware that the cremation market is likely to change over the coming years.

What you need to know about cremation services and costs in California in 2019

Affordable Cremation Service CaliforniaWhat is the cremation rate in California?

California is ranked as the state in the U.S. with the highest population (39,766,830 in 2018) which represents 12% of the total population.

The states in the West also have some of the highest cremation rates, with California ranking at 14th, and a cremation rate of 63.4% in 2015 (latest state by state data).  This is above the national cremation rate, which reached 53.5% in 2017.

So, it is apparent that cremation is a preferred alternative to burial for families across the West Coast.  How has this affected the funeral industry in California? And, more importantly, has this made cremation a more affordable option for Californians?

The average traditional burial funeral service in California can run to $10,000 or more, whereas the average price for a cremation service is between $600 to $3,000.  This means cremation services offer a more affordable, and more flexible, alternative to traditional funeral services.

How much does it cost for a cremation in Los Angeles?

As mentioned above, cremations can cost between $600 to $3,000.  This can depend on the type of cremation service selected, and the cremation service provider chosen.  A direct cremation is the cheapest cremation option.

Online sources quote that in LA, the average cost for a cremation memorial service is $2,781*, and the average cost for a direct cremation is $1,524*.

In the Greater Los Angeles area, a direct cremation service can be conducted for as little as $625.  A direct cremation is a basic cremation without any ceremony or services conducted by the funeral home or mortuary.  The deceased is collected directly from the place of death and transported to the funeral home or crematory.  The cremation is conducted, and the cremated remains then returned to the family.

The chart here provides a sample of direct cremation prices from a selection of Los Angeles direct cremation service providers in 2019.

Compare cremation costs in Los Angeles

How do cremation prices compare in the Bay Area?

The Bay Area, including San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, and Stockton, compares very similarly to LA, with cremation prices ranging from $650 to $3,300.  Marin County has one of the highest cremation rates in the country, and cremation is certainly a popular choice for many Bay Area residents.  There are several cremation companies that have chosen to focus on the demand for simple and low-cost direct cremation, and offer arrangements without the need to even visit a funeral home.  So, you will find a number of direct cremation providers competing for this affordable cremation market and offering a direct cremation service for between $650 and $850.

Compare cremation prices in San Francisco

What can you expect to pay for cremation in Sacramento?

The average cost for a direct cremation in Sacramento is $1,642*, although again, there are cremation providers offering lower-cost direct cremation.  The best price for affordable direct cremation in Sacramento is around $695.

Cremation costs in Northern California.

The basic cost rises somewhat in Northern California, and a simple direct cremation service will cost in and around $995 in Redding and in the region of $1,400 in Chico.

Direct cremation in Southern California.

San Diego has a high cremation rate and a low direct cremation priceThe average price for a direct cremation is $1,358*, although the lowest cost is $600.  As the cremation market is competitive in San Diego, there are several funeral homes offering a direct cremation service for under $1,000.  The chart here shows a sample of direct cremation prices from providers who offer a service for under $1,000.

Compare cremation costs in San Diego

Where is the cheapest place to be cremated in California?

Southern California proves to be the cheapest place to be cremated.  In Los Angeles and San Diego, direct cremation services are available for between $600 – $625.  Being that both these cities have the largest populations in California, there will be growing interest from funeral service providers to capture more of the cremation market, as the cremation rate continues to climb.  So, it is possible that the cremation market will become even more competitive and drive prices lower.

What laws govern cremation services in California?

Each state has a funeral licensing body.  It is their responsibility to ensure that state laws pertaining to the disposition of a body are correctly implemented and to conduct inspections and licensed establishments.

Before cremation can be performed, a ‘Declaration for Disposition of Cremated Remains Form’ must be legally signed.  This must be signed by the legal immediate next-of-kin, or if you are preplanning, you can sign the form for yourself.  This form is a written authorization for the cremation to proceed.  A contract with the cremation service provider should also specify the location and time of disposition, and an agreement to pay the cost for the cremation service.

The funeral director must obtain a ‘Permit for Disposition of Human Remains VS 9’ from the county health department.  Commonly referred to as a cremation permit.  Once all the legal paperwork is completed, the cremation process can go ahead.

According to California law, there is no requirement for a casket for cremation, but a ‘combustible cremation container’ must be used for the purpose of cremation.

Cremation Service CAHow long does cremation take in California?

A cremation can proceed when all the required legal paperwork and permits are authorized and completed.  Firstly, the death certificate must be obtained.  How long this takes can depend on the doctor signing the death certificate off, and the nature of the cause of death.  Once, a death certificate is obtained and the Cremation Authorization Form is in order, the funeral director can obtain the permit to cremate from the county.

Generally, this all takes a few days, and the cremated remains should be available for you to collect within 7 to 10 days after the deceased was taken into the care of the cremation services provider.

Can you deal directly with a crematory in California?

In California, the use of a funeral home is not required by law. Therefore, if you so choose, you can deal directly with a crematory to handle the cremation. If you are not using the services of a funeral director, you would need to apply for, and file, the death certificate and obtain the Permit for Disposition from the county registrar.

Arranging a direct cremation & conducting a family memorial or ash-scattering in California

More families are opting to choose direct cremation and then perform their own memorial service.  This is a significant way to make death care affordable and personalized.  Once the funeral home has completed the direct cremation and the family has the ashes returned, a memorial can be organized at a time and place that is appropriate and meaningful.  All this can be arranged at a fraction of the cost of a cremation funeral or a burial funeral with a funeral home.

What is the cost of an ash-scattering at sea off the coast of California?

California has an expansive coastline and therefore attracts many residents who wish to perform a scattering of cremated remains at the coast, or in the Pacific Ocean.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires a sea scattering to be performed 3 nautical miles out at sea.

There are numerous charter services from Southern and Central California.  The cost for a sea scattering will vary, depending on whether it is accompanied or unaccompanied.  Unaccompanied scattering can start at around $200, especially if offered as an ‘add-on’ service by your cremation provider.  Charters for groups to go out to conduct a sea scattering ceremony will again vary, depending on the size of the boat, people attending and how many hours at sea are requested.

What happens if you cannot afford a cremation in California?

Sadly, we are entering an era of ‘funeral poverty’ where too many families find themselves unprepared for funeral expenses.  Counties generally have an obligation to cover the costs for indigent dispositions.  However, there is very limited financial assistance for those that are low-income or simply living paycheck to paycheck.

A low-cost direct cremation is the most inexpensive option, but most cremation providers will require payment in full before they will collect the deceased and transfer he or she into their care.

If you have any further questions about cremation services in California, call your nearest DFS Memorials affordable cremation provider, who will be happy to assist you.

Sources:

The cremation rate in California

Population data

*Prices obtained from Parting funeral comparison website February 2019

Cremation rate rises faster than forecast!

The annual National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) Cremation & Burial report has been released, and the data forecasts that the cremation rate is rising faster than originally predicted.

The cremation rate was originally predicted to reach 75% by 2035, now it appears the cremation rate is more likely to reach 80% by 2035.  This forecast has implications for the funeral business as a whole, when within the last 10 years, the cremation rate has risen exponentially affecting a funeral home’s gross annual revenue.

Cremation rates in the US between 1960-2035

Credit: Statista.com

Why is the cremation rate rising so fast?

The rise in cremation is largely being driven by consumer demand for more affordable, flexible and simple funeral alternatives.  This new market of baby boomers, families living paycheck to paycheck, and consumers moving away from conventional rituals is leading a shift towards cremation services.

Comparing Cremation PricesCremation is more affordable.  The average cremation service is likely to be half to a third of the cost of a burial service.  A casket is not required, especially if a cremation memorial or direct cremation is performed.

Some funeral homes are even offering rental caskets now for the purpose of conducting a cremation funeral.  This can save $500 – $1,500 on funeral costs alone.

There is no immediate need for a cemetery plot or burial vault, both of which can add $2,000+ to the overall cost of conducting a burial service.  Embalming is not required for a cremation, so this is another general cost eliminated from the total funeral bill.  Embalming can cost anywhere between $500 – $1,000.

So, as you can quickly surmise, cremation can present an immediate saving on funeral costs of approximately $4,000.

Cremation rates across the United States

Although the cremation rate this year is forecast to be around 53%, the cremation rate still varies across the nation.  The states with the highest cremation rate (over 70%) are Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.  These are now being fast followed by states such as Arizona, California, Florida, and New Mexico.

The cremation rate is lower among the Midwest states and the southern states, although these states that had traditionally had a much lower interest in cremation, are reporting a more significant increase in their cremation rates.

An industry in change: funeral homes adapting to a new market

The funeral industry has long been a very traditional and stoic industry.  Some critics would describe it as a slow to respond to change.  However, there are funeral companies that are now specifically catering to the growing demand for cremation services.

Service Corporation International (SCI) has reduced its base cremation price in recent months, and begun a marketing campaign aimed at cremation customers.  SCI also bought 70% shares in The Neptune Society in 2011, a direct cremation company, operate a very active cremation plan direct marketing campaign, and have increased the number of Neptune Society locations in the last 5 years.

The average independent funeral home has maybe found this market shift to cremation more challenging to respond to.  A cremation service has a lower price value.  In the case of direct cremation, very minimal input is required by a funeral director, as no ceremony is provided by the funeral home.  With no casket, no funeral service, and a simple cremation service….a funeral home is looking at a significant drop in revenues!

Comparing cremation prices

Arrange a cremation onlineIt seems todays’ potential cremation consumer has become savvier, and more concerned, with comparing the costs for cremation.  Funeral homes are having to respond to this demand for transparent cremation pricing by openly disclosing cremation prices, either online or over the phone.  More funeral homes are choosing to openly offer their general price list (GPL) and cremation package pricing on their websites.  California even now legally requires a funeral home to disclose their GPL on their website.

A number of online platforms and websites have emerged aimed at providing cremation cost comparison services over the last few years.  However, a consumer must consider the subjectivity of the information provided.   Websites like Heritage Cremation and Legacy Cremation advertise a cremation service nationwide between $695 – $1,395, but do not provide a specific price for an area.  Other websites have gathered GPL’s from a range of funeral homes in an area, but may not include ALL funeral homes in an area, and require a visitor to search through funeral home after funeral home to compare pricing.  Or require a fee for a pricing report, or to submit your personal contact information to obtain a cremation price.

Some funeral home websites provide their own funeral pricing comparison charts for their own market, but may choose to omit any local providers offering a lower price than them.

DFS Memorials aims to help you quickly identify a local, independent cremation provider and provide you with his direct cremation service charge.  So, at your time of need, you do not have to become overwhelmed comparing cremation prices.  Cremation providers selected for the network all offer a ‘best value’ direct cremation package to their local community.

Average cremation costs in Cedar Rapids, IA

As more families opt for cremation over a traditional burial, we find families are seeking out information to help them better understand their options.  This article gives a brief overview of cremation in Cedar Rapids, how you can save money by arranging cremation services and helps you to compare cremation costs between funeral service providers in Cedar Rapids.

How can you save money by arranging a cremation?

A cremation is likely to cost you about half the cost of a traditional burial funeral.  Why? Because you can eliminate some of the largest outlays associated with a funeral.  With cremation there is no need for a casket, embalming, a burial vault, cemetery plot or full-size grave marker.

Eliminating these funeral items and services will save a few thousand dollars! Opting for a cremation can also help save money as it is possible to hold a memorial service (with the cremated remains present) without having to go ahead with a funeral ceremony immediately.  This can allow families time to make decisions.  Often this can mean that money-savings options can be more thoroughly explored.  Some families even choose to conduct their own memorial service, which can save on venue and staff costs, plus it also makes a service so much more personalized.

What is the average cost of a cremation in Cedar Rapids?

Cremation prices do differ between different funeral homes in Cedar Rapids.  This means that quoting an ‘average’ does not always reflect what cheaper cremation prices are available. The average cost of a cremation funeral in the U.S.  is $3,745 for a cremation with a ceremony and a mid-range urn.  Average cremation costs in Cedar Rapids are on par with this price.  We have identified below how to arrange a low cost cremation in Cedar Rapids for just $1,405

Cremation Packages

A funeral home must have a general price list (GPL) outlining their service charges but many funeral homes also offer cremation packages, where a price is offered for a complete cremation service.  In comparing costs and services between funeral homes, it is important to ensure you are comparing like-for-like services, especially when it is a quoted cremation package price.  Not all cremation providers quote a fully inclusive price when quoting a cremation package.

cremation-cedar-rapids-iowaA basic cremation: Direct cremation in Cedar Rapids

Direct cremation, or immediate cremation, is becoming an increasingly popular choice for funeral consumers.  A direct cremation is the simplest, and least expensive, cremation option.  It involves the funeral home collecting the deceased, transferring him/her into their care, completing all the necessary paperwork and conducting the cremation. A basic cremation container is used and the ashes are generally returned in a temporary urn.  A direct cremation in Cedar Rapids can cost anywhere between $1,405 and $3,000.

How do I choose a cremation provider in Cedar Rapids?

Choosing a cremation provider can depend upon what kind of cremation services you require.  If you are looking for a cremation with a ceremony or interment committal, then you will need funeral home that offers the facilities for a ceremony and that is in a good location for your family.

If you have decided upon a simple direct cremation at the most affordable price, then you may consider the services of a provider who specifically offers a direct cremation at a low cost.  The locale of the funeral home is not as essential if no services are being held.  And many funeral homes have extended their service area for direct cremation services.

The DFS Memorials provider for Cedar Rapids is an established funeral home with facilities for ceremonies, yet covers a wide service area throughout Central Iowa.

DFS Memorials CEDAR RAPIDS  (319) 208-6119 – Call with any questions 

Direct Cremation $1,405

How do cremation providers compare in Cedar Rapids

It is always wide to shop around and compare services and costs.  We do it in any other large purchase we make – so why not when purchasing end of life services?  However, it can be quite a task trying to efficiently compare local funeral homes, especially when you are feeling emotionally fraught.  This is why at DFS Memorials we find the best cremation price – so you don’t have to!  We do the research and then select a local funeral home that offers the most affordable cremation package.

What if the deceased had no life insurance? Is there any help with cremation costs in Cedar Rapids?

Sadly more families are finding themselves struggling to meet funeral costs.  Public aid can be a little patchy depending upon where you are.  You need to contact your local county human services or social services to inquire if anything is available in your area.  There is also the $255 Social Security lump sum death benefit for those that qualify, and various union, faith and charitable organizations may offer some support to families to assist with covering funeral costs.

Hopefully this article has helped you understand a little more about your options to be cremated, how you can arrange a basic cremation and save on funeral costs!

DFS Memorials Cedar Rapids serves families throughout all of Greater Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Hiawatha, Bertram, Vernon View, and the counties of Benton, Black Hawk, Cedar, Iowa, Johnson, Jones and Linn.

Cremation costs in 2018: How much should you expect to pay for cremation?

As cremation becomes the popular alternative to burial for more and more families across the US.  The question is being asked more frequently “How much should a cremation cost?”

Whilst deciding whether cremation is for you can be a personal choice about death care alternatives, for many, the price of cremation can be a determining factor in their decision.

It is important to realize that prices for cremation can vary considerably.  Cremation costs depending on the cremation service provider and depends on your location.

Many major city areas offer more competitive cremation prices, where rural areas and certain states tend to be more expensive overall.

Saving on cremation costsSo, what should you expect to pay for a cremation?

The first thing you need to consider is the type of cremation service you require.  If you are opting for a funeral service, followed by cremation, then prices begin in the range of $2,000 – $3,000.

This is significantly cheaper than typical funeral burial prices, which can be upwards of $4,000 (without including cemetery fees).

What is the least expensive cremation service?

A direct cremation is the least expensive cremation service you can opt for.  The term ‘direct cremation’ refers to where there is no ceremony or services offered by the funeral home or crematory.  The deceased is collected from the place of death, sheltered whilst all required paperwork is completed. In some states, a mandatory wait period is in force before the cremation can be performed.  The cremation is conducted and the cremated remains returned directly to the family.

As the funeral director offers basic services to facilitate a direct cremation, this can be offered at a base price.  Direct cremation ranges from $485 to $1,795, again depending on your locality.  A direct cremation can be conducted in Brooklyn, NY for $485.

Comparing direct cremation costs by city

Listed below is an example of direct cremation costs in major cities in the United States.  This data is extracted from the DFS Memorials network of affordable cremation providers and Parting funeral price survey website.

City Lowest direct cremation cost Highest direct cremation cost
Chicago, IL $975 $4,600
Dallas, TX $755 $6,300
Fort Myers, FL $795 $2,200
Houston, TX $675 $6,800
Indianapolis, IN $850 $6,100
Las Vegas, NV $495 $2,240
Los Angeles, CA $625 $2,900
Louisville, KY $795 $3,390
Miami, FL $596 $2,340
Nashville, TN $995 $4,400
New Orleans, LA $1,550 $2,930
Phoenix, AZ $639 $2,370
Pittsburgh, PA $695 $3,895
Salt Lake City, UT $750 $2,595

What does a direct cremation price quoted include?

Generally, a price for a direct cremation on a funeral home GPL or website will include:

  • Collection of the deceased from the place of death (may be an additional fee if residential collection)
  • Shelter of the deceased for a specified number of days (additional days may incur additional fees)
  • A cremation container
  • Services of the funeral director to complete all required paperwork (death cert. permits etc)
  • The cremation process
  • A temporary cremation urn for returning the remains to the family

What additional fees may I incur on a direct cremation?

Third-party fees are generally added to a direct cremation price.  These are the cost for death certificates and if a fee must be paid for a cremation permit or medical examiner.

Other additional expenses could be:

  • Collection from a residential address as opposed to a hospital, morgue or nursing home.
  • Barometric charges if the deceased is overweight.
  • Selection of a cremation casket
  • Selection of a cremation urn
  • Arranging a private family viewing prior to cremation

What do I do with the cremated remains once they are returned?

This is another question that families frequently ask.  As more families choose direct cremation, they want to do something with the cremation ashes when they are returned to them by the funeral home.  Memorial services and Life Celebration Ceremonies are growing in popularity.

The great thing about direct cremation is that aside from being a more affordable cremation option, is that the family can then conduct their own memorial service at a time and place of their choosing.

What about scattering the cremation ashes?

Scattering ashes is now being either requested or conducted, by families who do not want to inter remains and feel that scattering a loved one’s remains in a special place is a more befitting final resting place.

Several direct cremation providers now offer packages where, for a small additional fee, they will scatter your loved one’s ashes for you.

Cremation Plans:  Think ahead and be prepared

The NFDA has put “cremation as the chosen form of disposition for almost 80% of American deaths by 2035”.  This means more and more of us WILL be choosing cremation for our final disposition.   As the cost of a direct cremation is often less than $1,000, this makes it a simple and affordable solution for many families today.

To better understand your options, it is wise to do some research and be aware of what direct cremation prices are in your city.  Those providers that offer pre-need cremation plans often add a premium to their at-need cremation price to allow for inflation etc.

However, you can preplan without the need to prepay a cremation provider by selecting the cremation provider you wish to handle the service and ensuring certain things are in place.  You can pre-sign your own ‘cremation authorization form’ and have this lodged with the provider in advance.  You can set aside the required funds in a POD bank account that a beneficiary can gain instant access to in the event of the death of the account holder.  You can read more about this on US Funerals Online at What is my best and safest option for putting aside money for a funeral?

Funeral Homes Failure to Disclose Funeral Costs

The funeral industry operates like no other industry I know.  In today’s consumer marketplace cost is a principle. Maybe not cost alone but certainly a combination of cost and value.  It is highly unlikely that you would make a consumer purchase without asking the question “how much”?

funeral-pricesYet the funeral industry expects us to make funeral arrangements (once the fourth biggest expenditure you will make in a lifetime) without being concerned about what our bottom line is going to be.  Not only can many funeral locations be evasive about disclosing prices to us if we inquire (although legally they are bound to do so), they can bombard us with so many irrelevant questions about our requirements that it can be overwhelming at a distressing time!

The latest Funeral Consumers Alliance (FCA) survey in conjunction with the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) has highlighted yet again just how non-compliant the industry is with the Federal Trade Commission’s ‘funeral rule’ which requires them to disclose prices.

2015 Funeral Costs Survey

The FCA and CFA recently surveyed 150 funeral homes in 10 metro areas to discover that despite legislation put in place to protect consumers, only 1 in 4 funeral homes are readily disclosing funeral costs on their websites.  According to the FCA and CFA survey another 29% provided prices upon an email request and a further 29% divulged their prices after receiving an email and then a phone call.  16% of funeral homes surveyed did not provide any pricing information, or provided it only if a customer visited the funeral home.

The survey also highlighted the variation between itemized prices for funeral services and how dramatically these can vary, sometimes by as much as 3 times as much for the exact same service.

At DFS Memorials we have undertaken numerous funeral price comparison surveys to enable us to locate the best value direct cremation or direct burial.  We have encountered the same resistance by many funeral locations to disclose cremation prices.

An industry resisting change….and consumer demand!

The funeral industry has been criticized for its slowness and unwillingness to embrace change.  The ‘dinosaur’ that could be prone to extinction as it continues to ignore consumer demand.  This survey exemplifies how despite the more progressive funeral companies who have adapted to the changes affecting the industry, there are still funeral businesses locked in a times-past.

save-on-cremation-costsCremation is probably the biggest change to face this industry in the last century, and could be likened to a snowball in its growth since 2008.  Families are voting with their feet that they simply cannot or will not pay thousands of dollars to lay a loved one to rest anymore.

Direct cremation is revolutionizing a once very stoic industry, and direct cremation scares many funeral business to death!!  A direct cremation requires the most minimal of services from a funeral director and is his least expensive service option.  Understandably many long-standing funeral homes with large overheads and fleets of vehicles are facing very troubling times.

To the funeral consumer a direct cremation means a funeral bill of typically less than $1,000 (in most metro areas).  To the funeral home owner this means a steep drop in profit-margin.

So….do your homework and compare prices.  As this recent survey uncovered, this is a mine-field to tread through.  If you are researching ahead of time this gives you an advantage, but coming new to making arrangements at a time of need can be very distressing and completely overwhelming.  As a guide DFS Memorials is here to help you.  We have an extensive network of low cost cremation providers across the United States and guarantee to offer you disclosure of direct cremation costs.  We hope to provide some light and guidance through your dark path, and make laying a loved one to rest a task that may be painful, but not end up costing you more than you can afford.

Cremation costs: How can I save money arranging a funeral in Phoenix, AZ?

The cost of dying these days is becoming as much of a concern as the cost of living!  Funerals can end up costing thousands of dollars of money we don’t have, or simply do not want to spend on death care.   With traditionalism in decline and families seeking alternative funeral options, especially those driven by cost, this article aims to help you understand some options that you have to save money when arranging a funeral.

low-cost-cremation-phoenix-azHow much does a funeral cost in Phoenix?

All funerals are NOT created equal!  Yes, believe it or not, funeral prices differ dramatically and you can end up completely confused by the array of prices and services! Funeral costs in Phoenix vary significantly, depending upon the funeral provider you select, and the type of services you opt for.  The average cost of a funeral is $7,045 (according to the National Funeral Directors Association 2012).  This is for a typical burial service including a viewing, ceremony, all associated professional services, and a standard casket.  This does not include any cemetery fees or cash advance items. 

However, it is possible to arrange a traditional burial for half this cost by selecting a provider who offers more affordable funeral alternatives.  A complete traditional funeral can be conducted in Phoenix for $2,265 (not including cemetery costs).  Immediately this means that you can save thousands just by shopping around and choosing a more affordable funeral home in Phoenix.

All funeral homes in Phoenix have a General Price List (GPL) that discloses all their services and itemized funeral prices.  By law they must disclose prices to you, either in person or by phone, although you may find that not all funeral homes are willing to do so.  If a funeral provider is not open about disclosing prices when you make an initial inquiry – it should ring alarm bells!!

phoenix-cremation-servicesCremation: the low cost funeral option.

If you wish to save money arranging a funeral – consider cremation.  Cremation is fast becoming a preferred choice for many families.  There are various reasons why we are now choosing cremation as a disposition option, but by far the most common reason is cost!  A cremation will cost you a fraction of the cost of a traditional burial.  In fact, in Phoenix, typically you can save up to 75% of what it would cost you for a traditional burial funeral.  Cremation removes the need for cemetery expenses, as well as the need for embalming and a casket.  It can also offer families more time to prepare a memorial service.  Instead of having to proceed with a funeral, a cremation can go ahead and a memorial service arranged at a later date with the cremation urn present.  This can be another way to save money and also make the tribute so much more personal.

What is the average cost of a cremation in Phoenix?

According to the Cremation Association of North America CANA the average cost of a cremation is $2,250.  This is, of course, a national average cost and the average cost of a cremation also depends, not only upon where you live, but also exactly what services are included with any cremation package.

As mentioned above, prices do vary so much between funeral homes, and this applies to cremation providers as well.  A simple cremation can cost anywhere between just over $600 to Almost $3,000 – depending where you go.

How to arrange a low cost cremation in Phoenix, AZ?

If you are worried about funeral costs then a simple cremation service is the lowest cost cremation option.  It offers a simple and affordable solution for families seeking to arrange a disposition on a budget.  A direct cremation is the term used by a funeral home to refer to their basic cremation service.  This is a cremation without any services.  The deceased is collected, prepared for cremation, all the necessary documentation is completed and the cremation proceeds.  A basic cremation container is used and the ashes are generally returned in a temporary box.  You can, if you so choose, purchase a cremation urn from the funeral home.  You can arrange a direct cremation in Phoenix for just $639 complete.

Comparing cremation costs in Phoenix

Cremation prices do vary by provider, even within Phoenix, so it is important to shop around and compare cremation prices between funeral homes today to ensure that you have obtained the best price cremation possible.  Telephoning around, or conducting online research on cremation pricing can be time-consuming and quite an overwhelming task.  That is why we have conducted our own cremation cost research so you don’t have to!  The provider we work with in Phoenix offers an exceptional value cremation package.

The DFS Memorials provider offers a direct cremation for $639 and a complete traditional funeral for just $2,265. 

Call (602) 638-1151    –    Providing affordable funeral options for families in Phoenix.

The chart below includes a sample of some of the low prices for a direct cremation in Phoenix.  As you can see there are affordable cremation providers in Phoenix who can offer a direct cremation for under $1,000.

 

cremation-costs-phoenix-azDisclaimer: This cremation cost information was obtained from providers in January 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.

Direct cremation services in Phoenix

As mentioned a direct cremation is the lowest cost cremation option.  Most funeral homes offer a direct cremation on the General Price List (GPL).  It is a simple process that manages the ‘mechanics’ of the disposition.  With the cremated remains returned the family can than arrange to conduct the memorialization aspect of the funeral.  This enables the family to ensure that their loved one’s disposition is handled in a simple, dignified and timely way, whilst not overspending on funeral costs.  The family can gather for a memorial service at a later date if they so choose, or arrange a simple ash scattering ceremony.

I cannot afford a funeral: Is there any help with funeral costs in Phoenix?

Sadly more and more families are finding themselves struggling to meet funeral expenses today.  Any financial assistance with funeral or cremation costs is managed at county level and the funding varies by state/county.  To find out what may be available near you, and if you qualify, contact your Local County human or social services.  They can advise you what help is available and whether or not you are eligible to claim.

There is also the $255 Social Security death benefit if you qualify and certain benefits for veterans.  Other than that, you can try local charitable organizations, unions and faith groups who may be able to assist you in raising funds for a funeral.

Serving families in Maricopa County, Arcadia, Biltmore, Central Ave, Copper Square, Desert Ridge, East Side, Golden Gate Barrio, Maryvale, Maryvale Village, North Phoenix, Northwest Phoenix, South Phoenix, & Southwest Phoenix