Want to know how to arrange a dignified funeral in Des Moines at an affordable cost? This short guide will help you through the funeral-planning process and answer questions about the cost of cremation in Des Moines, how to choose a cremation services provider, what you need to know about cremation and how to save money by arranging affordable cremation services.
Why choose cremation services?
Cremation offers a less expensive and more versatile alternative to a burial service. Opting for cremation services can save you around 50% (or sometimes more) on the cost of traditional burial services. No casket is required, or embalming (unless specifically required) and there is no immediate need for a cemetery plot or burial vault. Eliminating these products and services can save thousands of dollars.
A cremation can offer a more flexible alternative that can accommodate families who have moved away from Iowa, or when a funeral cannot be held straight away. Cremation also offers a greater range of personalization options with a whole array of ash-scattering ceremony possibilities, and various cremation artifact products.
What different cremation service options do I have?
There are generally three main categories of cremation service options:
Cremation Funeral Service : This is where a cremation is held after the funeral service. The deceased is generally present during the services and transferred to the crematory after the funeral service.
Cremation Memorial Service : This is held after the cremation. The memorial service can be held with, or without, the cremated remains present. Often this can take the form of an ash-scattering or cremation urn interment ceremony.
Direct Cremation Service : The cremation is conducted without any service or ceremony and the cremated remains are transferred directly back to the family.
There are variations on these cremation service options, such as options offering a family a private viewing prior to cremation, or enabling family to view (or commence) the cremation process.
How much does a cremation cost?
The cost of a cremation can vary considerably and this will depend upon the type of cremation service you opt for. A full-service cremation with a ceremony will cost in the region of $4,995, depending upon the length of service held and what kind of casket you purchase or rent. A direct cremation will cost between $895 and $1,105.
Direct cremation services in Des Moines
If you are working to a budget for your funeral expenses, you may wish to consider a direct cremation. A direct cremation is the cheapest cremation option and includes everything to take care of the immediate disposition of the deceased but no viewing or services are held. The deceased is cremated in a simple cremation container and then the cremated remains are made available for the family to collect (or if requested delivered/mailed). A direct cremation can be arranged online or by phone without any need for you to visit a funeral home.
Comparing cremation costs in Des Moines
All funeral homes have a general price list (GPL) that itemizes all services and charges. Legally a funeral home must provide you with a copy of their GPL if you request cremation price information, either in person or by phone.
When comparing costs and services check what IS included, especially with a budget direct cremation package. Is a copy of the death certificate included? Is the cremation permit an additional cash advance item or included? What about if an out-of-hours collection is required, or collection from a residential address? Is there an additional daily refrigeration charge if the cremation does not proceed after 48-hours?
What legally do I need to know about arranging a cremation in Des Moines?
There are a few legal requirements that you need to be aware of if you are considering cremation. Firstly, the legal next-of-kin must all sign the ‘Cremation Authorization Form’ before a cremation can proceed.
In Iowa there is a mandatory 48-hour wait period after death before the cremation can proceed, however, the doctor must sign and fill out the cause of death, and the county health department must issue a permit to cremate. The deceased will be refrigerated during this period, and longer if required, however you should be aware that many cremation packages will only include refrigeration for up to 5 days and will charge you a daily rate thereon.
In Iowa death certificates cost $20.00 each. This is often considered a ‘cash advance’ item and not included in a quoted cremation price. The funeral director will generally obtain the death certificates on your behalf.
Can I preplan a cremation?
Yes you can prearrange a cremation. Advance planning can help to ensure you get the most appropriate service provider for your needs, and can save surviving family the financial and emotional burden at the time of death. There are various options open to you to plan ahead so consult with your preferred services provider.
What can we do with the cremated remains?
As mentioned earlier there is a versatility on what you can do with cremated remains. You can inter a cremation urn in a cemetery plot or niche, keep an urn at home, scatter the remains or create a cremation artifact such as a cremation diamond, glass paperweight, bird bath or memorial reef ball to name but a few!
The deceased had no life insurance – is there any help with cremation costs?
Sadly there is little financial aid that supports those families that find themselves struggling with funeral costs. Most counties do have a budget for indigent funerals but this is generally for those individuals who truly are indigent. Some counties do have limited funds to help low-income families with cremation costs but this can vary county by county. You would need to make inquiries with Polk County Human Services Department to find out if any assistance is available to you. In these cases often the most basic of funeral services will be supported, with limited control over what happens. A low cost direct cremation from a budget provider can be arranged for $895.
There is also a $255 lump sum death benefit payment from Social Security (if qualifying) and your funeral director will assist you with submitting this claim.
What is “no-cost cremation”?
Some funeral homes now offer this option. This is referring to whole body donation whereby after the donation is complete the remains are cremated (free of charge) and then returned to the family or scattered. Generally funeral homes can get a referral fee from the whole body donation organization, plus they sometimes charge a transportation fee. So all-in-all they do still recoup their costs. As we all know, there really is nothing that is truly free! You should always have a Plan B if you decide you wish to opt for body donation at the time of your death, as not all donors are actually accepted at the time of their donation.
If you have any further questions about arranging a cremation service in Des Moines, please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to answer your questions on (515) 200-2959