The cremation trend is changing the way we think about arranging a funeral. Although the cremation rate in Ohio has typically been below the national rate, the demand for low cost funeral alternatives is changing the way many families today approach death care.
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 dictated 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 does offer 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 Cleveland?
Firstly it is important to state that cremation prices in Cleveland 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 Cleveland.
A direct cremation can be conducted in Cleveland for as little as $895. 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?
You 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 Cleveland, OH
As mentioned the cost of a cremation can vary enormously – for the exact same service – but from different Cleveland 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 Cleveland
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.
What can we do with the cremated remains?
Cremation offers some greater flexibility in what you can do with the cremated remains once you have them returned. You can, of course, inter them in a grave plot or niche. However, you can choose to store them in an urn at home or scatter the cremated remains. There are also options such as having cremation artifacts made from cremated remains such as cremation diamonds, glass jewelry, birdbaths, and paintings.
Preplanning an affordable cremation service in Cleveland
If you wish to preplan a simple cremation you can lock in a low-cost cremation price now. 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 your County Human Services Department.
If the deceased is at the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner, you will need to employ the services of a funeral director to collect your loved one and take him or her into their care for funeral services. Only a licensed funeral director can collect a body from the Medical Examiners’ office, once the deceased body is ready to be released by the coroner.
The ME for Cuyahoga County is located at 11001 Cedar Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106
Phone (216) 721-5610
DFS Memorials’ low-cost cremation services are available to residents of Cleveland Heights, Detroit-Shoreway, Kamm’s Corners, Lakewood, Little Italy, Ohio City, Shaker Square & Larchmere, Tremont, University Circle and Cuyahoga County, Geauga County, Lake County, Lorain County, and Medina County.