What is a cremation plan and why should you consider one?

The nation is shifting towards cremation as a preferred disposition method.  What do you need to know about preplanning a cremation?  We are being asked more frequently about a cremation plan, how to set up a plan, how much it costs, and what it entails, so here let’s try and answer some of those questions.

What is a cremation plan?

Cremation planningA cremation plan is simply a preplanned cremation option.  It is much like a funeral plan, you take the time to make final arrangements for yourself (or a loved one) and ensure the important documentation is prepared.

Many people still find it a bit undesirable to discuss death-care plans.  But planning ahead can save your loved ones from the stress and financial burden of making arrangements when the time comes.

How can you set up a cremation plan?

You can choose several ways to set up a cremation plan.  Just like preplanning a funeral, you can visit a local funeral services provider, discuss your requirements, and prepare the necessary documentation.  You can opt to preplan and pay for your cremation plan.  Funds for a preplanned cremation are generally either put into trust (as legally required in most states), or sometimes a plan can be funded by an insurance product that will cover your final costs.

However, it is also possible to plan for a cremation, without having to prepay.  This can be desirable if you wish to have the legal documentation in order, but do not want to prepay the funds.  This is more of a matter of laying out your wishes for cremation, and signing the required Cremation Authorization Form.  It is then possible to set aside funds in a POD account to cover the cremation cost.

A cremation cannot legally proceed unless a Cremation Authorization Form has been signed by the legal next of kin.  This can sometimes cause family disputes and delay a cremation proceeding.  If cremation is what you, or a family member, want…then it can make it easier for surviving family, and your next of kin, if this document has already been completed as part of a cremation plan.  It is possible to pre-authorize a cremation as part of a cremation plan in those states that allow it.

How much does it cost for a cremation plan?

The price for a cremation plan will differ.  It will depend on which service provider you select, and on the payment terms determined.  If you require a simple direct cremation plan, then the costs for this type of cremation plan are within the region of $1,200 to $3,000.  A direct cremation service (at-need) costs around $1,000 on average, but with a preplan there is a need to build in inflation costs.

Can I pay for a cremation plan in installments?

Some cremation providers do offer cremation plans that can be paid over an installment period.  So, you would agree your plan with the provider, who would determine the cost, and Saving on cremation costsoffer you the option to make payments over an agreed period.

This can help for those families that would like the option to plan and prepay, but do not want to make the payment all at once.

If anything should happen before the plan is paid in full, surviving family would be liable for the outstanding balance.

It is also VERY important to ensure your family know about your cremation plan, and have access to the documentation.  It is not unheard of that surviving family have already made funeral plans, or even gone ahead with a funeral, before finding out that their loved one actually had a cremation plan in place.

What do you need to do know about preplanning a cremation?

Cremation prearrangements ensure that your wishes are met.  Today, I meet with a lot of people who say, “I just want to be cremated”, along with ideas about what kind of memorialization they would like.  If you, or a loved one, has specific requests about cremation and your final disposition then preplanning helps ensure you are in control.  Losing a loved one is a very difficult time, and if the key decisions have already been itemized, it can make it so much easier emotionally for family.

Many of our senior population are realizing their children may not financially be in a position to unexpectedly pay out funeral costs.  Preplanning a cremation enables them to have peace of mind that their funeral wishes will be met, without burdening their children.

What are the advantages of setting up a cremation plan?

I have outlined below the key advantages of setting up a cremation plan:

Preplan cremation

Relieve family of the financial & emotional burden

By far, one of the main reasons people choose to preplan is to relieve their family of making these emotional decisions and bearing the burden of the financial cost.  Too often, grieving family make emotional decisions that can end up costing them even more on a funeral bill.

Instead of having to spend time, and answer questions, about arrangements, everyone can refer to the specifics of the cremation plan and wishes as they were set out.

Peace of mind

Unfortunately, we do not like to talk about death.  We especially are not fond of discussing this topic with our loved ones.  This can sometimes leave parents, or grandparents, worried about how they can communicate their wishes and how we will cope in the aftermath of their loss.  Taking the time to make a cremation plan can provide peace of mind, knowing that your loved ones will have a ‘plan’ to go to when the time comes.

Control of your final wishes

If you have decided that your final wish is to be cremated, it can help to have planned.  This ensures your wish will be honored.  As mentioned, there are legal requirements that MUST be met before a cremation can be conducted.  It is such a final disposition method, that these laws are in place to help protect families.

Personalization

We all embrace personalizes our lives these days….so why not choose how you wish to personalize your final passage?  Taking the time to make a cremation plan enables you to make specific personal requests.  Is there particular music you would like played?  A special place for a memorial service or an ash-scattering?  If you have not had chance, or it has been difficult, to discuss this with your family, then making a plan allows you to outline what your personal requests are.

Discussing death is still somewhat of a taboo subject.  But times are changing and with over 54% of Americans now opting for cremation as a final disposition, it becomes more important than ever to make plans.

How to arrange a low-cost direct cremation in Honolulu, HI

If you need to arrange a simple and affordable cremation service in Honolulu, this guide can help you understand what cremation options you have, what cremation costs to expect and how to save money by arranging a direct cremation for just $895.

We have outlined below some more information about funeral and cremation costs.

How much can I expect to pay for a funeral service in Honolulu?

Direct cremation in Honolulu, HIThe cost of a funeral can vary quite significantly.  This will depend upon the type of funeral service you opt for and the funeral service provider you select.  If you do any research with local funeral homes you will discover that the price for a funeral package will vary from different providers, even for the exact same services!  Whilst the NFDA can quote the average cost of a funeral at $7,181, it is possible to arrange a funeral for considerably less than this.

The average cost of a traditional funeral in Honolulu is $6,848* with the lowest price coming in at $4,025.

How much does a cremation cost in Honolulu?

Cremation service prices in Honolulu range from $895 to $3,686*, again depending on the type of cremation service chosen.  A full-service cremation costs more than a simple direct cremation.  A simple, direct cremation package price of $985 is offered by DFS Memorials.

We have included in a direct cremation cost comparison below to give you an idea of comparable costs from several cremation service providers in Honolulu.

How do I select a funeral services provider?

If you have no prior experience with a funeral services provider this can seem an overwhelming task. Consult with friends and associates and seek recommendations.  If you are using the Internet to research funeral services and prices in Honolulu, be sure to check the ownership of who you are dealing with.  Some funeral companies have set up online budget cremation businesses, and some corporate groups also trade as low-cost cremation companies.  If you are in doubt, ask if they are independently-owned.  DFS Memorials only work with a reputable, licensed and independently-owned funeral home.

average cremation cost honolulu hawaiiHow can I save money when arranging a funeral or cremation?

These days many of us are concerned about having the necessary funds to conduct funeral services for a loved one if no provision was made.  Let’s face it…not many folks can just produce thousands of dollars at the drop of a hat!  There are ways that you can ensure you keep your funeral expenses to a minimum.

Generally a cremation will work out less expensive than a burial, namely as no immediate cemetery fees are required for a cremation.  However, a dignified burial can be achieved at a very affordable cost.  Contact DFS Memorials on (808) 213-6018 for more information on our affordable burial packages.

Opting for cremation means that there is no need for a casket, burial vault or cemetery plot.  And eliminating these costs alone can save you several thousand dollars.

Comparing cremation prices in Honolulu

We have compared some pricing information for basic direct cremation services from a select number of affordable cremation service providers in the area in order to be able to offer an affordable cremation price through DFS Memorials.

What is ‘direct cremation’?

A direct cremation is where the deceased is cremated but no services or ceremony is held.  Minimal services are offered by the funeral director to collect the deceased, prepare the body for cremation, and process all the required paperwork.  The deceased is cremated in a simple cremation container and the remains are made available for the family to collect or have delivered to them.  No funeral home visit is required for a direct cremation service.  In many cases the funeral director will visit you at home to sign the paperwork and consult with you about arrangements.

Direct cremation is becoming very popular as a way in which the funeral home can assist in the immediate disposition of the deceased for an affordable fee, but leaves the family with the opportunity to conduct their own memorial ceremony once they have the cremated remains back.

direct cremation Honolulu HIHow do I know I am getting the remains of my loved one back?

This is one question that a lot of families ask.  There are strict laws governing how human cremation is conducted.  Operatives are trained in the processes and only one body can be cremated in a retort at any one time.  The retort chamber is then fully cleared before another cremation proceeds.  A body is tagged the minute it is logged into the funeral home or crematory and ID checks are done at each step of the process.

What can I do with the cremated remains?

You can inter cremated remains into a grave plot or niche at a cemetery, keep a cremation urn at home, or scatter the remains in a place of your choosing.  Today there are many options for how we can memorialize a lost loved one and there are now a range of cremation artifacts that can be created to help us immortalize the memory of a loved one, from bird baths made with concrete infused with cremation ashes to memorial diamonds!  Other folks are choosing to scatter ashes in a memorable place for a loved one’s last resting place.  Read this section on Ash Scattering for more ideas.

Can I arrange to have the cremated remains transported back to the Continental United States?

If a loved one passed in Hawaii and you wish to arrange a simple low-cost cremation in Hawaii and then ship the cremated remains directly back to your home state, this can be arranged easily by shipping via USPS.  Everything can be arranged remotely by email and fax and a small fee is charged to ship the remains.

What if the deceased is at the Medical Examiners?

If the deceased is at the Medical Examiner’s office, you need to appoint a funeral director to arrange the release of the body into their care.  Only a licensed funeral director can collect a body from the county morgue.

Honolulu Medical Examiner Department

835 Iwilei Road, Honolulu, HI 96817    Phone: (808) 768-3090

What if the deceased had no life insurance?

More often these days family members are passing and we find out that they had no life insurance or funeral plan.  This can mean surviving family are burdened with a funeral bill that they cannot afford to pay.  There is very little financial support to assist families in this situation, and it varies significantly by state and county.  We would suggest you contact Hawaii Department of Human Services at:

1390 Miller Street, Room 209, Honolulu, HI 96813     Phone: (855) 643-1643

There is also a $255 lump-sum social security death benefit payment for those that qualify.  Your funeral director will assist you in claiming this.

We hope this short guide has answered some of your questions about how to save on funeral costs and will help you arrange a simple cremation at an affordable price.  If you have any further questions about arranging a cremation in Honolulu, please call your DFS Memorials provider on (808) 213-6018.

Arranging a simple cremation in Albany, GA

Want to know how to arrange a dignified funeral at an affordable cost? We have put together this guide to help you understand how you can save thousands arranging a funeral.

Why choose cremation services?

Cremation planning Albany GACremation offers an inexpensive and versatile alternative to a burial service.  Opting for cremation services can save you 40% to 60% (or sometimes more) on the cost of traditional burial services.

No casket is required, or embalming (unless required) and there is no immediate need for a cemetery plot or burial vault.  Eliminating these products and services saves thousands of dollars.

A cremation can offer a more flexible alternative that can accommodate families who have moved from their home state, 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 alternatives do I have?

There are 3 main types of cremation service options.  A cremation funeral – where the funeral service is held with the deceased present and a cremation is conducted after the service.  A cremation memorial – where the cremation is conducted before a memorial service is held.  This can be with, or without, the cremated remains present and can often take the form of an ash-scattering ceremony.  Or there is a direct cremation – this is where the deceased is cremated with no services, and the remains given back to the family.  There are some variances around these 3 main options, such as a private viewing before cremation, an observed cremation, or a graveside interment of a cremation urn.

How much does a cremation cost in Albany?

The cost of a cremation can vary considerably.  This will depend upon the type of cremation service you opt for and the cremation services provider you select.  A full-service cremation with a service will cost in the region of $3,000 – $5,000, depending upon the length of service held and what kind of casket you purchase or rent.  A direct cremation will cost between $995 and $2,500 (depending on the funeral home used).

Direct cremation services in Albany, GA

direct-cremation-albany-gaIf 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.  The funeral services provider does 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 or 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.

How do I choose a cremation services provider?

This can sometimes be a daunting task when there are several funeral homes to choose between.  It may help to set yourself some clear criteria to help you select the provider that best suits your needs.  Which funeral services provider you select can be influenced by what facilities and services they offer, or what budget you have.

As we have highlighted, costs can vary quite significantly between funeral homes for the exact same service.  For this reason we would recommend you compare some costs before making a decision.

Comparing cremation costs in Albany, GA

All funeral homes have a general price list (GPL) and this should itemize 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? Is there an additional daily refrigeration charge if the cremation does not proceed after 48-hours?  A death certificate costs $25.00 for the first and $5.00 for each additional copy.

What legally do I need to know about arranging a cremation in Albany, GA?

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 Georgia there is no specified mandatory wait period after death before the cremation can proceed, however, before a cremation can proceed 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.

Can I preplan a cremation?

Yes you can prearrange a cremation.  Advance planning can help to ensure you get the most appropriate services 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.

cremation-costs-albany-gaWhat can we do with the cremated remains?

As I 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 Dougherty County Human Services Department to find out if any assistance is available to you.  In these cases often

The body is at the Medical Examiners Office

If the deceased is at Dougherty Medical Examiners and you are trying to arrange collection and affordable cremation services, please call your local DFS Memorials provider who is familiar with all the procedures for authorizing a release of the body to a licensed funeral director.

Dougherty Medical Examiner: 225 Pine Ave, Albany, GA 31701 Phone: (229) 438-3974

Why is Cremation becoming American’s Preferred Funeral Option?

direct-cremationThe National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) wound up its 3 day annual convention in Nashville yesterday where funeral professionals from around the nation, and even from around the globe, had gathered to discuss death. Or should I say death and business?

The NFDA opened the convention with a report on Cremation and Burial containing Research, Statistics and Projections. The most notable finding of this report was that cremation would surpass burial as the nation’s disposition choice by next year (2015). This marks quite a significant change in the once-traditional funeral industry of the U.S.

So why is cremation so popular now?

The report goes on to outline several reasons why we are converting to cremation – “cost, decreased household discretionary income, environmental concerns, fewer religious prohibitions of the practice, a growing preference for simpler, and less ritualized funeral ceremonies”. In a nutshell, we are choosing cremation because it costs less, we have less money and cannot afford expensive funerals anymore, and basically we have less concern about tradition, religion or ritual.

The cost of a cremation is, I believe, the primary reason why we Americans are shifting in our droves to choose this as a death care alternative. Add to this that we have become a nation who seeks out ease of task, convenience and instant gratification – and cremation helps us out – it is so easy to arrange (for a basic, direct cremation you don’t even need to go into a funeral home!), it can be arranged within a day or two, and you don’t need to make a lot of decisions (like what casket do you want? What color lining? What kind of burial vault, plot etc etc).

How many cremations are direct cremations?

What this report from the NFDA does NOT do (and that’s no surprise) is drill down to what percentage of total cremations are direct cremations. Whilst quoting a reason for why we choose cremation as having a growing preference for simple, no-fuss funeral ceremonies, there is no analysis of how direct cremation (the simplest form of cremation available) is in fact experiencing a significant growth in the U.S. right now.

direct-cremation-serviceDirect cremation is the industry term for a very basic cremation where no pre-funeral services are provided. The deceased is simply collected, cremated and the remains returned to the family. Simple, no-fuss, efficient and …..ECONOMICAL! Oh but of course many in the funeral industry are not very fond of direct cremation as it hurts their bottom line. However, there are a growing number of funeral practitioners who are responding to this need for simple, low cost cremation by offering affordable direct cremation packages. These are the smart funeral directors who recognize where the growth in the industry is, and understand that providing customers with what they WANT, is far more important than trying to sell customers something they really don’t want and can’t afford.

What do you need to know about direct cremation?

As mentioned above, this is the simplest cremation service available to you as a funeral consumer. Many funeral homes will not openly suggest it as a funeral service option but it will be on their General Price List (GPL). The cost charged for a direct cremation WILL vary tremendously! Some funeral homes charge $2,000+ for a basic direct cremation, whilst others will offer the exact same direct cremation for $895.

The important thing is to ensure you compare prices (like-for-like). Cremation prices, even for the exact same cremation services, can differ quite significantly in the same area from different funeral service providers.

A direct cremation does not mean you cannot have a funeral service. Many in the industry try and convince us that direct cremation prevents us from grieving properly, that we need a service with the body present in order to begin the healing process. I say baloney! Most families are perfectly capable of managing their own services and dealing with bereavement in their own way. Yes, some people will prefer to use the services of a funeral director, clergy, or celebrant to deliver a service….but some families do not feel this is necessary. And this is okay.

“Personalization” is another term the industry is fond of today. I agree that the ability to personalize a funeral ritual to the deceased is imperative, but I do not agree that only funeral directors understand how to do this. US Funerals Online has published numerous articles to help families with ideas on how to memorialize their loved one. We understand that whilst 58% of families (NFDA) may associate a cremation with a memorial service, more families today feel that they would prefer to deliver the memorial service themselves.

save_money_cremationHow much does a cremation cost? And what is included in this?

As cremation becomes more popular – more Americans are asking questions about cremation. The 2 most prevalent questions are “how much is a cremation going to cost” and “what is included in this cremation cost?”   As I have already mentioned, not all cremations are created equal, and the price for a cremation service can differ depending on the service provider and the area.

As a rough guide – more often than not – corporate means more expensive. Cremations offered by Dignity Memorial funeral locations (owned by SCI) generally come in around the $2,200 – $3,000 bracket. Independent funeral homes can still be expensive, if they have elaborate premises and livery, chances are they will charge a higher price for their cremation services, although this is not always the case.

There is a new breed of funeral company on the block, one that caters primarily to the demand for low cost cremation. These are the guys to seek out if you want to find an inexpensive cremation package. DFS Memorials works with a network of these providers, local family-owned funeral businesses that offer a simple, fixed price, inclusive direct cremation package. All providers in the DFS Memorials network offer a direct cremation for between $600 and $1,395 (depending on the location). To find out the cost of a direct cremation near you, click on your state and select your nearest town or city.

According to the NFDA projections by 2020 at least 39 states will be cremating more bodies than they bury, with an expectation that the cremation rate will hit 70% by 2030. This is a staggering change for a once-traditional funeral industry to embrace! If you are a consumer considering cremation, either right now as a death is imminent or has occurred, or you are researching cremation to preplan, you will find many resources here to assist you. Click on your state on the right-hand navigation to find a low cost cremation provider near you, or use the Category sections to check out more articles about cremation.