Arranging a low cost funeral or cremation in Atlanta

Over 56% of Americans choose cremation instead of burial for their final disposition (Statista 2020). The cremation trend has been sweeping across our nation as it offers a more affordable and flexible end of life alternative to traditional burial.  There are numerous reasons cited for why we are all opting for cremation, but the 2 key reasons are cost and flexibility.  A cremation is much cheaper than a traditional burial – usually at least 40% – 60% less.  Also, cremation offers more options for memorialization.  For those families who have migrated or are transplants – cremated remains can be transferred back to a home state, or divided amongst family to be kept close.  You can inter cremated remains, scatter them, or choose from a whole array of cremation artifacts! Read on to find out more about how to save on cremation costs in Atlanta.

What is the average cost of a cremation in Atlanta?

This is THE question that many families turn to the Internet to find out today.  Maybe they are curious about how much a cremation costs, or in some cases they have been told by a funeral home in Atlanta just how much a funeral is going to cost!

The cost of a cremation does vary considerably – depending on which funeral home you select and what kind of cremation service you opt for.  The average cost of a full-service cremation in the Atlanta Metropolitan area is $6,689 (Funeralocity 2021), although you can arrange a simple, direct cremation for much less than this.

Cremation Packages

Many funeral service providers in Atlanta will offer cremation packages.  This can be a great way to save on the ‘a la carte’ General Price List of a funeral home, and know exactly what you are getting for a set price.

Generally there are 3 main types of cremation services.  Firstly, you can select a basic cremation (otherwise referred to as an immediate cremation or a direct cremation) which is where there is no ceremony or services.  A cremation memorial service is when the cremation is performed first and then a service held with the cremation ashes present (or not present).  Finally, there is a full-service cremation, which is much the same as a traditional funeral only the deceased is cremated after the service instead of buried.

Direct cremation in Atlanta

Direct cremation is fast becoming the most popular cremation choice today.  Why? Because it offers the cheapest and most flexible disposition option for families concerned about funeral costs and wanting a ‘simple’ solution.  Many families in Atlanta are choosing a direct cremation and then arranging their own memorial services.  This helps them saves a lot of money on cremation costs in Atlanta and puts the family firmly in control of the funeral service. Oftentimes, the price quoted for a direct cremation does NOT include things such as transport and service fees. Some funeral homes advertise a lower price which isn’t the complete price with all fees included. The DFS Memorials provider offers a direct cremation price of $995 complete, with no added fees or charges.

An immediate need direct cremation can be arranged in Atlanta for $995 complete. Call (404) 739-4924 now!

cremation services

What is included in a direct cremation?

It is wise to check exactly what is included for an advertised direct cremation price.  Not all providers include the cremation container, which can cost an extra $75-150.  Also, if the funeral home does not have a crematory, they may charge the crematory fee as a ‘cash advance’ fee.

A direct cremation generally includes:

  • Collecting the deceased & transporting he/she to the funeral home/crematory
  • Storage for the mandatory 48-hour waiting period for cremation
  • Completion of all the necessary paperwork & permits*
  • The cremation fee
  • The cremation container (an alternative cardboard container is generally used)
  • Returning the cremated remains to the family in a temporary container

*Death certificates & Medical Examiners fee are the only additional costs.

What extra costs may I have to pay for a cremation?

The fees that are paid to the county are generally extra costs that you have to pay upfront when you purchase a direct cremation package.  In Atlanta the fee for a death certificate is $25.00 and additional copies will cost $5.00 each. (You need at least 1 death certificate but possibly more).  It IS important to check what is included with a direct cremation package as some funeral service providers do not include items such as the cremation container or the crematory fee.

How do I choose a cremation provider in Atlanta?

It is always wise to check around with more than one provider to compare costs and services.  At DFS Memorials, we have already compared a selection of cremation service providers in Atlanta to find the best direct cremation prices.  We believe this saves you the stress at an emotional time.

How do cremation providers compare in Atlanta

It is always advisable to compare general price lists from several funeral service providers, as funeral costs can vary considerably for the exact same service from different service providers.  A funeral home is obligated by the FTC’s ‘funeral rule’ to disclose prices to you when you make an inquiry – whether face-to-face or by phone/email.

How can you save money by arranging a cremation?

You can actually save thousands of dollars in funeral costs by arranging a cremation, especially a direct cremation.  There is no need for a casket, embalming, burial vault or cemetery plot.  With a direct cremation, you can arrange your own memorial services at a location of your choice, and a time best for the family.

Preplanning a cremation in Atlanta

You can preplan a cremation with a cremation services provider.  You can even lock in the low cost of a direct cremation today in case gas prices do rise.  You can prepay a cremation plan using an insurance policy or funds are deposited into trust.  Alternatively, you can preplan by documenting your wishes and lay aside the required funds in a Payable on Death POD account.

Is there any help with cremation costs in Atlanta?

We do get asked this question too frequently!  Sadly there is patchy help available at best.  Any financial help for funeral costs differs by county, so you would need to consult your local county human services to explore if there is any assistance.  This article explains what options there are to help you pay for a funeral.

Our provider of affordable cremations and funerals in Atlanta offers a basic cremation or burial package:

Direct Cremation $995  – – – Traditional Funeral $2,895 (Incl. casket)

Call (404) 739-4924 for immediate assistance, if you wish to preplan a funeral, or if you have any questions.

The $995 direct cremation package is available in the cities of Athens, Atlanta Metro, Columbus, Dalton & Gainesville and the counties of Fulton, Clayton, Fayette, Carroll, Paulding, Cobb, Douglas, Gwinnett, Rockdale, De Kalb, Walton, Henry, Newton, Oconee, Barrow, Cherokee, Forsyth, Harris, Talbot,  and Dawson.

What is a public assistance funeral?

The poor economy has taken its toll on many American families, and as many struggle just to put food on the table, a death can be but an additional financial strain.  Less and less people are investing in funeral plans or burial insurance, simply because savings and insurance policies are some of the first things to go when there is a financial crisis.

help-with-funeral-costsMore often today at DFS Memorials we are encountering distraught families who have found that a sudden bereavement has tipped them over the edge!  We are witnessing an increase in the number of folks seeking out financial help with funeral expenses, and answering questions about what help there is to pay funeral costs.

What kind of financial help there is varies considerably depending on where you live, what your personal circumstances are, and the circumstances of the deceased.  Some states/counties do still offer some public assistance with funeral costs, however, this is very limited these days.  A ‘public assistance’ funeral is where the state will contribute a fixed sum towards the cost of a funeral.  It is sometimes called a ‘welfare funeral’.

The state will pay a fixed amount, generally direct to the funeral director, that will enable a basic burial or cremation to be conducted.  In some cases the family can supplement the contribution.

If you are concerned about how you are going to pay for a funeral, you need to seek some guidance.  You may wish to consult your local county Human Services or Social Services department.  Sometimes they will have a list of funeral homes who will handle public assistance funerals.   The funeral director will complete the necessary forms with you and submit his fees to the county for payment.

public-assistance-funeral

Do be aware, that if for any reason the application for support is declined, you would be liable for the funeral costs your funeral home has incurred concerning the funeral contract you have signed.  You MUST ensure that you can raise the sufficient funds to cover the expenses you are arranging.

Due to the rise in bad debt for funeral expenses, and the reduction in county support, some funeral homes are less willing to accept deceased family members where it is apparent the family may lack funds.  However, there are still funeral homes who do their utmost to help families care for their lost loved ones, no matter the unfortunate circumstances.  It IS important to ensure you are dealing with reputable, funeral professionals who care about helping your family.

There are various financial support funds for deceased veterans and certain dependents, as well as victims of crime.

— Remember: If you have concerns about affording a funeral, try and keep your funeral costs to a minimum.  You can arrange a simple, dignified cremation and conduct your own family memorial, which can reduce your outlay to under $1,000 in many areas of the United States.

Sara Marsden [Google+]

 

Cremated ashes remain unclaimed as Social Security becomes responsible for more unclaimed bodies

The cost of death care can be crippling when you are already on the breadline.  More Americans are searching for help with funeral expenses from social security, and funeral directors are finding themselves supporting families with social security financial aid claims.

Who picks up the tab when no one has any money to pay?  The costs are adding up, both for county Social Security departments, and for funeral providers.  Most county welfare sections have some funds to defray funeral expenses for those on welfare and simply without any money to cover funeral costs.  Costs vary depending on state and county, but can usually be around the $500 mark, payable to a local funeral establishment to conduct a basic disposition on behalf of the family concerned.    The question is – who wants to handle these funerals?

Some funeral businesses are themselves already feeling the pinch, as they have to write off more debt to offset families who have been unable to pay in full for services provided.

Even the ‘lump-sum death payment’ paid out from Social Security for a person who has worked long enough to be covered is only $255.   When you consider that an average funeral today costs $7,300 (NFDA), then this amount does nothing to cover typical funeral costs.

So local county social security departments are finding themselves handling more cases of unclaimed bodies.  Someone may die in hospital or in a nursing home and no one comes forward to claim the body.  The cheapest and most common method of dealing with these unclaimed bodies is for the county to arrange a direct cremation.

And just like this story about unclaimed cremated remains from Cleveland County Department of Social Services where they now have a shelf of unclaimed ashes, other counties are reporting building additional budget columbarium’s as ‘pauper graves’.

It is tragic that the economic downturn is leaving so many without the simple dignity of looking after their lost loved ones.  Some are turning to body donation in a desperate attempt to obtain that promised “free cremation” otherwise called a “no cost cremation”.   But as with anything else in life…..nothing is ever free!  The body donation programs are selective about what donors they can accept, especially if the practicalities of an application have not already been arranged.  Overweight donors are generally not accepted – ruling out about 40% of the population.  And that ‘free’ cremation may mean a wait to get the cremated remains returned.  I have even heard instances of up to a year after the death occurred.

More budget and low cost cremation providers are emerging to meet the need for cheap funerals, but this still means that a family needs between $500 and $1400 in most areas to meet these basic cremation costs.

For those that can, finding a low cost cremation provider locally, and setting aside the funds for a direct cremation in a POD or Totten account, is probably to very good way to make sure you are assured of a basic send-off when the time comes.

If you want to know where your nearest low cost cremation provider is – contact us immediately.