How to Plan And Pay For Your Final Arrangements
In the last few decades, cremation has become a viable - and more popular - alternative to traditional funeral services. When considering cremation, it’s important to understand the different types of services available, their costs and expectations, and the benefits or drawbacks of cremation before making any decisions. With this guide, we hope to provide you with the information to make the best choices for yourself and your family.
The Importance Of Understanding Cremation Costs
End-of-life care is expensive. So is planning the final services and preparing a resting place for your loved one. Most of the time, we make these decisions when we are already stressed and grieving, making it more difficult to determine what we purchase and whether it's the best option for our family.
It’s important to understand the cost of cremation – as well as the additional costs for services you may want or need – so that you can make the best financial decisions. By researching your options in advance, you’re better prepared to create a budget, save for emergencies, and take the time to choose instead of being rushed into anything.
Full-Service Cremation Services
This type of cremation is likely the one that most people think of when they consider cremation. As the name suggests, full-service cremation services include several aspects of traditional funeral services combined with cremation. With this option, you have a funeral service before the body is cremated, allowing friends and family an opportunity to gather for the deceased.
As with any funeral, the body will be transported to the venue (likely a funeral home) and is then embalmed and prepared for the viewing, wake, and service. With full-service cremation, a casket is required instead of just an urn or cremation box. After the funeral, the body is taken to a crematorium. Eventually, cremains are returned to the family or to the final resting place (as in cases where the ashes are buried or interred).
WHAT ARE FULL-SERVICE CREMATION COSTS?
Full-service cremation services are the most robust type of cremation services. That also makes them the most expensive of the available options. Along with the cremation costs themselves, families must also consider the costs of transportation, the casket and container for the funeral service, and the costs of the service (flowers, venue, etc). Depending on whether the remains are buried or interred elsewhere, there may be additional expenses.
While full-service cremation costs depend on geographic location (and often population density in those areas), the average cost of a traditional cremation with a viewing and funeral service is $4000-7000. While this is still cheaper than most basic funeral services, it can still be expensive for families handling unexpected costs.
Cremations With Memorial Services
The second type of cremation is a cremation with a memorial service. This type differs from full-service cremation methods because it foregoes a traditional funeral. The body is cremated right after death. Instead, the family holds a memorial at the funeral home or venue without a viewing.
Since the state of the body is not a concern, the memorial takes place sometime after the cremation. Unlike a funeral, the memorial can take place weeks or even months after the cremation. That can give friends and family from out-of-town time to make arrangements to attend. It also allows for more time to consider a final resting option for the deceased.
Most of the time, the cremains can be present at the memorial, typically in an urn. There may be photos of the deceased and other items and keepsakes there for remembrance. While not a full funeral, a memorial can still include a religious ceremony and prayer.
WHAT ARE THE COSTS OF A CREMATION SERVICE WITH A MEMORIAL?
Because a memorial service is less involved than a full-service funeral, the cost reflects that. It's the middle- of-the-road option for pricing, but you still have the sense of community and reflection provided by a funeral without the physical presence of the body.
Without the cost of embalming or a casket, it decreases the price drastically. You may still pay for the use of the venue, any flowers or decorations, and the memorial urn or cremains container. Like any other option, the price does depend on location. The average costs appear to be $2000-4000, though much of that price is the cost of the venue and cremains container.
Direct Cremation Services
Lastly, the third type of cremation is direct cremation. It's also known as simple cremation or basic cremation. This type of cremation is the most economical option - and is swiftly becoming the most utilized cremation option today.
With direct cremation, the body is transported directly to the crematorium and then returned to the family after the cremation. There is no organized service by a third party, though friends and family may choose to host their own at a later date.
WHAT ARE BASIC CREMATION COSTS?
Direct cremation is the most cost-effective option for cremation. With direct cremation, you are not paying for a venue or services. You won’t need to budget for embalming costs or viewing the casket. In most cases, the costs come down to the cremation casket and the cremation itself. It also includes a receptacle for cremains, whether an urn or box.
In the United States, direct cremation is typically around $1,000-2000, making it significantly cheaper than other options. Direct cremation eliminates the financial burden on families after a loss.
Additional Costs Associated With Cremation
As mentioned above, cremation pricing can vary widely on a few factors. One of which is the location and venue chosen from the service. Another, and arguably just as important factor, is the cost of additional services and products. Most of these aspects are covered in the quoted price. However, it can be helpful to see a breakdown when making choices about what you’d like for yourself or a loved one. Here are some of the most common costs associated with cremation (and funerals at large).
FUNERAL HOME SERVICES: POTENTIAL COSTS $2000 - $5000
For a funeral, you are essentially renting a venue for a short period. The rental does include the services of a funeral director and organizer who takes care of the event while you can focus on other, more important things. The funeral home also covers permits and much of the legal paperwork required in end-of-life care.
If you choose to hold the service or memorial through a crematorium, you may find them at a reduced cost.
BODY EMBALMING & PREPARATION: POTENTIAL COSTS $100 - $1000
If you choose a full-service cremation, the funeral home will take care of the final preparation and care for your loved one’s body. This includes storage, embalming, and preparing the deceased for the viewing.
CREMATION CASKET: POTENTIAL COSTS $300 - $800
When cremating human remains, the body must be placed in a casket or container designed to burn quickly and leave little waste behind. Most of the time, this cost is included in the price and not something the family will need to consider separately.
VIEWING CASKET RENTAL: POTENTIAL COSTS $500 - $2000
One of the most expensive aspects of funeral services often comes down to the cost of the casket. For cremation services, the casket is only used temporarily and often rented from the funeral home for a short time. Even so, this cost can quickly accumulate depending on the type and embellishments on the casket.
You may find that this is the aspect many funeral homes will try to “upsell” their clients on. While it is important to do what you feel is right for your loved one, be wary of anyone trying to press you to spend over your budget.
URNS: POTENTIAL COSTS $50 - $2000
After cremation, the ashes of your loved one are returned to the family in a container or urn. You can find many options for urns that depend on your budget, tastes, and overall plans for the cremains. For example, if you wish to display the urn, you may want a more elaborate container. If you plan to scatter or bury the cremains, you won't need a permanent container.
Most cremation services will offer a basic container for cremains. With this, you can take your loved one home and then choose a final urn or other container later.
MEMORIALS & KEEPSAKES: POTENTIAL COSTS $50 - $300
While these costs are not necessarily associated with the funeral home, they can add to your overall budget for the service. Flower arrangements are common for memorials and funerals and typically cost anywhere from $50 to $150.
Other memorials can be anything from purchasing frames to display beloved photos of the deceased to finding the perfect piece of memorial jewelry to give to a loved one on the day of the services.
Tips For Saving Money On Cremation Costs
If you are considering cremation, you are already considering cost-saving alternatives to traditional funeral practices. You've taken the first step already. Fortunately, there are other ways to cut costs even with cremation practices. We've put together some helpful tips that should serve anyone planning a funeral or cremation.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
One of the best ways to save money is to do your research on the topic. By reading this article, you’ve already started that part of the process! For most of us, there is a shroud of secrecy and mystery surrounding aspects of death and the aftermath that we don’t always explore. Unfortunately, that can make navigating these aspects confusing when the time comes, especially when that time is often stressful and painful by nature.
If you take the time to understand your options for funeral services, cremation, and all end-of-life care, you can often save money because you will come into the situation better prepared to take care of yourself financially and emotionally.
Not only do you not always have to go with your first option in funeral services, you often shouldn't! That's where comparative shopping can play a huge role in how much you pay for the services you need. Some businesses may advertise a "premiere" price while offering standard (or substandard services). Additionally, you may have to consider insurance coverage when choosing providers – but that shouldn't keep you from researching all your options for the best price.
Often, funeral homes do not list their pricing online. That makes it difficult to compare pricing without calling them for a quote or meeting with them in advance. However, you should be clear that you need to know their pricing if they want your business. Ask for a price list if you visit or one emailed to you if you call.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS AND THE LAW
Did you know that most states do not legally require a body to be embalmed? Many people don't realize that this cultural practice – and many others – are not mandated when determining funeral practices in the United States. One of the best ways to keep your costs low is knowing what is just "industry standard" and what is legally required.
Additionally, this is important when it comes to buying a casket. As per the FTC (federal trade commission), funeral homes must accept caskets purchased from a third party and cannot charge a "handling fee" for those caskets. This is important to recognize, especially when you face expensive casket rental pricing.
DON'T BE INTIMIDATED BY INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS
Most likely, we aren't in the best frame of mind when shopping for cremation and funeral services. We are grieving and maybe even under duress with the stress of the situation. Sometimes, you may find that less honorable funeral home directors can take advantage of that to upsell grieving clients into buying things they don’t want and don’t need. If you feel pressured during a sales pitch, do not hesitate to step back from the conversation. As we mentioned above, you can always compare pricing. Do not feel obligated to spend more money than you have at any point.
HAVE AN ALTERNATIVE MEMORIAL SERVICE
While you can have a memorial service at the funeral home or possibly the crematorium, you may be able to save money by hosting a memorial in an off-site location. There is nothing superior about holding a memorial service with a professional – it is typically only a way to take pressure off the grieving family and allow a third party to handle the organization. If you feel like you can emotionally handle the stress, you can save costs on finding another place for your friends and family to gather.
If you belong to a church, you can see if they will allow you to use their facilities for a memorial service. You may be able to rent out a room in a restaurant for a dinner or other meeting. Alternatively, there is nothing wrong with holding a memorial service in your home – or another person's home – for this purpose.
You may also forgo a full memorial service in favor of an outdoor ash scattering service or an informal gathering.
BUY YOUR URN ONLINE
Much like caskets, you are not beholden to purchasing an urn with the entity that handles the cremation. Urns often serve as an extension of the loved one, celebrating their uniqueness and personality while still conforming to an aesthetic in your home. Many times, you'll find that the urn options presented by a cremation company do not suit your needs (or your budget). If so, you should not hesitate to look beyond those options and find something that works best for you and the memory of the deceased.
You can find urns in many colors, shapes, and even sizes. You may even want to look at cremation jewelry as an option if you're considering scattering or burying the cremains.
CONSIDER BODY DONATION
If you are considering cremation but need to further cut costs, you may want to think about an alternative – body donation. Donating your loved one's body to a reputable scientific organization will eliminate most costs for funerals and cremation services. This is not an option for everyone, nor should you feel like you must do it if money is tight. However, it does offer a way to cut costs and provide a service for the greater good of society.
PRE-PLAN YOUR FUNERAL
One of the best things you can do for your family is to pre-plan your funeral. Not only does it allow you complete control over what is done to your body once you are gone, but it also helps ease the financial burden on those left behind. You can pre-pay for services and make arrangements years in advance. It puts complete control into your hands.
We do advise that you include this in your will if you choose to do so. This can be especially important if you are considering cremation for yourself, as you will have a legal document detailing exactly what you want and how you’d like to proceed.
What Are The Different Types Of Cremation?
Now that we've covered the types of cremation services and their costs, let's discuss the types of cremations available. There are two types of cremation: traditional cremation and bio-cremations. While they are both comparable in price, they are very different techniques. Each has its benefits and drawbacks depending on where you live and how you feel about sustainability and pollution.
When we think about cremation, we often immediately think of the fire-based technique that is seen worldwide. This is traditional cremation. In modern times, the process involves placing the body in a crematorium – a specially designed furnace – and then exposing it to extreme temperatures of between 1400- and 2000- degrees Fahrenheit.
The process typically takes 2-3 hours to complete. At that point, most of what remains is not ash but rather bone fragments. Any remaining metal or medical devices are removed. These fragments and ash are ground into cremains and then returned to the family in an urn or other container.
An alternative to traditional cremation, bio-cremation (also called water cremation, aquamation, or resomation) is a process of alkaline hydrolysis. In this method, the body is placed in a large water-tight chamber that is filled with a mixture of water and alkaline chemicals (like lye).
The chamber is completely sealed, and the water is heated to around 350 degrees Fahrenheit. After between 4 to 16 hours, the soft tissue is completely gone, leaving behind a sterile liquid and the skeleton. Like with traditional cremation, the skeletal remains are ground into cremains and then returned to the family.
Compared to traditional cremation techniques, bio-cremation uses about 1/10th of the carbon footprint, completely reduces carbon emissions, and is more sustainable overall. Unfortunately, bio-cremation is only legal in 28 states to date (as of early 2023). The funeral industry is slow to change and as such, many people are not aware of this option! This is likely to change as more people discover this type of cremation. Studies have shown that in places where the process is legal and both options are presented to them, consumers will choose bio-cremation 80% of the time.
Comparing Environmental Impact – Cremation and Traditional Burial
While we’ve established that bio-cremation is far more sustainable and less harmful to the environment than traditional cremation, we have not discussed how they rate against traditional burial practices in the United States.
To be blunt, both options have significant negative aspects. Traditional burials take up a lot of space and natural resources (such as wood). As embalming the body is standard practice, this also releases many chemicals and toxic material into the ground. There is also the vault surrounding the body, usually made of metal and plastics, that contributes to overall waste. On the other hand, traditional cremation involves open flames and contributes heavily to CO2 waste in our atmosphere.
Fortunately, many crematoriums have added filtration systems to stop any toxic chemicals from metals or materials inside the body from escaping. This does significantly help decrease the impact overall. Unfortunately, that does little to curb carbon dioxide emissions currently. The industry is hopeful that it will continue innovation and further reduce these emissions over time.
Most researchers agree that - when considering all factors - cremation is a better practice than burial for reducing our environmental impact. However, the most ecologically friendly option is a completely green burial. Green burials forgo a burial vault, skip the embalming, and choose biodegradable body shrouds instead of a casket. However, it remains the rarest of all these options. Green burial is even illegal in most places around the world. Without that option, it’s much better to consider a green cremation if possible.
Comparing Costs – Cremation and Traditional Burial Services
When considering cremation, the topic of cost often comes up. This is because cremation is seen as a cheaper alternative to traditional burials. However, you might be wondering how expensive a traditional burial can be to make it a more feasible option.
Traditional burials come with a high financial burden on the consumer. This is because the funeral process has many components (most of which you as the consumer may not even know about!). While we've broken down much of the costs that come with aspects of funerals and cremation, let's see how they stack up when side by side.
In 2023, the average cost for a traditional funeral service in the United States is between $7000 and $9000 with a median of $7,360. Much of the cost depends on where in the country you live, however as Hawaii averages at a little under $15,000 for a funeral while one in Mississippi will cost an average of $6,684. Granted, it’s typically true that funerals cost more in urban areas compared to rural ones, leading to differences in pricing.
When it comes to cremation, you can easily find a direct cremation that will cost under $1,500 if you forego all the ceremony. Because you do not have to pay for common funeral practices, do not require a funeral director, and do not need a casket for the viewing, direct cremation cuts those costs out of the budget entirely. If you choose to have a traditional cremation with a service, then your costs may rise to anywhere between $3000 and $5000. Price is often dependent on the venue and location.
Additionally, it is important to note that these prices are just guidelines for what you may find. You won't know specifics for funeral homes or crematoriums without asking to see their price list. Some states have laws that require certain services or merchandise to be purchased. These legal requirements can increase the overall cost of cremation. It's important to be aware of these laws and regulations.
You should always ask funeral directors or cremation providers about them if you are unsure. Additionally, it is important to be aware of any additional costs that may come with cremation, such as a death certificate, obituary notices, and any other expenses that may come up during the process.
Pre-Planning & Pre-Paying For Your Cremation
One way to offset the financial burden of a funeral is to consider pre-paying (and pre-planning) one for yourself or to help a loved one do so. We’ve addressed the benefits of planning your own funeral at length in our article - DIY Guide to Planning Your Own Funeral, but let’s take a look at cremation as well.
By looking into pre-paid options, you can take the time to research the best services and make choices at your own pace. It puts the power into your hands at a time or situation when you might otherwise be struggling with feeling helpless due to illness or infirmity. Even for those who may be healthy, it is never too late to begin looking at end-of-life care. You should consider Writing Your Last Will and Testament as soon as possible.
The biggest benefit to pre-paying and pre-planning for your end-of-life care is simply that it helps those who are left behind. It gives your friends and family more time to focus on their feelings and work through their grief instead of stressing over the planning and costs of a funeral or cremation.
AVERAGING THE COSTS FOR PRE-PLANNED CREMATIONS
While pre-paid cremations are comparable in price to standard cremations, you may find providers that offer a discount if you pay in advance. It's no secret that costs for most products, goods, and services are rising each year. When you pre-plan your cremation, you are locked into a price that will not rise or change over the years. While you can typically pay for the service over months or years, you won't have to worry about that number changing or any added interest and taxes.
You can also pre-pay for various other products or services associated with the cremation. You may want to pick out an urn for yourself if you know your family would like to have your ashes. You can determine where and when you'd like your ashes scattered. If you plan to be buried once you are cremated, you can choose a bio-degradable urn for your final resting place.
Pre-paying for your cremation adds another financial bonus. It keeps your friends and family from emotional spending – or making unwise financial decisions while they are grieving. This way, your cremation is your choice. However, you must make your wishes – and your plans – clear to your loved ones so they know what to expect at the time of your death.
Personalizing The Cremation Process
You might be afraid that choosing cremation – especially direct cremation – for a loved one removes any personalization or care from the process. That's not true. While you may not opt for a funeral service or religious ceremony, you can still add personalization to the process to show your love without spending thousands of dollars.
Choosing a final resting place for your loved one is a big decision. If your loved one has not expressed a preference, it may fall to you to choose something that reflects the person and their unique tastes and personality. You may also want to select an urn that reflects where it will be kept. If you plan to keep it in your home, then you may want to choose complementary colors or styles for your home décor. If you plan to bury the cremains, you will want to pick a durable urn and possibly one with options for engraving or other personalization.
You’ll find urns made from just about any material from wood, metal, plastic, ceramic, marble, glass, and even other biodegradable materials.
Fingerprints are one of the most unique parts of each human being. When you combine the uniqueness of one’s fingerprint with the thoughtful gift of custom jewelry, you have a one-of-a-kind, personalized gift to give to someone that you care about. Some pendants, like this Whispering Thoughts Thumbprint Pendant, hold a small amount of cremains inside as well.
Custom thumbprint jewelry makes an incredible keepsake reminder of a deceased loved one. All you have to do is choose your favorite jewelry design, use the thumbprint kit that is sent to you in the mail, ship it back, and in no time at all, you'll have your custom fingerprint necklace sent to you in a delightful gift box.
JEWELRY MADE FROM ASHES
Ash jewelry is different from other cremation jewelry in that it is made directly from the ashes of your loved one. The colored resin within the pendants contains ash cremains. These pendants can come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. For example, the Blazing Heart Silver Ash Pendant is one of our most popular styles.
Each pendant is unique due to the process. To create your own, you simply send in a small amount of cremains. Then we mix the ashes in with a gemstone-like resin. The finished resin piece is set into metal jewelry to create a beautiful pendant or a ring like this Ladies Felicity style ring with teal resin and sterling silver band shaped as laurel leaves.
PHOTO ENGRAVED PENDANTS
Also known as personalized photo jewelry, photo-engraved jewelry is exactly what it sounds like. They are created from the process of permanently engraving a photo directly into the pendant of a jewelry item using a precision laser. This means it isn't simply stuck on with adhesive—it's there for good!
As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, making this small image a perfect way for you to take the memory of your loved one with you anywhere. Instead of worrying about ruining your favorite photo, you can have it engraved in metal where it won’t bend, tear, or fade with time. You choose whether you’d like your image in black and like – like this Photo Engraved Diamond Pendant – or in full color – like the Perfect Square Full Color Engraved Pendant.
Whatever you decide, make sure you discuss your plans in full with the funeral director or cremation expert at the time. You'll want to make sure you are adhering to the wishes of your loved one as much as possible!
Tips On Surviving Grief During The Cremation Process
Everyone struggles with grief in the aftermath of a death. Some may struggle more or less than others – but most of the time, we all simply struggle in different ways. Grief hits us all uniquely. It’s important to learn how to cope with our grief in healthy and healing ways.
LET YOURSELF FEEL YOUR GRIEF
The only way you will make it through any tragedy is to let yourself feel the loss. While it might be tempting to bottle up your emotions or rely upon stoicism to help you make it through the hardest parts, in the long run, you'll only be hurting yourself. If you need to cry, you should cry. You are allowed to be sad, angry, frustrated, or heartbroken. You may be all of those at the same time. You may not even be able to put words into how you feel.
All of that is okay. Everyone grieves differently. Some of us may want to shout our grief to the world. Some of us may want to keep it to ourselves. Whatever is best for you, do not cut yourself off from those feelings. It’s only through acknowledging them that we fully heal.
TALK TO A PROFESSIONAL (DOCTOR, THERAPIST, CLERGY, ETC.)
Talking to a clergy member (like a pastor or priest) or a mental health professional (like a counselor or therapist) can help you cope with your emotions. They are trained to listen and walk you through your grief without judgment or scorn.
If your grief continues to resurface and causes long-term depression symptoms, talk to your doctor. Ongoing depression after a loss may need medical treatment, especially if your symptoms prevent you from carrying out daily tasks.
TRY A GRIEF SUPPORT GROUP OR HOTLINE
Grief support groups are a great resource, no matter where you’re at in your grief. Since the people at the support group are also working through grief, you’ll have sympathetic ears that truly understand what you’re going through. You may find one locally for in-person meetings. If not, there are many forums and groups dedicated to talking to others experiencing grief.
If you want to talk to someone anonymously, use a grief support hotline. While their hotline focuses on mental illness and substance abuse, the SAMHSA helpline is a useful resource for people grieving a loss. If you are having a mental health crisis, their hotline at 1-800-662-4357 is available to point you to the right resources.
TALK TO YOUR FRIENDS OR FAMILY
Take some time to talk to a close family member or friend about how you’re feeling. Since they are already familiar with your situation and your grief, they can listen to how you’re feeling without the need to explain the history of your loss.
WRITE OUT YOUR THOUGHTS
Writing a letter to your loved one or writing in a grief journal is a great way to process your emotions. If you're worried about someone reading your personal thoughts, you can always shred or burn the pages later. For more guidance on learning how to use writing as a tool to help your grief, check out our guide to grief journaling.
DO ONE OF YOUR LOVED ONE'S FAVORITE THINGS
Many people find comfort in activities their loved ones once enjoyed. For example, a son or daughter might try gardening or go fishing if their mother or father loved to do those things. Maybe your mother loved to hike or bake? You may find solace in doing those things for her. Whatever the activity is, enjoy spending time remembering your loved one while experiencing their favorite activity.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
When we are grieving, it’s easy to ignore our personal needs. Getting lost in grief isn’t healthy but it’s also not unusual, especially not in the first days or weeks after losing a loved one. That’s why it’s especially important to take care of ourselves at this time. You should be getting enough sleep, eating properly, and getting in some activity or exercise daily (even if it is just taking a walk or stretching regularly). These things are crucial for your physical and mental well-being.
ASK FOR HELP IF YOU NEED IT
If you continue to struggle, don’t do it alone. Reach out to your friends, family members, or even professionals. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. We all go through difficult times. Sometimes the bravest thing you can do is to admit that you can’t do it alone.
Cremation Frequently Asked Questions
How do I find the cheapest options for cremation?
Funerals are expensive. The best way to find quality cremation services at an affordable price is to shop around. You should compare prices at local businesses and organizations. It helps to do your research in advance and understand exactly what services you need and want. Avoid funeral directors that attempt to sell you upgrades beyond your budget for "the sake of the deceased" and other exploitive tactics. Instead, look for reputable businesses online or through local recommendations.
Do you need a coffin for cremation?
While you do not need a traditional coffin for cremation, you do need a specific type of container – a cremation casket – for the process. These caskets are lighter, smaller, and less expensive than those used in traditional burials. Sometimes they are made of lightweight wood or sturdy cardboard. They are designed to burn quickly and efficiently without leaving much waste or excess ash.
Additionally, if you choose to have a full-service cremation that includes a traditional funeral service, you need to rent a coffin for an additional fee. Fortunately, this is not as expensive as purchasing one outright.
What are the different types of cremation?
There are two types of cremation. The type you pick depends on your needs and budget.
Traditional Cremation. When people think of cremation, they usually think of traditional cremation (which is fire-based). In modern traditional cremation, the body is placed into a cremation chamber – a specially designed furnace – and exposed to extreme temperatures (between 1400- and 2000 degrees Fahrenheit) for 2 to 3 hours. At that point, the furnace cools before the ashes are removed.
Bio-Cremation. This type of cremation is also known as green cremation, water cremation, or the technical term Alkaline Hydrolysis. With this process, patented in the 1880s, the body is placed in an airtight container filled with a water and potassium hydroxide solution and then heated to around 350 degrees Fahrenheit. At that temperature, the solution dissolves the body, leaving only sterile liquid and bone fragments behind. The process takes between 4-20 hours and is far more environmentally friendly than traditional cremation.
Currently, bio-cremation is not available everywhere, though it is legal in 28 US states. Within a few years, this type of cremation will be more widely available for consumers and the funeral industry.
What are the different types of cremation services?
There are three types of cremation services, though each can be modified to suit the needs of a family by adding or removing certain aspects. The three types are:
Full-Service Cremation. A full-service cremation includes a traditional funeral, wake, and viewing of the body. However, instead of interring the body underground, it is taken for cremation and then returned to the family or buried.
Cremation with Memorial. With this type of cremation, the body is taken directly to the crematorium instead of the funeral home. A traditional memorial service is then held at the funeral home or crematorium later, often with an urn with cremains standing in for the deceased for the function.
Direct Cremation. This is considered the most cost-effective option of the three. Direct cremation is when the body is cremated quickly without a funeral or memorial service held by the funeral home or crematorium. Once the cremation is complete, the remains are returned to the family in a receptacle. At that point, the family can hold their own memorial, burial, or scattering service.
How do you cremate a loved one with no money?
It's no secret that funerals can be expensive, even though cremations offer a far less costly option to grieving families. The most cost-effective way to cremate a loved one is through direct cremation. With this option, you will only need to pay for the cremation service and the cremation casket (which is much cheaper than burial caskets or those used in funeral services). Typically, this service will run a family between $1,000-$2,000.
The least expensive way to cremate a loved one comes in the form of donating their body to science. With this option, the body is donated to a scientific organization and once the research is complete, the remains are cremated and returned to the family. It may be the best option for those who do not have the funds to cremate their loved one immediately.
However, this process can take some time (up to a year) before the remains are returned to the family.
Everything You Need To Know About Choosing Cremation
Saying goodbye to a loved one is hard, but it doesn't have to feel impossible. One of the best ways for you to prepare for a loss is simply to understand the options available to you and your family. Cremation is a cost-effective and flexible option for end-of-life services, but families need to understand the associated costs.
By researching and comparing prices from different providers, pre-planning and pre-paying, and being aware of any additional costs and laws, families can make informed decisions about cremation services that work best for them.
April 25, 2023 by Jeri K. Augustus