How Much Does a Cremation Cost?

The subject of cremation is one that isn’t often discussed until the time comes to decide how to properly lay a loved one to rest. As humans, we have a natural aversion to focusing on the details surrounding death and funerary practices, but it’s something that we will all face at some point and it’s important to set our affairs in order in advance of our deaths to alleviate the stress, pain and financial strains that will be left to our families. There are benefits to cremation and if this is an option that you’re considering you are probably wondering about the cremation cost. The answer to this question is that it varies, depending on the crematorium and the cremation package that is chosen. This guide will give you some useful details about pre-planning a cremation package so you’ll know in advance the costs and what services are available for your family.

Cost of human cremation

There is no standard price associated with cremation, but the average cost for direct cremation with no associated funeral services is around $1,100. Some crematoriums offer special packages that can start as low as $599 for the basic services. The family must supply an alternative container to take the ashes and it will be up to them to determine if they will be kept or disposed of. This is the least expensive service. For an exact price, you can contact a crematorium in your area and some offer pre-paid plans so you can take care of this in advance of your passing.

A range of options

While some families pay as low as $600 for the cremation of a loved one, others may spend thousands of dollars. The difference in cost depends on a few different factors. If you choose to have a viewing of the body, the funeral home will charge for embalming, a rental fee for the casket and for providing viewing services. Some families will go with a direct cremation and have a funeral service with their loved ones’ remains in an urn and place pictures of the person near the urn to honor their lives. The cost of an urn can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand.

Alternative funeral services

One of the least expensive options for laying a loved one to rest is the direct cremation process. There will be an expense for transport of the body to a crematorium, along with the direct cremation fee and whatever you decide to do about the container. There are no laws stating that you must purchase an urn. This is an option that is left solely to the discretion of the survivors. You are free to conduct your own private memorial service in any way that you deem proper and respectful, so long as it is in compliance with local laws and statutes. Embalming is not required for direct cremation.

Some crematoriums allow the family members of the deceased to watch the cremation process and even initiate the process by pressing the button that starts the equipment. In most cases, a charge for a witnessing service is assessed.

Final disposition of the remains

There are several ways in which the ashes of your loved one may be dealt with. Some families keep the ashes in an urn in their homes while others divide them amongst family members in separate smaller urns. You may also choose to scatter the ashes in the air, on land or in water. Some families bury the ashes in a grave or in a small area of the grave of another family member, while others choose to place the ashes of their loved one in a mausoleum. There are additional costs associated with placements in a mausoleum or cemetery burials. Some cemeteries have special locations designated as cremation gardens.

Pre-planning a cremation or funeral service gives you control over what will happen to your remains after you pass away. If you’re charged with handling arrangements for a loved one who has passed away, there are many options available. Although this is a process that none of us really look forward to, it’s wise to consider the needs of your family after you pass and take the most appropriate action to pre-arrange for these final services so all the family will need to concern themselves with is comforting one another at an already stressful and painful time in their lives.


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