When a loved one passes, family members are faced with many decisions. Perhaps one of the most fundamental decisions is whether or not to have a burial or cremation for the deceased. There are many reasons that go into making this decision; first and foremost, the family must consider whether or not the deceased made any particular requests with regard to his or her end-of-life arrangements. The religion of the person who has passed may also play a role in determining whether or not to bury or cremate, as the practice of cremation is looked upon less favorably in certain religions (although this sentiment is slowly changing).
A third element to consider is cost. According to Lincoln Heritage Funeral Advantage, the average cost for a cremation ranges between $4,000 and $7,000, compared with $7,000 to $12,000 for a burial. Given the fact that cremations, on average, cost less, it’s not surprising that they have become far more common in recent years.
But what exactly goes into the cost of cremations? As with so many elements of funeral planning, there is a fair amount of variance here, and prices are dependent on a number of different factors - from the type of cremation that is chosen to the state where the cremation is taking place. Let’s talk a little more about how much cremations cost.
Table of Contents
- What Are The Different Types Of Cremation Services (And Their Associated Costs)?
- Does The Cost Of Cremation Vary From State To State?
What are the Different Types of Cremation Services (and Their Associated Costs)?
At a high level, there are four types of cremation services from which to choose. The most expensive of the four types is a cremation with a funeral service, which typically costs at least $5,000; in this type of cremation, as with a traditional funeral, the deceased’s body is present at the service and then cremated afterward. The higher cost for this type of cremation service includes embalming, which is a requirement for funerals, as well as casket purchase or rental. The cremation itself may be witnessed by family and close relatives if they so choose.
Families can also choose to have a cremation with a memorial service. The memorial service is generally held after the cremation, which may or may not be witnessed by family and close relatives. The cremated remains are sometimes present at these services. Since cremations with a memorial service don’t necessarily involve embalming or casket purchase/rental, they are usually less expensive than cremations with a funeral service; average prices are around $4,000 or so.
Another choice is direct cremation. This process involves the cremation of the deceased without any accompanying funeral service, memorial service or viewing. Though prices vary depending on whether you purchase the services through a funeral home or a crematory, the average cost of a direct cremation is in the $1,000 to $2,000 range.
The least expensive option for those considering cremation is cremation with donation of the body to science. Many organizations offer cremation services free of charge, in exchange for being able to provide medical workers with the ability to further their research and improve groundbreaking surgical techniques. The cremains of the deceased are usually returned to the family within a month or so of donation.
Does the Cost of Cremation Vary from State to State?
Yes, it does. Certain states have higher average costs for cremation than others. It’s hard to pin down exactly what causes this variance in costs; it may have to do with how common cremation is in a given state. In Florida, for example, cremation rates are higher - and so is the average cost for cremation services. (This is by no means a definitive reason, however; Nevada has one of the highest rates of cremation in the country, and its cremation costs are on the lower end of the spectrum.) Regardless of where you live, if you’re considering cremation for your loved one, the best thing to do is to research different options in your area and compare costs.The rate of people choosing cremation is predicted to rise to over 60% by 2024; it is becoming an increasingly common choice for families making end-of-life preparations for their loved ones. With more information about how much cremation costs and the different types of cremation services available, you can make the decision that is best for you and the departed.