Cost of a Basic Cremation and Additional Services

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It is possible to have a traditional funeral service if cremation is chosen instead of an earth burial.

Being cremated has become a more popular choice for many in recent years, and the cost of cremation will vary depending on how many services are purchased from the funeral home. The more services that are added, the more expensive it will be.

Basic Cremation

Cremation is an alternative to traditional burial. The body of the deceased is placed in a retort (cremation chamber) and burned. With the heat reaching around 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, this process reduces the remains to ash and bone fragments.

Factors that Affect the Cost of Cremation

Direct Cremation

If cremation has been chosen as the disposal method, direct cremation is the most cost-effective choice. The body is cremated within a short time after death has occurred. Embalming is not needed if the cremation takes place quickly enough. After the cremation process is completed, the remains are placed in an urn.No visitation takes place before cremation. A memorial service may be held afterward; some families have the urn containing the remains at the service, while other choose not to include them. The ashes may be interred, placed in a columbarium (a room or a building where funeral urns are stored), taken to someone' s home or scattered outside in a location that is meaningful to the family.

The cost for a direct cremation will include a basic services fee from the funeral home, along with fees for picking up the body, storing it before cremation and transferring it to the crematorium (if the funeral home doesn't have a facility on site).

Visitation Before the Service

You can still have a traditional visitation if the deceased is going to be cremated. If you choose to include this option, you will need to pay for embalming and to have the body dressed and prepared for viewing. A fee will be charged for renting a room at the funeral home for the visitation.

Some families choose to buy a casket for the viewing, since a container for the body is required if a visitation is being held. Another option is to ask whether it would be possible to rent a casket for the visitation. This would be a specially-designed container that looks like a regular casket from the outside but which has a removable compartment to hold the body of the deceased during the visitation (and the funeral service, if one is being conducted). Afterward, the body is cremated in the container the family chooses to use for this purpose.

Traditional Funeral

A funeral service may be conducted in the chapel at the funeral home. A fee will be charged to rent the space for the service. If the funeral is being held at a church or another location, additional fees will be charged if funeral home vehicles are to be used to take family members to the service.

Cremation Urn

Family members will also need to select an urn (made from wood, stone, or metal) to store the ashes after. The cost of this type of container vary, depending on the materials used and how elaborate the carvings or decorations.

The Funeral Rule

In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission is responsible for enforcing the Funeral Rule. Under this rule, funeral directors are required to provide consumers who visit their business in person with a written price list for the various services they offer. This information must also be provided on the phone, if the customer requests it.

With regards to cremation, under the provisions of the Funeral Rule, the funeral home is required to provide alternate containers for the deceased.

As you can see the cost of cremation is only one part of the total cost of a funeral. Cremation as a disposal option is less expensive than an earth burial, but the cost will go up as other services are added.

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Cost of a Basic Cremation and Additional Services