Cost of Cremations

Cremation was once considered taboo in many parts of the United States, but today, it has become commonplace.

According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the cremation rate may reach 80% by 2035 in some states—this shows just how many people are considering cremation over burial.

Also, in another report by the National Funeral Directors Association in 2023, the burial rate was predicted to be 34.5%, a significant difference from the cremation rate which was projected to be about 60.5%.

If you’re unsure about the costs of cremations in the USA, this blog post will help you understand the cost differences between cremation and traditional burial so you and your family can make a decision that’s right for you and your family. 

What are the costs of a traditional funeral?

The average cost of funerals in the USA is between $7,000 and $12,000; however, these costs can vary greatly depending on many different factors, such as:

1. Hiring a Funeral Home and Their Services

For many bereaved families, working with a funeral home can make the process of planning a funeral easier. On average, hiring a funeral home and their services can cost more than $11,000.

2. Transporting the Remains

Transporting your loved one’s remains from their place of death to the funeral home can incur some costs. Some families may choose to transport the remains by themselves, but if your loved one passes away in a hospital, you may have to pay the hospital to take the remains to the funeral home.

3. Hiring a Hearse

Usually, a hearse may be required to transport the body. A hearse can cost around $350 to hire and this price may increase depending on the model of the vehicle and the funeral home’s charges.

4. Buying a Casket

A traditional funeral will require a casket, which may cost between $2,500 and $5,000 on average. The cost of the casket can vary depending on the material used to make it and if you want any customization done to it.

5. Acquiring a Burial Plot and Grave Marker

Reserving a burial plot can cost between $1,000 and $4,000, depending on the cemetery. The lower the availability, the more expensive the plot can be. Also, a grave marker can cost up to $3,000 or more depending on the type of grave marker you choose.

These costs aren’t fixed and may change considerably depending on the funeral home you choose, the time of the year, and the quality of the casket and headstone.

What are the costs of cremation?

The average cost of cremation in the USA is about $4,000-$7,000. In most cases, this is cheaper than traditional burials.

Also like traditional cremation services, the costs aren’t set in stone and will change depending on various factors, like the urn you choose and whether or not you want to hold a funeral service before cremation.

Here’s a look at what can potentially affect the cost of cremation:

1. Coroner’s Fee

Sometimes, cremation may need a coroner’s help. A coroner will help with the transport of your loved one’s remains and storage.

The coroner’s fee will change depending on the services you want from them and the coroners themselves. Usually, experienced coroners may charge a higher fee and this fee will be independent of the other cremation costs.

2. Embalming Costs

In most cases, embalming won’t be necessary, unlike with traditional burials. If you’re choosing direct cremation, the body will not need to be stored.

However, if your loved one’s remains need to be shipped in from another state or country for cremation, embalming will be required, which can cost around $800.

3. Cremation Casket

Although this isn’t very common, some families may choose to have their loved one cremated in a casket. This may be done after you’ve had a traditional funeral service for your loved one before cremation.

Usually, the casket is rented and the remains are taken out for cremation after the funeral service. But if you choose to cremate your loved one with the casket, the casket may cost up to $1,300.

4. Transporting Fees

If your loved one’s remains need to be flown in from another state, this will add to the overall cost of cremation. The cost of transporting the body can change considerably depending on the method of transport you choose.

Transporting the remains by road may be a cheaper option, costing about $2-$5 per mile. Transporting by air is more expensive and can cost up to $3,000 to transport an entire body, depending on factors like the airline you choose and various regulations.

5. Standard or Custom Urn

After cremation, you may choose to place your loved one’s ashes in an urn. Some urns can be as cheap as $10, but some can cost you several hundred dollars. This depends on the build quality and the types of materials used to make the urn.

Custom urns are more meaningful and can be designed to reflect your loved one’s personality, but they can be more expensive than pre-made urns.

6. Direct Cremation

Direct cremation involves sending your loved one’s remains for cremation without having any funeral service or viewing. Since this bypasses most of the steps involved in a funeral service, it can be an affordable option for you and your family if you’re having budgetary issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some commonly asked questions about cremation costs:

1. Is a death certificate necessary for cremation?

Yes, just like for traditional burial, a death certificate will be needed for cremation too.

2. Can I still bury my loved one’s ashes?

Yes, you may. However, you may need to pay for a burial plot.

3. How much does it cost to transport an urn overseas?

The cost of transporting an urn overseas can cost about $300.

Get help from a funeral home on the cost of cremation

Researching cremation expenses can be very difficult to do after losing a loved one. With all those emotions going through your mind, it can be very hard to make an informed decision on how you want to lay your loved one to rest.

Fortunately, by getting in touch with a funeral home that offers professional cremation services, you can decide if cremation is the most financially viable option.

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