Within the last decade, cremation has become increasingly popular due to its affordable costs, which are often significantly lower than traditional burial costs by several thousand dollars. The average cost of a cremation can range anywhere from $600 to $3,000, whereas the cost of a funeral with burial usually averages about $10,000. Ten years ago, only 27 percent of Americans chose cremation over funerals. Today, that number has risen to 40 percent.
There are a range of different cremation services you can choose from if your loved one has recently passed, or if you want to plan your own cremation and memorial in advance. Most cremation providers offer a direct or simple cremation, which is often the least expensive cremation option and includes the essentials, such as transportation of the body, official document preparation, the cremation itself, and a temporary urn for the cremains.
Many cremation providers also offer options for simple memorial services, Catholic liturgies, and ceremonies for veterans.
Here are some tips you can follow when you need to find an affordable cremation provider that can honorably and respectfully memorialize you and your loved one.
- Compare pricing between the cremation providers in your area. Use the Internet or your local yellow pages to find a list of nearby cremation providers, and ask them about costs for a direct or simple cremation, which is usually the least costly cremation option.
- Ask friends and family about referrals for cremation providers. You can also get referrals on reputable cremation providers by contacting your local consumer funeral alliance program or local memorial society, both of which are made up of volunteers who can help you choose a cremation provider.
- Keep in mind that you are not required to purchase urns and keepsakes. Although urns and keepsakes are ideal ways to forever memorialize your loved one, they can sometimes drive up costs. Most cremation providers will seal your loved one’s cremains in a thick plastic bag, and insert them into a plastic box. You can then either scatter the ashes, or place them in a container you may already own.
- Contact your local social services department if you cannot afford to pay for cremation services. Some towns or counties may provide you with financial assistance for cremation or funeral services.
- Seek financial aid from Social Security. Contact the U.S. Social Security Administration to request a one-time death benefit, which is provided to survivors for the amount of $255 and can help cover the costs of cremation.
- Donate your loved one’s body to a Whole Body Donation organization or to a university-affiliated medical school. This option is completely free, and will allow your loved one’s body to be studied by researchers and educators before cremation. Speak to a local cremation provider for more information about body donations and free cremations.
At Heartland Cremation, we are devoted to providing you with a simple and dignified way to remember and honor your loved one. Heartland Cremation offers a comfortable and uncomplicated experience when it comes to planning cremation and funeral services. With four generations of experience in the cremation business, we currently serve the greater Kansas City region and surrounding areas. Contact us today for more information.