How Much Does Cremation Cost?

When it comes to making final arrangements, it's important to consider costs. The price of a traditional burial can be expensive since it involves a burial plot, a casket, a casket vault, an opening-and-closing service, and a memorial marker such as a headstone - and that is all before a memorial service is taken into account. Many people select to be cremated since it does not require many of the items needed in a traditional burial and is therefore generally more affordable.

What is the Average Cost of Cremation?

The average cost of cremation is $6,970 as reported by the National Funeral Directors Association. This figure includes the cost of a funeral. Keep in mind this number is an average, and cremation costs vary depending on your location and the types of products and services selected. These products and service may include:

Cremation Urns

While an urn isn't necessarily required to be cremated, it is a widely popular choice for a final resting place. The average cost of a cremation urn is $295. However, you can get a simple one for the purposes of transportation for as little as $50, or customized urns with specialized materials for more than $2,000.

Placing the urn within a cremation niche in a cemetery can cost between $700 - $3,000 depending on the cemetery and the niche. Burying the urn in a cemetery will require many of the items needed for a traditional burial and therefore increase the costs.

Memorial Services

The prices of memorial services ranges greatly. Having a viewing prior to cremation will require renting a casket, which can cost up to $500. It may also require embalming and fees for sheltering the remains, which can cost as much as $1,000. A service at a funeral home is likely to cost at least $2,000-5,000, which includes paperwork services like obtaining a death certificate and permits, as well as coordinating the ceremony. You will likely want to include flowers which can cost $350 or more.

Cost of Cremation vs. Burial

While the average cost of cremation is $6,970, the average cost of a traditional burial is $9,420. The cost advantage of cremation primarily stems from the reduced need for the items and services associated with a traditional burial, which can significantly contribute to higher expenses. However, it's important to remember that if you choose to bury a cremation urn in a cemetery, you will incur many of the costs associated with a traditional burial.

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The Emotional Cost of a Cremation

It's obvious that the financial cost of a cremation is an important factor. But it's also worthwhile to consider the emotional cost of a cremation, especially in comparison to more traditional funerary services such as a burial. In fact, opting for the "less expensive" option, such as having the deceased cremated without a viewing, could result in a higher emotional toll than expected. Many bereaved feel the need to say their final farewells to the deceased in person, which is why burials are such popular choices. In some cases, this means that having the deceased cremated will prevent mourners from finding such closure. Feelings of regret and even resentment may result, especially if the deceased is cremated before the viewing. Similarly, some maintain a connection to the deceased by visiting the gravesite and reflecting, leaving flowers, etc. beside the memorial. Scattering ashes may prevent this from being possible. This is of course entirely dependent on the wishes of the deceased and the family, and the opposite may be true in many situations — loved ones may prefer to visit a spot where ashes have been scattered, for example. This is why it is so important to discuss preferences ahead of time.

Plan Cremation Services in Advance

Now that you know how much cremation costs today, you may be inclined to plan and pay for cremation and memorial services in advance. Not only does this allow you to select the type of cremation you want, but it also allows you to pay today's costs, without years or even decades of inflation. Memorial Planning offers prepaid cremation plans as well as many other funeral homes and cemeteries. Contact our experts at 844-808-3310 with any questions or inquiries.