6 Important Things to Know When Seeking Affordable Cremation Services
Death is the most inevitable part of life with almost three million people dying each year in the United States. While difficult for many people, discussing your death before it happens is a good idea. Knowing what a loved one wants when they pass makes it easier on those left behind.
If you’re left taking care of funeral arrangements for a loved one, you may not know where to start. If you’re seeking affordable cremation services, there are six important things you should know.
Keep reading for more information.
1. Cremation Basics
Cremation is an alternative method of body disposal after death. The provider places the body in a special container, after removing any internal medical devices. The container goes into an industrial incinerator that reduces the body to an ash-like substance called cremains.
The incinerator uses heat up to 1800 degrees F, and the cremation process itself takes about three hours. The family receives the cremains and can then do a traditional or alternative funeral ceremony.
2. Breakdown of Cremation Costs
Cremation is typically a less expensive option than traditional burial, but there are a few things you should understand. Cremation providers offer several options that come with different costs.
- Final preparations
- Special cremation casket
- Preparation and embalming for pre-cremation viewing
- Viewing casket (rental)
- Flower arrangements
- Urns for cremains
- Interment costs
The most affordable cremation services don’t include embalming and pre-cremation viewing. If your preference is a regular viewing of the body followed by cremation, the body needs preparation and sometimes embalming. You’ll also need a viewing casket.
If you opt for embalming, viewing, and a funeral service, cremation can cost as much as a regular burial. The casket for a regular funeral is often one of the most expensive elements of a burial. With procreation viewing, you’ll need at least a rental casket.
A burial plot is another aspect of the cost that can run high. With direct cremation, you don’t have the high cost of a casket or burial plot.
All the services together cost much more than a direct cremation without the viewing or ceremony. What is a direct cremation?
3. Direct Cremation
A direct cremation is the most affordable cremation. The body is not embalmed, and there is no need for a viewing casket or flowers. Cremation occurs right after death.
A local experienced provider picks up your loved one’s body and goes straight to the cremation facility. Look for a provider by searching for “cremation services near me.”
4. Reputable Business
Once you’ve found a few facilities near you, make sure the provider you choose has experience. An experienced service understands and helps with the legal paperwork and any other issues that come up. Look for a provider that’s been in business for at least a few years.
5. Your Rights
You do have some rights when it comes to shopping for cremation and funeral services. The provider can’t require you to buy a casket if you decide on direct cremation.
They must provide a plain wood box or another type of container if you don’t want a special casket. A plain box is much more affordable than a casket.
Ask for a price list and, by law, the funeral director must give you one. They also must give you prices over the phone if you call. A funeral director can’t ask for personal information such as your name and address in exchange for the price list.
A funeral home can provide different packages at varying prices, but they can’t require that you buy a package that includes services you don’t want. You can pay for each individual service.
Regulations about embalming differ by state. Most states do not require embalming by law.
In some states, if the body isn’t cremated or buried within a certain time period, embalming is necessary. Some states allow refrigeration in lieu of embalming.
Are you shipping a body to another state for a cremation? You might need embalming in that case.
6. The Cremains
Once a body is cremated, you don’t need a special urn for the cremains. You can use the box from the cremation facility.
If you do have a special urn, feel free to use that too. The cremation facility uses whatever urn you choose.
Are you flying the cremains to another state for scattering or burial? Leave them in the original box from the cremation facility and leave the official documents attached.
This is the easiest way of getting the cremains through security at the airport. Never put the cremains in a metal container if you’re transporting them by airplane. The security agents won’t let you through with a metal container.
You can ship cremains somewhere else but only through the U.S. Postal Service. You’ll need a padded exterior container around the interior container.
If you’re scattering the cremains at sea, scatter them at least three miles from shore. That’s a federal law, though it’s rarely enforced.
You can also scatter cremains on your own land. You can scatter cremains almost anywhere your loved one wants them. Be discreet wherever you’re scattering cremains.
Some people have their cremains interred in a mausoleum which is a more expensive option. A mausoleum is an indoor, above-ground place for the entombment of an embalmed body or cremains.
There Are Affordable Cremation Services
There are affordable cremation services. With cremation, spending huge amounts of money on a casket, flowers, and services isn’t necessary. You can do a direct cremation followed by an affordable service or no service at all.
Some subjects are challenging to think about ahead of time. Arranging your funeral is one such subject for many people, but settling the arrangements beforehand is a favor to your surviving family members and friends.
Prearranged funerals make this stressful time for your loved ones a little easier, so consider doing this for them.
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