The Biggest Reason Why Cremation Cost Is Attracting More Americans
End of life planning is never a pleasant subject and many delay this all-important aspect for what will eventually happen to all of us.
Having a pre-set arrangement eases the burden on the family during that stressful time and allows them to focus on the memories.
For years, traditional burial was the route most people chose. Now, cremation is gaining in popularity for several reasons, including the price. Another advantage is preserving land space that is quickly becoming a premium commodity.
When investigating this option, one should always consider the person’s wishes and religious or cultural beliefs when discussing the possibility of cremation.
Cremation itself does cost less than burial in a cemetery, but there are more things to consider when dealing with the loss of a loved one.
So, what does cremation cost and how does it compare to burial? In addition, what other details are involved?
Let’s explore the differences.
Burial vs Cremation
Here are the differences to understand between Burial and Cremation before you make a decision on what is best for you and your family.
Having a family burial plot was a long-valued tradition for hundreds of years. In many cases, it still is, but now more families are spread over a larger distance. It may not be as convenient to have just one piece of land as the final resting spot for the entire family.
Purchasing a burial plot can be a great symbolic honor for your family. Some people object to the thought of their loved one, or themselves, being buried, but others very much embrace it. If the plot is far from most members of the family, they are limited in the times they can go and pay respects where their loved one is buried.
More people are starting to see the benefits of both ground burial and cremation.
Cremation is the process of reducing the physical body to a small amount of dust-like consistency. The body is put into a cremation chamber and using extreme heat; it becomes mostly pieces of bone. The process takes approximately two to three hours for an adult. This time takes into account the size and weight of the body along with the container it was placed in.
After the remains have cooled, any metal items remaining; such as bridgework, joint implants or even casket hardware are removed. The rest is turned into a fine powder and given to the family for final handling.
Cremation allows for the remains to be divided, stored and honored; however the family wishes.
While this method has increased over the years, it is important to remember that the process can obviously not be reversed. The decision needs to be thoroughly discussed and clearly documented, so there is no doubt at the appropriate time.
Direct cremation does not have the added expense of embalming, and the purchase of a casket is not required. Keep in mind, if you do want a funeral service with the casket, that cost is added and the cremation will take place afterward.
The Cremation Process
With the lower cost of cremation and the ease of storing the remains, the interest is growing; however, some people are still curious about the process.
The deceased will be picked up and taken to the funeral home. At this point, the identification process is started and strictly followed through the rest of the process.
While the paperwork is being finalized and the services are being planned, the body is placed in cold storage at a secure location. Cremation time varies but typically happens within 48 hours from the time of death.
At the time of cremation, the body is placed in the container the family has chosen. It may be constructed of cardboard, a wooden casket, or even a regular casket that is approved for cremation. You are unable to use a metal casket.
The identification paperwork is checked again before proceeding with the cremation. Upon completion, the cooling process begins, and the powder remains are provided to the family.
End of Life Planning–The Whole Cost
When pre-planning for the financial responsibility of final arrangements, it is more than just a burial versus cremation. There are other services and fees included. The total cost, with either option, depends greatly on which of those services you include.
Along with the disposition of the body, most people do want some type of memorial service. This can take place as a viewing, wake, funeral service or a combination of all three. Each option carries added fees depending on the funeral home and how they structure their packages.
You can choose a private viewing for just family and close friends. A public viewing, or wake, is open to anyone and since the funeral home has to make arrangements and announce it, the cost does increase.
The cost of just the cremation process itself is about $1,000. This does not include the urn or any of the above-mentioned services. The average cost of a burial, including the funeral, is typically over $10,000.
Based on these numbers alone, it is easy to see the savings in going with cremation.
Additional Cremation Cost
As mentioned above, the remains of your loved one will need a final resting place. Some people prefer to have their ashes spread over a certain spot that is dear to them or dropped from a plane or into a body of water. Others prefer to have them entombed in a mausoleum.
For those, however, that wish to have their remains preserved in the possession of a loved one, then an urn or some other type of vessel is needed to hold them.
There are many options for beautiful urns to house their remains. They are offered in a variety of designs for unique taste and some offer a shadow-box to hold precious mementos and others have a place for a photograph.
If there are any unique transportation requirements for either the body or the remains, this will affect the total cost. Also, any obituary services are extra. You may choose to run an obituary in a local newspaper or have an online memorial.
How to Pay for Your Final Arrangements
Pre-planning is essential, not only for securing the wishes of your loved one but also to ensure the monies are available for everything that is desired.
The caring professionals at the funeral home can design the exact package that will fit your needs. You can then start to put money away to cover the cost. The funds from insurance policies can also be allocated for this expense.
If you have been unable to do either of those, ask to see if financing is an option. This can help reduce the immediate stress and cost for whichever option you choose. However, make sure you understand all the terms and fees on the financing paperwork as it is not always the best way to go.
We all want to do our best to honor our loved ones when they pass.
The recent trend in moving towards cremation is a way to reduce overall costs and still have a treasured part of the deceased to hold onto.
Cremation cost makes the choice easier and reduces the stress in making the final arrangements.
For more information on how we can help with your pre-planning or arrangement needs, please contact us.