When a family member or loved one dies, the last thing people are thinking about is the cost. Grief stricken survivors may be surprised to find out how much a funeral costs. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the average price of a funeral in America is around $6,500. These costs often go up with the additional expenses of purchasing a headstone or grave marker. In tough economic times it may be difficult for the average family to have enough money to bury their dearly departed loved one. More people are choosing to be cremated because cremation costs are less expensive and it allows a more flexible time for the memorial service.
Why Cremation is Becoming More Popular
Cremation is growing in popularity throughout the nation for a variety of reasons. Cremation costs are the primary reason for this, but there are other advantages that include:
- The memorial service can be scheduled at a much later date. This gives out of town family members more time to make hotel and flight arrangements so they can attend the service.
- The family can choose where they want to hold the service rather than having it near the cemetery.
- Cremation is friendlier to the environment.
- Loved ones can keep the ashes or scatter them in a special place that had meaning to the deceased, such as on the ocean or where they spent their honeymoon.
- It is not necessary to purchase a casket or headstone
The cremation costs may be less because a funeral is not always held. That means there is no need for embalming services for the family viewing or during a wake. Average cremation costs can range between $700 to $1,100 depending upon the region. Most densely populated areas tend to have higher cremation costs.
How to Choose a Cremation Service
Anyone who has experienced a death in the family knows that making preparations ahead of time can ease their burden. When choosing a crematorium service there are some options to consider:
- Cremation With a Traditional Funeral—Some services allow visitors to view the deceased and give their final goodbyes. This often helps with the grieving process and personalized photographs or mementos can be displayed at the funeral.
- Cremation With a Memorial Service—The cremation will usually take place before the memorial service. The service can be held at the funeral home, a synagogue or any other place the family chooses.
Ask where the cremation will actually take place as some funeral establishments sub-contract this out to a third party. Find out if the crematorium service will assist in applying for death benefits. Veterans may be entitled to have a marker placed at the burial vault. Some crematoriums understand that going to a funeral home can be an emotionally trying experience. They may offer to have a licensed mortician meet with the family at their home. The cremation costs might be more expensive, but it may be worth it to the emotional well-being of the family members.