Arranging a Funeral or Cremation in Florida



Arranging a Funeral or Cremation in Florida

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Dealing with a bereavement is an extremely stressful time, especially so if you are responsible for making funeral arrangements.  This article aims to guide you through the process of arranging a funeral or cremation in Florida, hopefully answering many of the basic questions you may have.
There are some 1300+ funeral homes in the state of Florida, and some 300+ cemeteries, crematories and Memorial Parks.  No wonder then, that it can be a daunting decision choosing a funeral director to take care of your funeral needs.

Florida is the fourth most populated state in the United States, also being home to a large retirement population and a transient population seeking a warmer climate.  This does mean that an above-average percentage of deaths can occur in Florida, and many families are often left with the task of transporting a deceased family member back to their state of origin.

US Funerals Online provides a comprehensive directory of all funeral homes and funeral parlors in Florida.  In addition our web site is a resource guide of information and we can signpost you to reputable companies who service the funeral industry.  There are many ways to save money on arranging a funeral service in Florida, such as buying a casket online, buying a headstone direct, or even locating a cemetery plot.

The Cost of Funerals in Florida

The average cost of a funeral in Florida these days can amount to $6,500 or more.  For many Americans struggling under the burden of our economical recession, this can be an overwhelming financial liability, especially when the deceased has made no financial provisions.
Cemetery plots and burial vaults can add a significant additional cost to a funeral, with a cemetery plot in Florida costing anything between $600 - $3,000.  Florida law does not stipulate that you need to purchase a burial vault, although certain cemeteries may insist on it.  You should note that a cemetery company cannot require that you
Florida Funeral and Cremation Planning
purchase a vault or grave liner from their company.  It is recommended that you carefully check a cemetery’s regulations before committing to a cemetery plot.

The cremation rate is higher than average in Florida, with cremations in some areas starting from as little $495.  Cremation is increasingly popular with the baby boomer generation and many retirees, hence why it is more popular in the state of Florida.  It is also much easier to transport cremated remains from Florida to another state or country.

Arranging a Disposition in Florida

A licensed funeral director (licensed in Florida) can perform funeral services in Florida.  The funeral director will collect the deceased from the place of death and coordinate disposition arrangements.  A ‘direct disposal establishment’ that performs direct cremations can also directly supply cremation services.
You can apply to have a family burial plot on your own property.  Florida law allows for this on less than two acres of land and without any rights to sell burial spaces.  You need to check local deed restrictions and zoning regulations.  You can contact the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for further information.

Cremations in Florida

As mentioned earlier, the cremation rate in Florida is above-average and increasing.  Florida is one of the states in the U.S. where a direct cremation is cheaper than most other states.  A simple, direct cremation can be conducted in Florida for as little as $495.  Cremation is increasing in popularity as more people opt for simplified end-of-life rituals, at lower cost.  Also, it enables families to decide upon their own type of memorial service to be arranged at a time best-suited to all family members.  DFS Memorials of Florida can connect you to your nearest low-cost funeral and cremation provider.
Finding a low cost cremation provider in Florida

Ash Scatting in Florida

Florida law allows for ash scattering on any land, but not in any Florida fresh water.  You must check with the landowner as spreading ashes on private property could be construed as establishing a cemetery.  If in doubt, check with the Department of Environmental Protection.

Ash scattering at sea is more common in Florida as obviously the state has a beautiful coastline and the easy means by which to arrange a sea burial.  The United States Coast Guard issues permits for burials at sea within a three-mile limit.

The Neptune Reef is also situated just off the coast of Florida and provides a unique way to immortalize a loved one. 

Embalming in Florida

The state of Florida does NOT require embalming. Law stipulates that a body must be refrigerated, or embalmed, within 24 hours of death.
Funeral costs in Florida for traditional funerals or simple cremations

Pre-planning a Funeral in Florida

A pre-paid funeral plan or funeral insurance can be a great way to alleviate family of the decision process and financial burden of arranging funeral services.  Pre-need funeral plans in Florida are state regulated.  All pre-need plans must be secured by one of the following: a trust account, a letter of credit or an insurance policy.  There is a cap on the dollar amount a policy can be established for in conjunction with a pre-need plan, this amount is $12, 500.  A funeral director, or a licensed
broker, can sell pre-need contracts in Florida.

Obtaining a Death Certificate in Florida

The funeral home will ordinarily obtain the death certificate for you if they are handling your disposition arrangements.  If you need to obtain a death certificate, or further copies, you will need to contact the county office of the Department of Vital Statistics.

If a Death Occurs Outside of Florida, or the deceased needs transporting to another state

If your loved one has died away from home and you need to transport the body back, the funeral director will need a burial transit permit.  This is issued by the local registrar of the district, and can only be issued if there are no questions remaining about the cause of death.  If your loved one has died in Florida and you need to transport the body to another state, you may need the services of a funeral director specialized in funeral shipping.  This often requires the liaison of funeral directors, both where the body is being shipped from and to.
Transporting the deceased can become quite costly, sometimes amounting to as much as $3, 500 plus the shipping fee.  For this reason many people choose to arrange a cremation at the place of death, and arrange for the transportation of the cremated remains.

If you need further information about shipping a loved one from, or to, Florida – please visit our funeral shipping page.

Whole Body Donation in Florida

Another possible option for end-of-life choices today is to opt for a whole body donation to science.  This is a means by which your whole body can be donated as an ‘anatomical gift’.  If you wish to donate your body to science in Florida, you have the option of donating your body to one of the Universities or Medical Schools that accept donations, or you can make a whole body donation to Medcure, a national organization that manages whole body donation to establishments across the U.S.

Medcure facilities a whole body donation at no cost to the donor.  They arrange to collect the deceased, coordinate the donation, cremation of the remains and the return the remains to the family – usually within about 2 months.  Visit for more information

If you have a complaint about how a funeral has been conducted in Florida

It does not happen very often as the industry is now very well regulated, however, should you have cause to make a formal complaint about a funeral home, you can put your complaint in writing to:

The Division of Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services 
200 E. Gaines Street 
Florida 32399

If you need further information about the funeral industry in Florida contact

Florida Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association 
325 John Knox Road 
Ste. L103 
Florida 32303 

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Expert Author: Sara J. Marsden

Sara is the Editor in Chief for US Funerals Online and has been researching and writing about the death care industry in the US for the last 5 years.

Related Articles:

Directory of Florida Funeral Homes & Cremation Providers
Finding a low cost cremation provider in Florida
Low Cost Cremations in Southwest Florda
Last Revised:  07/24/2014
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