funeral or cremation service is no easy task, especially with no prior
experience. Fortunately the Internet has made it easier than ever
before to make funeral arrangements. If you have arrived at this
article in search of guidance and resources to help you plan a funeral
in the state of Arkansas, then the information contained below should assist
you with some of the key decisions you need to make.
This decision is the next crucial
decision to be made. Although a funeral home can collect the deceased from
the place of death without the family having decided on burial or cremation,
this single choice may affect which funeral services provider you choose.
Selecting a funeral home in
One of the first decisions to
be made when a death occurs is choosing a funeral services provider.
Traditionally many families just went with their nearest funeral home,
or opted for a local funeral home that was recommended. Today this
is changing as families have become more discerning funeral consumers and
may have different funeral needs.
If you have not yet selected
a funeral home in Arkansas, you can use our funeral directory to locate
a funeral services provider.
Do you require a burial or cremation?
Choosing between burial or
cremation is a personal choice, but these days it can be governed as much
by cost as by the family (or deceased’s) wishes.
A traditional funeral costs
significantly more than a cremation, so opting for cremation can save a
family thousands of dollars in funeral expenses. Cremation is gaining
popularity in Arkansas (as it is across the United States) because families’
funeral decisions are more often governed by how much they can afford today.
Cremation laws in Arkansas
Cremation is regulated across
the United States but each state also has its own state laws. Before
the deceased can be cremated, a legal ‘waiting period’ is required.
This waiting period is 24 hours. Embalming is NOT required prior
to a cremation in Arkansas, and the deceased can be stored for up to 48
hours without any embalming or refrigeration, prior to cremation.
An ‘authorizing agent’ must
sign the cremation authorization documentation before a cremation is conducted.
The authorizing agent is generally the next of kin, but the law in Arkansas
has now changed and you can authorize your own cremation (when preplanning
your funeral arrangements) by signing the necessary forms. This can
save family the issue of making this decision, and can simplify the process
when the time comes.
The authorizing agent must
specify how the cremated remains should be disposed of, and according to
Arkansas statutes, if the authorizing agent has not made arrangements for
the disposition of the cremated remains within 60 days, the cremation authority
may do so.
which is also the least expensive
type of cremation service, then you need to ask for a ‘direct cremation’.
This is the industry term for a simple, basic or immediate cremation without
any services. The deceased is collected, transferred to the crematory,
cremated in a basic container and then the cremated remains returned to
the family in a temporary urn.
Cremation services in Arkansas
A cremation with a service is
performed very similar to a traditional funeral, only the body is transferred
to the crematory rather than the cemetery, after the service. Opting
for cremation eliminates the need for an expensive casket, embalming, a
grave plot and burial vault. These savings alone can save you thousands
of dollars. If you still wish to have an open casket viewing or service
before a cremation, it is possible to rent a casket for this purpose.
Direct cremation in Arkansas
If you wish to have a simple
cremation without a service
What do cremation services cost
This is an important question
that many families turn to the Internet to find out. After all, we
shop for most products and services by comparing prices and seeking out
the ‘best’ deal, so why should purchasing a funeral differ? The reality
is that too many families are feeling the burden of the poor economy over
the past few years, and more than ever need to find affordable funeral
services in Arkansas.
A basic direct cremation
can cost anything between $595 and $3,000, depending upon the funeral services
provider you choose and where in Arkansas you live.
How much does a funeral cost
This is a question that is not
easy to answer as it can depend very much on the details of the service
you require, what ancillary products and services you choose, whether you
purchase a casket from a third party and if you already have a grave plot.
The NFDA survey of 2012 quotes the average cost of a funeral at $7,755
(not including cemetery costs). It is possible to arrange a dignified
burial for less than this if you shop around and keep in control of the
ancillary items. A traditional funeral can be conducted for under
Finding a low cost cremation
provider in Arkansas
Shopping for a funeral is difficult.
It can be an emotional time, and you may not have the luxury of time to
reflect and make decisions. Too often a family chooses a funeral
home before inquiring about funeral prices as they feel it is ‘undignified’
to ask how much a funeral is going to cost.
A funeral can be a large
expense, and you would not buy a car without asking the salesman how much
it is. Do not feel uncomfortable asking about costs. The DFS
Memorials network has been set up especially to help families who need
a low cost cremation or an affordable funeral. The network comprises
of local funeral homes that disclose price and offer affordable services.
It takes the hassle out of shopping around.
The DFS Memorials provider
in Little Rock covers the whole of Arkansas for low cost direct cremation.
A complete direct cremation costs $595. Call now for immediate assistance
on (501) 203-9717. This price for a basic cremation is extremely
competitive, and offered from a local family-owned funeral home.
What laws govern purchasing
a prepaid funeral plan in Arkansas?
Although the FTC regulates the
funeral industry, each state has different legislation that governs the
sale of preneed funeral contracts. In Arkansas any funeral home or
agent selling prepaid funeral plans must obtain a permit from the Insurance
Commissioner. The preneed contract is funded using a Trust fund,
insurance, or an annuity. Do make sure you carefully check the details
of any prepaid contract, especially the refund on cancellation or transfer
of the plan.
Do bear in mind that you
can safely put funds aside in a POD account that can be accessed by your
next of kin immediately at the time of death. It should also be considered
that the increasing cremation rate, and other changes in the funeral industry,
are potentially driving the average cost of a funeral down. Another
reason why locking in on today’s funeral prices may not potentially be
a wise ‘investment’!
There is no legal requirement
for the deceased to be embalmed. Some funeral homes in Arkansas may
have policies that stipulate they require a body to be embalmed for a public
viewing or open casket service. If you do not wish to have the deceased
embalmed, you need to carefully check a funeral home’s requirements before
committing to their services.
Arkansas Funeral legislation
– laws governing home death care, embalming & casket sales
Most families just go ahead
and use the services of a funeral home rather than consider handling the
death care themselves. However, it is perfectly legal for you to
conduct your own ‘home funeral’ if you so wish. In Arkansas there
is no legal stature dictating that you must employ a funeral director.
If you are interested in home death care and a family-directed funeral,
check out our library article on DIY Funerals. There are also organizations
that support families with home funerals in Arkansas.
In compliance with the FTC
‘Funeral Rule’ you can legally purchase a casket from a third party seller
in Arkansas, and do not have to purchase a casket from the funeral home.
If you choose to purchase a casket elsewhere, your funeral home MUST accept
your casket, and cannot charge you a handling fee.
Donating your whole body to
science in Arkansas
Donating your body to science
is an ethical alternative, and some also consider it a ‘no cost’ disposition
alternative. The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences operates
a body bequeathal program. Contact the University for more information
on 501-686-5180. Alternatively you can consider a national body donation
Cemeteries in Arkansas
To locate a cemetery in Arkansas
you can visit this useful site that lists all cemeteries by county.
Further Information about funerals
Arkansas State Board of Embalmer’s
and Funeral Directors licenses funeral homes in Arkansas. For more
information about rules, regulations and Arkansas statures, or if you have
a complaint about a funeral home in Arkansas, you can contact the State
If you have a general question
about arranging a funeral or cremation in Arkansas that we have failed
to address here, then please feel free to contact us and we will do our
best to assist you.
||Expert Author: Sara
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.
Homes in Arkansas
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