planning guide from US Funerals Online aims to answer some of the immediate
questions you may have when arranging a funeral or cremation in Idaho.
Funeral laws differ by state and this can affect aspects of what you can
legally do when making funeral arrangements. We have provided an
overview of your legal rights, and some guidance on how to save money when
arranging a funeral.
funeral service provider can
be determined by both your location and what kind of funeral services you
Choosing a funeral home in Idaho
For most families, choosing
the funeral home or cremation services provider is the first step in making
funeral arrangements. However, you can legally conduct your own funeral
arrangements if you so wish in Idaho and you do not legally have to employ
the services of a funeral director.
All funeral service providers
must be licensed and there are in the region of 120 funeral homes and mortuaries
in Idaho so you need to consider what criteria can help you select the
right funeral home for your needs. Selecting a
Are you looking for a traditional
funeral or burial service? Or are you seeking something more contemporary?
Is the cost of the funeral an issue, are you working to a tight budget
and looking to save money where you can on funeral expenses? Obviously
having some clear ideas of what you do need from a funeral home helps you
make the decision of which funeral home is right for you. It can
really help you to narrow down which funeral services provider to select
by clearly outlining what your needs are before you start contacting funeral
Word of mouth recommendations
or referrals from family or friends have long been a good place to start.
However, if you are not in a position to benefit from a sound referral,
or you are seeking something specific, you may have to resort to contacting
funeral homes yourself. Usually people look for a reputable funeral
business in their own area, but it is always advisable to check with more
than one funeral home and compare services and prices for a funeral or
What does an average funeral
cost in Idaho?
The average cost of a funeral
in the U.S. is $7,045 (according to the NFDA - National Association of
Funeral Directors 2012), and this does not include any cemetery fees.
This generally means that the full cost of a funeral can amount to nearer
to $9,000 when cemetery fees are included. The cost for a traditional burial
is largely dependent on the type of casket you select and the final cost
of your cemetery plot and grave marker. The cost for a funeral
can be broken down into several components – the funeral director’s professional
service charges, casket, embalming, transportation and ancillary costs
such as flowers, music, prayer cards, obituary etc.
Prices do vary between funeral
service providers for the exact same service therefore it is important
that you DO shop around and compare funeral prices between more than one
funeral home. That way you can be sure that you have a “best value”
All funeral homes in Idaho
must have a general price list (GPL) that outlines their service charges
and funeral merchandise prices. They must provide a copy of their
GPL when they quote you a price according to the Federal Trade Commission’s
‘The Funeral Rule’.
How much does a cremation cost
A typical cremation funeral
service will cost in the region of $3,000 (depending upon the ancillary
services/products you select). This is the type of cremation service
that replaces a full traditional funeral, however, it is possible to arrange
a simple cremation for considerably less than this, as outlined below in
the section on direct cremation.
Who is responsible to pay for
funeral costs in Idaho?
If you have not made provision
in a funeral plan, a POD account, life insurance or sufficient funds made
accessible to surviving family, then your next of kin (making the funeral
arrangements) will become liable for the funeral expenses. Check
out our Library article on ‘What
is my best and safest option for putting aside money for a funeral?’
cremation and then conducting
their own memorial services once the cremated remains are returned to the
Arranging a direct cremation
A direct cremation can be arranged
in some cities in Idaho for around $1,200. This is the least expensive
cremation option for families. A direct cremation means that there
are no services, the cremation goes ahead once all the documentation has
been completed and then the cremated remains are returned to the family
in a temporary container. Incremental options, such as a private
family viewing or an upgraded cremation urn, can be added to a basic direct
cremation package for an additional fee. This is proving a no fuss,
affordable and efficient way to manage a disposition when a death occurs.
Many families today are opting for a direct
How do I decide between a burial
or a cremation in Idaho?
Choosing burial or cremation
is a personal choice. If the deceased left explicit wishes
this can simplify decisions otherwise surviving family may have to make
a decision. Funds for the funeral service can play a significant
role in whether a burial or cremation is chosen these days as cremation
is significantly cheaper than a traditional burial service. Having
a pre-existing cemetery plot can be an important aspect as burial plots
can be quite expensive to purchase these days. If cremation is chosen,
a cremation authorization form will need to be signed by the immediate
next of kin for a cremation to proceed. Green burial is also another
option that can be considered as an eco-friendly disposition. If
you are unsure whether to choose between burial or cremation, talk to family
and friends, and discuss the decision with your funeral director.
What legally do I need to know
Each state has its own laws
governing cremation procedures. A crematory and/or funeral home must
abide by certain practice standards in disposing of human remains by cremation.
However, certain regulations can vary by state. In Idaho a cremation
can only be performed once a ‘Cremation Authorization Form’ has been signed
by the legal next of kin and the coroner has issued the cremation permit.
Generally there is a mandatory waiting period of 24 hours before a cremation
can proceed but this is not enforced in Idaho. That being said, it
usually takes about 3 days to make all the necessary arrangements and complete
the paperwork but an expedited service can be arranged if required.
A casket is NOT required
by law for a cremation. All that is required is a suitable rigid
container. A cremation container is usually a reinforced cardboard
or plywood box. If you wish to hold a funeral service before
the cremation, some funeral homes offer rental caskets.
What can we do with the cremated
remains? Laws for ash scattering in Idaho
Cremated remains can be interred
in a grave plot or cremation niche, stored in a cremation urn at home or
scattered. There are also today a multitude of creative cremation
artifacts that can be created from cremation ashes, such as cremation diamonds,
glass jewelry, birdbaths, and portraits to name but a few. Check
out our Ash Scattering section for
You can scatter cremated
remains in a designated memorial scattering garden, on private land (with
the landowners consent) or on many public and state lands. If considering
scattering on public or municipal land you should check local zoning ordinance
first. There is, however, no ‘cremains police’ and cremated remains
are sterile organic matter so they pose no threat to the environment.
As long as you use safe scattering techniques, there really should be no
concern about scattering ashes into the atmosphere.
Does the deceased have to be
There is no legal requirement,
or state law, stipulating that the deceased has to be embalmed. Idaho
law requires that a body be refrigerated or embalmed if the final disposition
is not conducted within 24 hours. If the deceased needs shipping
embalming may be required, or if death was due to a communicable disease
and a viewing is being held. Embalming is required if a public service
is to be held and the deceased would be removed from refrigeration for
a period exceeding 6 hours.
Can I conduct a home funeral
Conducting your own ‘home funeral’
is a very personal way of saying goodbye. It is perfectly legal to
conduct a home funeral in Idaho, without requiring the services of a funeral
director. This would mean that you would need to file the death certificate
and obtain a burial or cremation permit.
If you wish to bury your
loved one at home on your own land and establish a family cemetery, you
must first check with the local planning commission about any local zoning.
You would need to draw up a map of the property showing the burial ground
and file it with the property deed and provide disclosure of the burial
if you sell the property.
How do I get a death certificate
The death certificate is generally
prepared and filed by the funeral director. In Idaho it must be filed
with a local registrar within 5 days after the death and before the cremation
or burial takes place. [Statute § 39-260] The funeral director will
need all the personal information about the deceased in order to file the
death certificate. He can order you multiple copies (if required
for settling the deceased’s estate) or you can order additional copies
yourself at a later date. The original death certificate is filed
in the county where the death occurred.
You can obtain a certified
copy of a death certificate either online, by phone, by mail or in person
from Idaho’s Department of Health and Welfare. The fee for a copy
of a death certificate is $14.00. In person a copy can be obtained
within about 40 minutes, regular mail takes 5-7 days and online it takes
2 days to be processed and then the shipping time. Expedited shipping
can be arranged.
You do need to produce suitable
ID in order to order copies of a person’s death certificate. You
must be the deceased person’s next of kin, a legal representative of the
deceased or family members, a government agency, or an investigator.
If the death occurred over 50 years ago, anyone can order a copy of the
Purchasing a casket or grave
marker in Idaho
We have comprehensive and detailed
guides to buying a casket or grave marker, so I would recommend you visit
these sections for more detailed information. Use the links on the
left-hand side. Even though Idaho law states that only licensed funeral
homes can sell caskets (Idaho Stature §§ 54-1102 and 54-1103),
Federal law (and the ‘Funeral Rule’) requires a funeral home to accept
a casket you purchased from a third-party source, and your funeral home
cannot charge a fee for this.
Can I pre-plan a funeral in
Yes, and pre-planning your funeral
is a great way to save surviving family the stress of making funeral decisions,
and finding the money to pay for a funeral. You can make pre-need
funeral arrangements direct with a funeral home or purchase burial insurance.
You should check whether a preneed contract is ‘guaranteed’ or ‘non-guaranteed’
to cover the full costs of the funeral at a later date
What you DO need to consider
is that funeral prices could indeed be coming down. Funeral companies
promote preplanning on the basis that it “locks into today’s prices”, but
with the cremation trend increasing, and more funeral homes competing for
the ‘affordable’ funeral market – the reality is that the funeral costs
are not as ‘fixed’ as they once were.
Another funeral planning
alternative is to document your wishes and put aside the appropriate funds
in a POD Payable on Death account or a Totten Trust. This enables
family to access the funds at the time of need and make the funeral arrangements,
but you keep in control of your monies and any accrued interest.
Read more in our article ‘What is my best and safest option for putting
aside money for a funeral’.
Can I donate my body to science
Yes, donating your body to science
can be a great way to meet your end-of-life needs. You provide a
‘gift’ to society and eliminate funeral costs! MedCure offer whole
body donation and take care of everything for you. You can
pre-register your interest to donate if you wish, which can help speed
the process when a death occurs. Check out our Body
Veterans Funerals in Idaho
Veterans are entitled to certain
benefits – namely a free cemetery plot, grave marker and US flag.
A copy of the DD214 discharge papers are required to claim these benefits
and you would need to contact the local VA office. In many cases
the funeral director will assist you with this, or undertake it on your
behalf. The VA cemetery in Boise has space for both casketed and
How can I transport a loved
one either back to, or from, Idaho after death?
If a loved one needs to be transported
back to a state or country of origin following their death in Idaho, you
will need the services of a funeral director who can arrange funeral shipping
for you. This generally needs a funeral professional who can coordinate
arrangements at the place of death and wherever the body is being shipped
If transporting a loved one
between states in the United States you have the option of flying the body,
or transporting the body by land. Certain regulations do apply on
moving a body, and it is likely that embalming will be required as well
as specific containers to hold the casket. Shipping a body can be
quite expensive, so the other alternative you have is to have the body
cremated at the place of death, and then transport back the cremated remains.
Visit our section on Funeral
Shipping to read more.
amount is set that the
county or state will pay for pauper burial assistance. The state
is responsible for the disposition of indigents or any individual who becomes
a responsibility of Idaho. You need to contact your local County
human services or social services to find out what help may be available.
A simple cremation is the least expensive disposition option.
The deceased had no life insurance
– what do I do if I cannot afford a funeral?
If you find yourself liable
to make funeral arrangements for a lost loved one, and you do not have
sufficient funds, this can be very distressing. There is very limited
financial aid for funerals and this varies by county. In such cases
the coroner may make arrangements with a funeral home and costs should
not exceed the actual minimal cost of a burial or cremation. Generally
Who should I contact if I have
a complaint about a funeral home in Idaho?
Hopefully you will find the
services of your funeral home more than adequate, as most funeral professionals
are very dedicated in their vocation. Unfortunately though, it does
sometimes happen that you may have a complaint or grievance with a funeral
home and you do not manage to resolve it directly with the funeral director.
In this case you should make your complaint in writing to the Idaho Board
of Morticians who regulates and licenses funeral businesses in Idaho.
They can be contacted at: Bureau of Occupational Licenses, 700 West
State Street, PO Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720.
Another useful consumer resource
is the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Idaho Inc. PO Box 1919, Boise ID 83701
(an affiliate of the Funeral Consumers Alliance).
I hope this guide has helped
to answer some of your immediate questions about making funeral arrangements.
Please check out our Library/info section for our full catalogue of resources
to help you through the process of arranging a funeral. Feel free
to contact us if we can be of any assistance with any further questions
you may have.
||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.
Revised: January 5th
Homes in Idaho
Cost Funeral & Cremation Providers in Idaho