death and death care are still little discussed subjects, which means that
many people are faced with a death and arranging a funeral with very little
preparation. This short guide to arranging a funeral or cremation
in Kentucky, aims to outline some of the basic decisions you need to make.
We also aim to answer some of the questions you may have about laws and
regulations in Kentucky that govern funeral homes and how they sell funeral
services and products.
The Federal Trade Commission’s
[FTC] ‘Funeral Rule’ gives you some protection as a funeral consumer and
it is important to know your rights. Check out our article on the
FTC Funeral Rule for more information.
conduct some quick research
about funeral homes, funeral services and funeral prices in Kentucky.
This guide has been put together to help you if you are researching about
arranging a funeral and need some guidance.
Choosing a Funeral Home in Kentucky
Probably one of the first decisions
you are going to have to make is which funeral home to use. If the
family death was sudden and unexpected, you can find yourself having to
make this decision without much consultation. Choosing the ‘right’
funeral home is very important. Traditionally many families just
elected to use the funeral home that was recommended (by the hospital,
clergy, family etc.) or a funeral home locally that they knew of.
Today this is changing somewhat.
Families may have different needs and the budget for a funeral can be a
determining factor. Some families turn to the Internet to
You can visit our directory
of funeral homes in Kentucky to locate a funeral home. All funeral
homes are licensed by the Kentucky Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors.
Finding low cost funeral or
cremation services in Kentucky
The reality today is that many
families in Kentucky need to consider the cost of a funeral before committing
to which funeral home to select. More and more families are concerned
about keeping funeral expenses affordable, and question why they should
pay thousands of dollars for a funeral service when a dignified funeral
can be achieved for a fraction of the cost!
You will find that more funeral
homes in Kentucky are openly disclosing prices, and indeed according to
the FTC rule they MUST provide you with a general price list if you make
an inquiry (in person or by phone). Funeral prices can, and do, vary
significantly so if you need a cheaper funeral optio you really do need
to do some research.
If you are concerned about
funeral costs, the DFS Memorials providers in Kentucky offer low cost cremation
services and affordable burial services. All DFS Memorials providers
guarantee to offer a ‘best value’ direct cremation package.
What average funeral costs can
I expect in Kentucky?
The average cost of a traditional
funeral with a burial service costs $7,755, however, this does NOT include
any cemetery costs. You can, of course, pay less or more than this
depending upon the funeral home and incremental services you select.
The average cost of a cremation
in Kentucky is much less, and this is why the cremation rate is now increasing.
A cremation with a service is likely to cost upwards of $3,000 but a simple
cremation without a service (known as a direct cremation or immediate cremation)
can cost as little as $1,075.
memorial service is generally
conducted after the cremation has been performed and the cremation urn
containing the ashes can be present during the memorial service.
This also means the memorial service does not have to be conducted at a
funeral home. In fact it can be conducted at any venue or location
of your choice. These types of services, often referred to now as
‘Life Celebrations’, are becoming more popular. They allow for a
greater flexibility in personalization and can save money as you can arrange
to hold the service in a community venue, in your church or even outdoors.
Cremation services in Kentucky
Kentucky still has one of the
lowest cremation rates but this is changing today. A cremation is
considered a more environmentally-friendly means of disposition, plus it
costs a lot less than a traditional burial. For a cremation to be
performed a ‘cremation authorization form’ must be signed by the immediate
next-of-kin. You can also sign this form to pre-arrange your own
A cremation with a service
is very similar to a traditional funeral, only the body is transferred
to the crematory after the service instead of the cemetery. A cremation
Direct cremation services in
If you want the simplest and
least expensive cremation service, then a direct cremation is what you
require. A direct cremation can also be referred to as a ‘simple’
or ‘basic’ cremation. It is a trade term that refers to a minimal
service of collecting the deceased and immediately cremating the body in
a basic container (after the legal waiting period to cremate – generally
24 hours). The cremated remains are then returned to the family in
a temporary urn.
A direct cremation can be
conducted in Louisville and Lexington for under $1,200 (excluding death
certificates & cremation permit). It is wise to do some price
comparisons to ensure you have found an affordable cremation provider.
But do ensure you are comparing like-for-like cremation services and packages.
Kentucky Funeral legislation
– laws governing home death care, embalming & casket sales
It is legal in Kentucky to conduct
your own home funeral and you do not need to employ the services of a funeral
director. Embalming is NOT required by law, although some funeral
homes will have policies that stipulate embalming is required if they are
conducting a public viewing/open casket service.
You do have the right in
Kentucky to purchase a casket from a third-party casket seller, and your
funeral home must accept your casket without charging you a surcharge.
Burial vaults are also NOT required by law in Kentucky, however, many cemeteries
(if not most) will insist on a burial vault/liner for a cemetery plot.
It does reinforce the grave plot and helps to prevent subsidence.
Requiring burial vaults helps the cemetery maintain the integrity of their
grounds, and is also a great additional revenue generator!
the terms for transferring or
cancelling a prepaid contract. If you move to another area or state,
it is not always a simple task to transfer your contract. It may
be worth considering preplanning your funeral requirements and putting
aside the required funds in a POD account. Read our article for more
information about safely putting money aside for a funeral.
Purchasing prepaid funeral plans
The sale of pre-need funeral
contracts is governed by Kentucky legislation. Only an agent registered
with the Kentucky Attorney General (at least 30 days prior to selling any
contracts) can sell prepaid funeral plans, and all funds are deposited
into a trust fund.
You should very carefully
consider prepaying any funeral plan. It has been known for trusts
to be mismanaged and funds lost, plus you need to check
Can you donate your body to
science in Kentucky?
Yes, you can opt to donate your
whole body to science upon your death (or your next of kin may make this
decision on your death). The University of Kentucky Body Bequeathal
Program accepts anatomical gifts. There may be a small charge for
the transportation, and/or the interment of the remains after the donation.
Alternatively you can donate via a national body donation program.
This can sometimes be a ‘no cost’ cremation alternative, as there are no
costs attached with some of these programs, and the cremated remains are
returned to the family within a few weeks.
If you have any further questions
about licensing of funeral homes and funeral legislation in Kentucky, you
can contact the Kentucky Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors, 8412
Westport Road, Louisville, KY 4024 Phone: (502) 426-4589.
If you have a question about
arranging a funeral or cremation that we have not answered here, please
contact us and we will endeavor 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 Kentucky
Memorials – Low cost funeral & cremation providers in Kentucky