funeral is no easy task. This short guide is aimed at helping you
to understand the basic elements and legislation pertaining to arranging
a burial or cremation in Ohio, and help assist you find the right funeral
provider for your needs.
Funeral homes in Ohio
There are in the region of 1,000
licensed funeral homes in the state of Ohio, and around 620+ cemeteries,
crematories and memorial gardens. So to help you decide what kind
of funeral provider you need, you will firstly have to decide on some basic
questions. Are you looking for a burial or a cremation? Are you working
to a budget for your funeral expenses? Is there any pre-need funeral
plan existing, or are you thinking of purchasing a funeral plan?
Does the family own any cemetery property?
Most people tend to choose
a funeral home based on experience or a referral. If you are reading
this guide it is likely that you have had no prior experience of making
funeral arrangements, or you are looking for something different.
Often this can be driven today by the costs for funeral services, and many
folks turn to the Internet to research alternative, and cheaper options
for making disposition arrangements.
items such as caskets, cemetery
plots and grave markers are needed. The National Association of Funeral
Directors (NFDA) put the average cost of a funeral at $7,045 (2012).
A full traditional burial can cost much more than this, and a cremation
will cost much less. A simple direct cremation (where no service
is provided) can be obtained in Cincinnati, OH for as little as $699.
What is the cost of a funeral
or cremation in Ohio?
When most people are looking
online these days, this is the million-dollar question they are seeking
to answer. And unfortunately many within the funeral industry choose
NOT to disclose prices on their websites or in their advertising.
The cost for a burial or
a cremation can vary significantly, and this will depend upon exactly where
you live, and what kind of services you require. Burials are more
expensive than cremations because more expensive
If funeral expenses are a
concern and you simply require a basic direct cremation, then you can contact
your local Ohio DFS Memorials representative to arrange a no-fuss direct
Do you want a burial or cremation?
Although we have a strong tradition
of burial in Ohio, cremation is really becoming much more popular now and
accounts for around 25% of all funerals. A number of criteria can
affect whether you chose a burial or a cremation. What were the deceased
wishes? Does the family already own cemetery property? And what finances
are available to pay for the funeral?
In some of the metro areas,
space has become limited in some cemeteries, and so driving up the cost
of burial plots. Cremation can essentially work out much cheaper,
even if you do go ahead with a viewing and memorial service, as you can
still save on the casket and the burial plot. This alone can save
several thousand dollars. A full-service cremation is likely to cost
somewhere between $2,000 and $4,000 in Ohio.
Is embalming required in Ohio?
Ohio law does NOT require embalming
whether you chose a burial or a cremation. However, a funeral director
may advise embalming if a viewing is requested. Again, this may depend
upon how soon you can go ahead with the actual funeral service. If
you are proceeding with a speedy funeral service, with no open-casket viewing
or visitation, then do not let a funeral director coerce you into spending
extra on embalming if you do not wish to have your loved one embalmed.
casket retailer, and have it
delivered to your chosen funeral home and they cannot refuse to accept
it, or add a surcharge for handling a third-party casket.
What options do you have for
purchasing a casket in Ohio?
You do have the right to purchase
a casket from a third-party seller. What does this mean? The
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) brought in a law called the ‘Funeral Rule’
to help protect consumers’ rights in the purchase of funeral products and
services. It stops funeral homes insisting you purchase a casket
from them at an inflated price. Historically, this used to be how
funeral homes made a large mark-up.
You can now buy a casket
online, or from a local
Buying from a third-party
can save enormously on costs, but do be careful that you are purchasing
from a reputable supplier. Many third-party sellers do offer reliable
next-day delivery and this single purchase alone can save you a significant
chunk on your funeral costs.
Can I preplan a funeral in Ohio,
and what rules govern the sale of funeral insurance plans?
Preplanning a funeral is the
best way to remove the financial and emotional burden from surviving family.
Because we all shy away from discussing death in our culture, too often
people avoid making any plans, and then family are left to work out all
the details themselves. Today, when many families are struggling
financially, it can be even more important to put plans in place.
In Ohio preneed funeral contracts
can only be sold by licensed funeral directors, cemeterians and their agents
and employees. Ohio state law will only permit preneed plans to be
funded through a trust fund. This means the monies you pay for your
funeral plan are held in trust. If you chose to cancel your plan, you are
entitled to 90% of the principal to be refunded and no less than 80% of
the interest accrued. Most funds held in trust can be moved to another
funeral provider should you move area.
Another option is to make
your own funeral plan and put funds aside in a Totten Trust, this is a
POD account (payable-on-death), and means the designated beneficiary in
your family can easily draw out the funds. This can be a simple and
cost-effective way to put a provision in place, which you are in control
of, and can change as and when when you desire. You are in complete
control of your own finances and any interest that may accrue.
Ohio law that licenses embalmers
funeral directors and crematories, states that there is nothing to prohibit
the “scattering of cremated remains over water or by air or in a dedicated
area at a cemetery used exclusively for the scattering on the ground”.
What are the laws for scattering
ashes in Ohio?
Ash scattering is becoming a
much more popular activity as cremation gains popularity. And, of
course, Ohio has many beautiful land and water areas over which to disperse
cremated remains. You can scatter ashes on many public lands without needing
any kind of permit. Although if you are opting to conduct an ash scattering
in public land such as state parks or city parks, it would be advisable
to ensure you obtain the appropriate governmental agency approval. You
should seek consent to scatter ashes on any private lands, unless this
is land you own yourself. Division (D)(1) of chapter 4717.27 of
A top tip is not to rush
to scatter remains, and/or keep a small portion of the ashes, as the decision
to scatter is an irreversible one. You can either do it yourself,
which is the most cost-effective way to conduct a memorable ash scattering
service. Or you can use the services of an agent. There are
numerous ash scattering organizations that will offer aerial, land and
water scattering, either attended or unattended. Prices for these
services can vary considerably, but as a rough guide you can expect to
pay around $125 for an unattended Lake Erie scattering to around $450 for
an attended scattering for up to 6 people.
You can, of course, conduct
your own ashes over water burial in Lake Erie if you have access to your
own vessel. Visit our page on Ash Scattering for further advice about
how to scatter ashes.
What help is available towards
funeral expenses in Ohio?
It is extremely distressing
to be faced with arranging a funeral when you are experiencing financial
difficulties. There generally are no credit terms available from a funeral
home, other than accepting a credit card for full payment. Social Security
can pay $255 towards funeral expenses if you qualify but the process for
applying can be onerous. In every state, people without sufficient
funds do pass away, and local municipal governance usually does allow a
small budget to manage this. You may need to approach your local
welfare and public health departments. There are also charity and
community associations that can sometimes assist, even if just to help
provide support and communicate with agencies on your behalf.
Veterans and their spouses
are entitled to some help with funeral expenses from the Department
of Veterans Affairs (VA). This entitlement includes such
things as a cemetery plot at a national or state veteran cemetery, the
opening and closing of the gravesite, and a grave marker.
alliances with body donation
programs that enable them to offer ‘no cost’ cremation options.
Can I donate my body to science
Yes, if you so choose you can
donate your body to science upon your death, or your next-of-kin may do
so on your behalf. This is what is otherwise known as an anatomical
donation. There are a number of national organizations that accept
body donations and handle the whole process for you. US Funerals
Online is affiliated with Medcure who offer a nationwide body donation
program. To find out more visit our page on whole body donation.
A number of funeral homes in Ohio have
Alternatively you may arrange
directly with Ohio State University, Division of Anatomy, The University
of Toledo, Wright State University, Ohio University College, Northeast
Ohio Medical University, and the University of Cincinnati.
What do I do if my loved one
has died away from Ohio?
As we all travel more the number
of people dying away from their home state is growing. If a loved
one dies away from Ohio you need to decide if you plan to ship the body
back for a funeral. Mortuary shipping can be expensive, costing upwards
of $3,000 just for the professional services to arrange the shipping, without
the shipping fee. For this reason many choose to arrange a direct
cremation at the place of death and ship the cremated remains back to Ohio.
Where do I turn to if I have
a complaint about funeral services or products I have purchased?
Purchasing funeral services
and merchandise is just like any other consumer market, and sometimes things
do go wrong. If you have a grievance about the service or merchandise
you have purchased you should attempt to resolve it with the funeral home
concerned in the first instance.
If you need to take matters
further, you should contact the Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors.
They deal with around 110 complaints a year so they aim to resolve your
complaint within a 3-6 month time span. They cannot recover any monies
on your behalf but can take action against a funeral director if state
funeral legislation has been violated.
The State of Ohio Board of
Embalmers and Funeral Directors can be reached 77 South High Street, 16th
Floor, Columbus, OH, 43215.
We hope this Ohio funeral
guide has answered some of your basic questions about arranging a funeral
or cremation. If you visit our Library/Info section you will see
that we have a large funeral resource catalogue where you may find further
information to assist you. Should you have any further questions please
||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.
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