What to Consider when Arranging
a Funeral or Cremation in Utah.
Funeral-planning can be a daunting
task. There are multiple decisions to be made, and often within a
short time period and when family members are distressed. This brief
guide to arranging a funeral or cremation in Utah aims to provide a starting
point and give you an overview of some of the main things you need to consider
to help you navigate the process
service? Are you considering
cremation? Or is the cost an important aspect of how you can plan
Choosing a funeral home in Utah
One of the first things a family
generally needs to do, especially if a death has just occurred, is choose
a funeral director to handle the funeral services. However, you must
understand that in Utah you do NOT have to legally employ a funeral director.
You can, if you so choose, conduct your own home funeral.
There are in the region of
150 funeral homes and mortuaries in Utah so you need to consider what criteria
can help you select the right funeral home for your needs. Do you
require a traditional funeral or burial
Many people seek recommendations
or referrals from family or friends, and this is a very good way to get
information. 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 cremation.
What does an average funeral
cost in Utah?
The average cost of a funeral
is $7,045 (National Association of Funeral Directors 2012), and this does
not include any cemetery fees. However, the cost of a traditional
funeral in Utah can range between $2,500 and $6,755 according to the Funeral
Consumers Alliance of Utah (excluding casket and cemetery plot).
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.
A casket can cost between
$300 and $3,000 and a cemetery plot between $850 and $3,000. All
funeral homes 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’.
It is recommended that you
DO compare like-for-like, and shop around and compare funeral prices between
more than one funeral home. That way you can be sure that you have
a “best value” funeral service.
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.
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. It is possible to arrange
a cremation for considerably less than this.
Arranging a direct cremation
A direct cremation can be arranged
in Utah for $900. This is the least expensive cremation option for
How do I decide between burial
or cremation in Utah?
The decision of choosing a burial
or cremation is very much a personal choice. The deceased may
have expressed a preference or surviving family may have to make a decision.
Faith and/or funds for the funeral service can play a significant role
in whether a burial or cremation is chosen. Having a pre-existing
cemetery plot can be an important aspect as burial plots can be quite expensive
to purchase these days.
L.D.S Views on cremation
The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints is more understanding of cremation than many people realize.
Within the LDS Church there is an acceptance of cremation. It does
not generally encourage cremation, but neither does it view it as a sin.
Cremation is certainly on
the increase in the United States, and is becoming a popular funeral alternative
for many now. Green burials are also another option that can be considered.
If you are unsure whether
to choose between burial or cremation, talk to family and friends, and
discuss the decision with your funeral director and/or minister.
What you need to know about
cremation laws in Utah
Cremation is a very final disposition
of the body. Before a cremation can be performed the legal next of
kin must sign a ‘Cremation Authorization Form’ and a cremation permit is
obtained from the Medical Examiner. Although many states have a 24-hour
mandatory waiting period after death before a cremation can be conducted,
there is no requirement for this in Utah.
The body can be cremated
in a “suitable, rigid, combustible container” and a reinforced cardboard
box is most commonly used as a cremation container. There is NO requirement
or law that states you must use a casket.
Does the deceased have to be
There is no Utah state law stipulating
that embalming is required. However, some funeral homes may adopt
policies that insist upon embalming if a public viewing or service is being
held. If you proceed with a timely funeral, there is really no need
for embalming (and it can just be another fee to add to your funeral costs!)
What can I do with the cremated
remains and ash scattering laws in Utah?
We get asked this question more
often today as more families consider cremation and the greater flexibility
in memorialization that it offers. You can inter cremated remains
into an existing cemetery plot or a cremation niche, or scatter in a designated
memorial garden. Alternatively you can choose to keep the cremation
urn at home or scatter the cremated remains in a place of your choosing.
You do need the permission of the landowner to scatter on private land,
and you should check zoning ordinance for dispersing cremated remains over
any public land. Cremated remains are basically sterile organic matter
so pose no threat to the environment. Just ensure you practice safe
scattering tactics as outlined in our Ash
Purchasing a casket or grave
marker in Utah
We have comprehensive guides
to buying a casket or grave
marker, so I would recommend you visit these sections for more detailed
funeral in Utah is in fact coming
down. As cremation becomes more popular, at 40 – 60% less than the
cost of a traditional burial, and the market for affordable cremation services
grows, the cost for cremation services is coming down.
Can I pre-plan a funeral in
Preplanning is a great way to
save family the difficulties of making decisions and a prepaid plan can
alleviate surviving family of the financial burden of funeral costs – especially
when many families today are struggling to pay bills! You can make
pre-need funeral arrangements direct with a funeral home or purchase burial
What you DO need to consider
is that the cost of a
At US Funerals Online we
advocate for preplanning your needs whilst putting aside funds safely in
a POD account or Totten Trust. This keeps your money safe and you
in control. Read more in our article ‘What
is my best and safest option for putting aside money for a funeral’.
How do I get a copy of the death
In Utah a death certificate
must be filed within 5 days of the death with the local registrar. (Stature
§ 26-2-13.) The funeral director will generally complete this task,
and will order additional copies for you if you require them. [Multiple
copies of the death certificate are generally recommended to close down
the deceased’s estate]
If you need to acquire certified
copies of the death certificate at a later date, you can do so by contacting
the Utah Department of Health. The charges are $16.00 for the 1st
copy and $8.00 for any additional copies. You can request copies
online, by phone, by mail or by visiting the Office of Vital Records at
288 North 1460 West, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114 Phone: (801) 538-6105.
The office is open from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm and you will need ID to order
copies of a death certificate. Further information on obtaining a
death certificate in Utah is available here. https://silver.health.utah.gov/deathinfo.html
Can I donate my body to science
Yes, donating your body to science
can be a great way to ‘give back’ to society on your death. It can
also eliminate funeral expenses for surviving family. Most of the
national organizations that deal with full body donation handle everything
from the moment you notify them of the death, including collecting the
body, the donation, the free cremation and the return of the cremated remains
to the family a few weeks later. Check out our Body
How can I transport a loved
one either back to, or from, Utah after death?
If a loved one needs to be transported
back to a state or country of origin following their death in Utah, 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 U.S 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.
Who should I contact if I have
a complaint about a funeral home in Utah?
All funeral establishments are
licensed and if you have concerns or a complaint about a licensed funeral
home you can contact the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional
Licensing at 160 East 300 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111 Phone: (801)
Funeral Consumer Assistance
A number of organizations help
advocate for assisting and protecting consumers during the difficult process
of purchasing funeral products and services. The Funeral Consumers Alliance
of Utah can be reached at: 1823 South 250 East Orem, UT 84058
I hope this guide has helped
to answer some of your immediate questions. Please check out our
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.
Homes in Utah
Cost Funeral & Cremation Provider in Utah
Revised: 5th January 2015