Looking for a “low cost” or even FREE cremation service?














 
 
 
 

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Looking for a “low cost” or even FREE cremation service?

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Understanding funeral costs

The average cost of a funeral in America today is $7,755 according to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA 2012), and if you live in a major metro area, these costs can be even higher if you are looking for what is known as a “Traditional Funeral Service”.  When you begin to break down the funeral costs, the largest costs incurred are for items like the casket, cemetery plot and grave marker, which on their own, can end up costing you more than the average cost of a complete funeral service. 

The single biggest issue when having to arrange a funeral is that we have very little to go on and to compare with.  It is very easy to compare grocery stores and restaurants, because these are businesses that we deal with on a regular basis.  Arranging a funeral is something that many people have never had to do, and therefore we are very trusting to the funeral home.  Make no mistake about it, funeral homes and funeral companies are businesses.  Think about the funeral director as a sales person, because that is what they are.  Funeral homes are interested in getting you to spend as much money as possible, and they are extremely good at doing this. 

Be clear about what kind of funeral services you require

It is important to decide what type of funeral you want before you even begin discussing things with a funeral home.  The first question is whether the deceased is to be buried or cremated.  If you choose burial as an option, remember that you will also need to purchase a cemetery plot, and these plots can be very expensive indeed. 

Cremation as a low cost option

Cremation is an option that more and more Americans are starting to opt for, because it should be much cheaper.  Before selecting a funeral home or cremation company to handle the funeral, phone several companies first and compare the costs.  You will likely find that the prices are very different between funeral homes.  A cremation with a memorial differs little from a traditional funeral, other than the body is cremated rather than buried.  However, it can be significantly cheaper as you can eliminate the need for a cemetery plot, burial vault, grave marker and embalming.   A direct cremation is generally the lowest cost method of disposition.  A direct cremation is when the deceased is immediately cremated, with no service, and the cremated remains directly returned to the family or scattered.  A direct cremation can be conducted in certain areas of the United States for as little as $495.  Visit DFS Memorials for local prices.

Saving money on funeral costs

A great way to save on funeral expenses is to purchase items like the casket, urn or grave marker from other third party sellers.  Today you can actually purchase caskets from both Costco and Walmart, although you need to order from their web sites.  There are many other companies selling funeral products online, and these can often be great savings compared to the funeral homes prices.  Federal Law requires ALL funeral homes to accept funeral products bought from other companies, and they cannot charge you extra for doing this. 

“No cost” cremation when you donate your body to science

Although most funeral homes will not mention this, it is possible to get a cremation for free.  Donating a body to science for research is one way of getting a funeral cremation for no cost.  The body is used for research by the medical profession, and the body is then cremated and the ashes returned to the family, with no costs incurred.  The whole process takes between 4-6 weeks and a memorial service can then take place, if chosen.

The message is simple, if you want to save money on funeral costs, do some research, compare prices, consider purchasing funeral merchandise from a third party seller, and even consider making an anatomical donation.  This way it is not only possible to save thousands of dollars on funeral expenses, you could even find that you could have a free cremation and a funeral that virtually costs nothing at all!

Expert Author: Sara J. Marsden

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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Resources:
DFS Memorials – Low cost cremation provider network
Last Revised: 05/30/2013
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