This guide to cremation costs in Georgia aims to answer many of your questions about arranging a cremation service. Including what cremation costs are by city location in Georgia, how to arrange an immediate low-cost cremation, and how best to pre-arrange for an affordable cremation plan.
How much does it cost for a cremation in Georgia?
This is the primary question that many families turn to the Internet to answer. And in many cases, is an important decision when families are governed by a budget in making funeral arrangements.
Cremation has become the preferred option in recent years and now accounts for almost 60% of all dispositions. It offers a much more affordable funeral alternative and also offers more flexibility.
The average cost of a full cremation service with a ceremony is $5,020. Whereas a simple direct cremation can be conducted for just $995.
Direct cremation is the option chosen by families who just want a ‘no fuss’ disposition. The funeral home or crematory provides no services or ceremonies. The deceased is collected, cremated, and the cremated remains returned to the family or next of kin.
The DFS Memorials network of affordable cremation service providers reports that 80% of cremations conducted are indeed direct cremations.
When a simple cremation can take care of funeral needs for less than $1,000, it is understandable that direct cremation is becoming so popular.
Best direct cremation price by city in Georgia
Below is a table providing the average and ‘best’ cremation price by city in Georgia. Along with contact details for each direct cremation service provider.
|City||Low-cost direct cremation cost (DFS Memorials)||Average Cremation cost (Funeralocity 2023)||Phone number – DFS Memorials location|
|Sandy Springs||$995||$2,634||(404) 739-4924|
Click on this link for DFS Memorials Georgia to locate other cities and find cremation prices and contacts.
What is the cheapest cremation option?
The cheapest cremation option is a direct cremation service. This is a minimal service offering from a funeral home, which enables them to offer it at a lower cost. A direct cremation package generally includes everything to care for the deceased, complete all the required authorizations and obtain the death certificate and cremation permit.
The cremation is then completed, and the cremation ashes are made available to the family or mailed by USPS Priority mail. All arrangements can be made without the next of kin needing to visit a funeral home, and over 40% of funeral homes offer online arrangements on their websites today.
Are there any additional charges to a basic direct cremation package?
You should know that county fees (considered third-party payments) may be added to the service fee. This would be the charge for additional death certificates and the fee for a cremation permit.
Death certificates are charged at $25.00 for the first copy and $5.00 for each additional copy ordered at the same time.
If the deceased weighed over 250 pounds or had a medical implant such as a pacemaker, there will likely be extra charges. A barometric (oversize) cremation usually has an additional charge due to specific requirements to conduct the cremation of an overweight person.
A pacemaker must be removed prior to cremation to ensure it does not combust when exposed to heat.
Will the state of Georgia pay for a cremation? What assistance is available to help me pay for a cremation?
Each county in Georgia has an obligation to cremate a deceased person if the deceased or surviving family is indigent, vulnerable, or low-income and unable to pay for a funeral service. County budgets have become more restrained in recent years, and there is a rigid eligibility process.
To find out more about a pauper’s cremation, contact your local county Human Services Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS).
You could also consider a whole-body donation in Georgia, as a free cremation is offered to those who donate their body to science.
What laws govern conducting a cremation in Georgia?
Cremation is such a final disposition of human remains that strict regulations govern the authorization of a cremation. The legal next of kin must sign a Cremation Authorization Form to consent to a cremation disposition. In the case that there may be more than one legal next of kin (for example, if there are several siblings), ALL must sign to consent before a cremation can proceed.
This can sometimes cause issues with being able to conduct a cremation. If siblings disagree or are estranged. If you are considering cremation for yourself, it can be wise to at least plan ahead regarding signing off on the authorization documentation.
You do not necessarily have to set up a pre-paid cremation plan, but can ensure your wishes will be met by lodging the signed paperwork with a funeral home, your family, or your attorney.
The death certificate must be filed with the health department within 72 hours of the death. Your funeral director will file this for you and ask you how many copies you require.
You must have at least one copy of the death certificate. But, you will need original copies to close down the deceased’s estate, and for probate, so you may wish to order a few additional copies.
Once the death certificate has been filed and the cremation authorizations are in order, the coroner can issue the Permit to Cremate. The funeral home will then schedule the cremation to proceed.
How long does a cremation take in Georgia?
There is a mandatory 24-hour waiting period after the death before a cremation can proceed. Although, it can take 48-72 hours to process all the required paperwork. It is fair to say that it is usually 5-7 days for a cremation to be performed. (Longer if there are any issues with consent or issuing a death certificate)
The deceased will be sheltered in refrigerated storage during this time. A direct cremation service package generally includes refrigeration for up to 10-14 days. There may be an additional daily fee for refrigeration if the funeral home has to store the deceased for longer.
Can I get a free cremation in Georgia?
Sadly more families are finding it harder to budget for funeral costs. Especially if a family death was unexpected and the deceased had no funeral provision. As we outlined above, the DFCS does have a responsibility to help with cremation costs for indigent residents, vulnerable and welfare recipients.
Another way to obtain a free cremation is to donate your body to science. If you opt for a whole-body anatomical donation, the medical institute will cover the cremation expenses when the donation is complete. The cremated remains can then be returned to the family. This process usually takes at least 3-4 weeks but could be longer.
Where can I legally scatter cremated remains?
The scattering of cremated remains is still somewhat an unregulated practice. Cemeteries may offer scattering gardens but will charge you for the service. If you wish to scatter your loved one’s ashes somewhere scenic, public, and special you just need to ensure you follow certain guidelines for dispersal and check any public land permit rules.
Visit our Complete Guide to Scattering Cremated Remains for tips on how to safely scatter, where you can scatter – rules & regulations, and for ideas about creative ash scattering memorial tributes.
For further reading about Cremation Services, we have an Ultimate Guide to Cremation and a section with Resources for Arranging a Cremation.