With a cremation service now the preferred disposition choice for over 60% of Americans, we have put together this guide to help you be better informed about making cremation arrangements.
Read on to learn more about cremation costs in Tennessee, service options, legal requirements, pre-planning, financial assistance, and many more FAQs.
What does a cremation cost?
Wanting to know what you should expect to pay for cremation often brings people online to look for a guide to cremation prices. The cost for cremation can vary depending on the funeral home providing the services and the type of cremation service option selected.
According to funeral price surveys in Tennessee, the average cost of a full-service cremation is $5,390, and the average cost for a direct cremation is $1,993*. These are ‘average’ prices; you can make cremation arrangements for less than this.
To help you better understand cremation costs near you, we have included below a sample of direct cremation prices from the major cities in Tennessee.
|Low-cost direct cremation cost (DFS Memorials)
|Average Cremation cost (Funeralocity 2023)
|Phone number – DFS Memorials location (Click to Call)
DFS Memorials is an independent network of affordable cremation service providers. All serve their local communities, offering a low-cost direct cremation service. As you can see from the table above, DFS Memorials locations offer exceptional value cremation service packages compared to the local ‘average’ cost.
Now we will look at the different types of cremation services you can select from and why a simple direct cremation is the cheapest option.
What are the different options for a cremation service?
Cremation offers versatility in how and where we can memorialize. Choosing a cremation service can remove the need for some expensive funeral expenses, such as a burial vault, cemetery plot, and even a casket.
You can opt for a Full Cremation Service, which is similar to a full-service funeral, except the deceased is cremated following the service.
Or choose to conduct a Cremation Memorial, whereby the crematory first performs the cremation, and you can hold a memorial service once you have the cremation ashes.
Finally, you can select to have a Direct Cremation. This is where the funeral home provides minimal services. They complete all that is legally required to conduct a cremation, cremate the deceased, and return the cremated remains to the next of kin.
Visit our Ultimate Guide to Cremation if you want to read more about cremation services.
Why is direct cremation so inexpensive?
A direct cremation is a basic service package. Because it requires reduced professional service fees, it can be offered at a lower cost. Some funeral or cremation providers will even request you complete online arrangement forms to streamline the process and reduce staff arrangement time. It does mean you CAN arrange everything without the need even to visit a funeral home.
Do make a point to check what IS included with a direct cremation service package. Unfortunately, not all funeral homes include all third-party fees, and what seems a low price can have extra charges added.
Are there additional charges to a low-cost cremation package?
Most cremation service providers offer a package price that includes everything with the exception of third-party fees payable to the county for death certificates, cremation permits, and any other legal documentation required.
The cremation is conducted using a basic cremation container, and the cremated remains are returned in a temporary urn. A selection of cremation urns may be offered to add to your cremation package at an extra charge.
You should also note that if the deceased was overweight (over 250 pounds), there will likely be an extra charge for a barometric cremation. Similarly, if a pacemaker needs to be removed, there will be a small fee for this.
What are the legal requirements for a cremation disposition to proceed in TN?
The legal next of kin must all sign the Cremation Authorization Form to consent. If there are several family members legally responsible (for example, siblings), all must agree and sign the authorization for cremation.
The funeral director can then obtain the Permit to Cremate. There is usually a mandatory wait period in Tennessee of 48-72 hours after the death before a cremation can be performed.
Although, it usually takes 3 – 7 days to complete all the paperwork and schedule the cremation.
What is the Process for a Direct Cremation in Tennessee?
The process for a direct cremation to proceed in Tennessee will usually involve the following steps:
1. Select a Crematory and/or Funeral Home: You will need to choose a licensed crematory in Tennessee to handle the cremation process. You may want to research different facilities and compare their prices and services.
2. Transportation: The funeral director will coordinate the transportation of the deceased to the crematory. This will be done by the funeral home or a mortuary transportation service.
3. Complete all the necessary paperwork: The first step is to complete the required paperwork, which includes obtaining the death certificate and completing the cremation authorization form.
4. Pay for the cremation: Direct cremations are usually less expensive than traditional funeral services, and funeral homes will not usually proceed with the collection of the deceased or submit paperwork until full payment is made.
5. Scheduling of the cremation: The crematory will schedule a date and time for the cremation once all the documentation is completed.
6. Optional memorial service: Direct cremations typically do not include a formal memorial service. However, you can opt to hold a small gathering or memorial event separately, either before or after the cremation.
7. Obtain the ashes: Once the cremation is complete, you can collect the ashes from the crematory. They can be returned to you in a temporary container or a more permanent urn, depending on your selection. Cremated remains can also be mailed to you if preferred. (Usually for an additional charge)
It should be noted that the specific process may vary slightly depending on the crematory and any additional services or arrangements you choose. Talk to your funeral director if you have any questions or concerns about the cremation process.
How long does a cremation take in Tennessee?
The cremation process takes anywhere between 2 to 5 hours, depending on the grade of the equipment and the time of day. Newer retorts perform faster, and once the retort has heated for the first cremation, subsequent cases will cremate faster.
What is the best option for setting up an affordable cremation plan in Tennessee?
You have 2 options. You can formally set up a cremation plan with a funeral service provider and deposit the funds. Or you can choose to pre-plan without paying by documenting your wishes, signing off a cremation authorization, and securing the funds in a Payable-on-death bank account (P.O.D.).
You can read more here about Setting up Your Own Cremation Plan.
How do I plan for a loved one in Hospice Care?
Some cremation providers offer a bespoke hospice service to hospices in their service area and may discount a hospice patient case, as their relationship enables them to expedite a case. It will help the family to have made some imminent provision for the loss of a loved one, as the hospice can be prepared to make the call and support the process.
What if the deceased is at the Medical Examiner’s Office & the family wants a simple cremation?
If a death was sudden, unexplained, or the result of an accident, the coroner will be called to investigate and confirm the cause of death. The Medical Examiner’s Office will release the body to a funeral home once this is complete. They also issue the death certificate and permit to cremate, so a funeral director can generally collect the deceased with all the necessary permits.
You will need to select a funeral home and sign a release form for the body to be transferred from the morgue.
What is a “no-cost” cremation?
A “no-cost” cremation is a term used to refer to a free cremation offered with a whole-body donation. Also referred to as an anatomical gift, once the donation is completed at the Medical or Research Institution, the remains are cremated free of charge and returned to the next of kin.
The DFS Memorials location in Memphis also works closely with the anatomical institutions in Tennessee in facilitating whole-body donations. Call (901) 207-8564.
You can read more on our Body Donation page.
If the deceased had no funeral plan or life insurance, what help is there to pay for funeral expenses?
Most counties have a limited budget to conduct Indigent Cremations. There can be quite stringent qualification requirements. Recipients of welfare programs may receive some assistance. You should contact your local county Social Services department.
Are there green cremation alternatives in Tennessee?
Although water cremation or aquamation is legal in Tennessee, we do not know of any funeral homes offering it at this time. It is still rather a ‘niche’ green cremation alternative and is only presently available in a few states.
However, consumer demand for greener funeral alternatives and climate change agendas may lead to future growth and demand for this service.
Visit our Guide to Aquamation or Water Cremation to learn more.
What are the options for scattering cremated remains in Tennessee?
As more families opt for cremation, so there is an increased demand for ash-scattering memorial tributes. Some cemeteries offer ash-scattering memorial gardens, or you can choose to scatter on private land, scenic rural parkland, or a special location to the deceased.
Read the section on Tennessee Funeral Planning to learn more about the laws for scattering ashes.
Please reach out to the team at US FUNERALS ONLINE if we can be of further assistance in your cremation service research for Tennessee.