Are you doing research on how to set up a cremation plan for yourself? Or do you need help arranging a funeral or cremation service for a loved one who has passed?

This funeral guide aims to answer some of the key questions you may be facing when making decisions about arrangements.  We have included information on cremation costs and funeral prices in the Albuquerque area, as well as state funeral laws and other funeral/cremation considerations.

Direct cremation service $1,090  Call (505) 209-3359

What do you need to do first when a death occurs?

When a death occurs, your first decision will be to select a funeral home to handle funeral arrangements and transfer the deceased into their care. Most deaths occur in a medical facility, where the deceased can be held for a short period in the hospital morgue if necessary. This allows you some time to select the right funeral service provider for your needs, so try not to feel rushed to make a decision straight away.

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How do I choose a funeral home or cremation service provider in Albuquerque?

If your loved one did not have a funeral plan and you have never had to arrange a funeral before, this will be the first decision to make.  There are around 20 funeral service providers in Albuquerque.  If you want to have a funeral ceremony, the physical location of the funeral home will be an important consideration. 

Also, if you have a specific financial budget for the overall funeral cost, you will likely want to make funeral price comparisons before selecting a suitable funeral home.

Direct cremation service $1,090  Call (505) 209-3359

What are my funeral service or cremation service options in Albuquerque?

Free direct cremation Albuquerque

There are a range of funeral service providers serving the Albuquerque area, and you can arrange anything from a full-service traditional funeral to a simple direct cremation service.  You will need to decide if you want a traditional funeral, something more modern like a life celebration service, or if you want to consider cremation as a more affordable option.

Read on to find out more about direct cremation and how it is your most affordable option.

What is the average cost of a funeral service in Albuquerque?

According to recent surveys*, the average cost for an adult funeral in Albuquerque is $6,996. This is based on the most commonly selected items for a traditional funeral, including a casket and vault. However, it does not include cemetery costs.

A grave space, a grave marker, and opening/closing the grave can easily cost another $1,500 to $2,500. Therefore, a typical traditional funeral and burial cost is likely at least $8,500

How much does a cremation cost in Albuquerque?

Cremation cost is usually much more difficult to quote as it depends on the type of cremation service you choose.  Whether you choose to have a cremation with a traditional service or a direct cremation without a service will significantly affect the overall cost. 

Cremation is a cheaper alternative to a traditional funeral, but a cremation with a memorial service will still cost upwards of $4,000, with an average cost of $5,782 in the Albuquerque Metropolitan area.

A simple cremation service with no ceremony is referred to as a “direct cremation” in the funeral industry.  A direct cremation can be arranged for just $1,090 in Albuquerque. 

This is the most economical funeral service arrangement available to families. However, the cost of a simple cremation can still vary between different funeral service providers in the Albuquerque area. It is likely to cost closer to $1,500 to $2,500, with most funeral providers, with an average cost of $1,852.*

It is always a good idea to check what is included in a low-cost direct cremation package to ensure there are no hidden fees. Sometimes what can appear low-cost can have additional fees added to the full package price. 

Find cheap cremation Albuquerque

County fees are generally ‘third-party’ additional charges –such as death certificates and cremation permits. However, some affordable direct cremation packages may include a death certificate and cremation permit fee.

Extra charges that can be incurred on a budget direct cremation are fees for if a residential collection is required if the deceased weighs over 300 pounds and if a pacemaker needs to be removed prior to cremation.

Find a free cremation in Albuquerque

Each state has its own legislation that governs funeral and cremation practices. A crematory has to abide by certain practice standards in disposing of human remains by cremation. In New Mexico, a cremation can only be performed once a ‘Cremation Authorization Form’ has been signed by the legal next of kin and the coroner has issued the cremation permit.

There is no mandatory waiting period before a cremation can proceed in New Mexico, but that being said, it usually takes about three days to make all the necessary arrangements and complete the paperwork.

A casket is NOT required by law for a cremation. All that is required is a suitable rigid container. A cremation container is usually a reinforced cardboard or plywood box. Some funeral homes offer rental caskets if you wish to hold a funeral service before the cremation.

How do I apply for a Death Certificate in New Mexico?

Death certificate NM

The funeral director will generally file the death certificate for you and will ask how many copies you require.  You can also obtain copies of death certificates from the Office of Vital Records (OVR) online or by phone.

The processing time is 3-5 business days, and it costs $21.00 for regular U.S. mail or $39.50 for next-day air delivery by UPS (however, there will still be a 3-5 business days processing time for the application). Alternatively, you can apply by mail by filling out the form found here and sending it to:

New Mexico Department of Health
PO Box 25767
Albuquerque, NM 87125

Who is responsible for paying for a funeral?

If the deceased did not have a prepaid funeral plan, then the responsibility for paying for a funeral falls on the immediate next of kin.  This can be quite a burden for many families and is why more seniors today are considering setting up simple cremation arrangements. Pre-planning can be a simple and affordable option, giving families peace of mind for when the time comes. 

Be aware that whoever
signs the funeral contract with the funeral home is legally responsible for paying the funeral bill.

If you are interested in pre-arranging a simple cremation plan, contact your local DFS Memorials location at (505) 209-3359.

What happens if the deceased is at the County Medical Examiners?

If the death occurred outside of a medical facility, was an accident, or is unexplained, the body will be transferred to the Medical Examiner’s office.  It is the responsibility of the coroner to determine a cause of death before a death certificate can be issued. 

You will need to arrange for a funeral home to collect your loved one once the coroner releases the body.  Only a licensed funeral director can transport the deceased from the ME’s morgue, and the next of kin will need to sign a release form for the Medical Examiner to release the body into the care of a funeral home.

The Medical Examiner will issue the death certificate and permit to cremate once they release the body.  If you have further questions about identifying the body and making arrangements for the transfer of the deceased, you can contact the Office of the Medical Investigator for Albuquerque at (505) 272-3053. Alternatively, you can find them at:

Office of Medical Investigator
1101 Camino de Salud,
Albuquerque NM 87102

Compare cremation prices Albuquerque

How do I prepare if my loved one is in hospice care?

If your loved one is in hospice care and the support staff has advised you to prepare for his or her passing, it can help to have provisional arrangements in place.  This is so that when the time comes, the hospice can immediately contact the funeral service provider and arrange the transfer of your loved one into their care. 

If you contact a funeral home ahead of time, you can have some of the preparations in place. This will alleviate some of the stress that comes with having to make arrangements on short notice. This also means the hospice knows who to call, and the authorizations and other legal documentation can be pre-prepared.

What help with funeral expenses is there for low-income or uninsured families?

Learn about memorial cremation services

This is a question we get asked a lot as more families find themselves not being able to pay for funeral expenses. Unfortunately, there is very limited public or state assistance for funeral costs. The state takes care of any indigent deaths, but this is done as a pauper burial or cremation.

Social Security offers a $255 death benefit payment (if qualifying), and the funeral director will be able to assist you with claiming this.

You can read our article on ‘What are your options on how to pay for a funeral or cremation?’. It provides more information on how you can raise funds to cover funeral expenses.

What can I legally do with the cremated remains?  Laws for scattering ashes in Albuquerque, NM

As more families are turning to cremation as a lower-cost funeral alternative, the question arises about what to do with the cremated remains. Cremation ashes can be interred in a dedicated cemetery (just as a body can) in a cremation niche or an existing grave plot. (Do bear in mind there may be opening and closing fees to open an existing family grave plot). Alternatively, the ashes can be scattered.

You can scatter ashes on private property (with the landowner’s consent). If you wish to scatter ashes on public land, you can generally do so unless it is on land requiring a permit. In New Mexico, you do require a permit to scatter ashes on state parkland. Requirements of a permit are: the remains to be scattered must have been cremated and pulverized, and the scattering of cremated remains on the ground is to be performed at least 100 yards from any trail, road, developed facility, or body of water.

As outlined in our ash scattering section, you should observe common sense guidelines for ash scattering. The cremated remains of more than one person cannot be commingled unless a scattering is being conducted by air, in water, or at sea. 

Aerial ash scattering is available in New Mexico, where a loved one’s remains can be cast into eternity over beautiful landscapes. Prices for an aerial ash scattering range from $350 – $750.

I want to pre-plan a simple cremation.  What is the best way to set up a cremation plan in Albuquerque?

You can make pre-arrangements with a funeral home and/or crematory.  The terms and payment plans may differ depending on your requirements and age. And whether you make payment in full at the time of purchasing your pre-need plan or opt to arrange a payment plan.

More cremation providers are now offering online arrangement services, so all this can be done from the comfort of your own home.  Pre-planning can provide you with funeral service coverage that will give you and your family peace of mind, reducing the stress associated with making last-minute funeral arrangements after a loved one has passed.

To discuss your options for pre-planning a simple cremation in Albuquerque, contact your local provider at (505) 209-3359.

If you do regularly travel for work, pleasure, sport, visiting family, or snow-birding, you may wish to consider our great value Travel Protection Plan. This plan costs just $450 for an individual for lifetime protection against the costly expense of returning a body home if a death occurs 75 miles (or further) from your residence. It also provides global coverage. Domestic funeral shipping can cost from $3,000, and International repatriation can start at around $6,900.

Read more about this affordable peace of mind death expense coverage here: Travel Protection Plan. Or click the link above to enroll now.

Arranging a green burial in Albuquerque

In a recent survey, The National Funeral Directors Association discovered that 72% of funeral homes reported an increase in interest in green burial from families.  At present, families typically have two options – traditional burial or cremation. 

However, a ‘natural’ green burial is less expensive than a traditional burial and more environmentally friendly than cremation. Typically, a green funeral will cost between $3,000 and $5,000. 

There is currently only one cemetery offering green burial options in New Mexico, and that is Commonweal Conservancy in Santa Fe. More details can be found in our Green Burials Directory.

Can I arrange a no-cost cremation in Albuquerque?

A “no-cost” cremation normally refers to a whole-body donation program where the deceased’s remains are cremated free of charge after the donation. If you wish to donate your body to science in New Mexico, The University of New Mexico has a Body Donation Program, but you will need to check with them directly as to any limitations on donor acceptance. You can find more information on their website here.

However, you should be aware that an anatomical donation may not always be accepted at the time of death, so you should have a provisional funeral or cremation plan in the event a donation cannot be accepted.

For more information on whole body donation, visit our page on Body Donation.

Free cremation in Albuquerque with a whole body donation

Do I need a casket for a cremation service in Albuquerque?

No requirement (or law) in New Mexico that stipulates a casket is required for a cremation service.  A cremation is usually conducted using a simple reinforced cardboard container.  However, renting a casket is possible if you wish to have a service before the cremation.  This will help you save on funeral costs, as caskets can be a significant expense for a traditional funeral and burial.

I have questions or concerns about arranging a funeral in Albuquerque.  Where can I find help?

You can contact the DFS Memorials’ affordable funeral service provider in Albuquerque at (505) 209-3359 with any questions you have.  If you have a complaint against a funeral director or a funeral establishment, you should attempt to resolve your complaint directly with the funeral home concerned. If this is unsuccessful, you should write your complaint to the New Mexico State Regulation & Licensing Department Board of Funeral Services, which regulates and licenses funeral businesses in New Mexico. They can be contacted at: 

Board of Funeral Services 
Toney Anaya Building 
2550 Cerrillos Road, Second Floor 
Santa Fe, New Mexico 
Phone: (505) 476-4622

Lastly, feel free to contact us at US Funerals Online, and we will try and help you if you have further questions about arranging a funeral or cremation service.

Written by

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 15 years.