This funeral and cremation planning guide aims to answer some of the key questions you may have if faced with the task of making funeral arrangements. Whether you are researching with an interest to make a cremation plan for yourself, or need to arrange a funeral or cremation service for a loved one who has passed.  We have put together the following FAQs about cremation costs and funeral prices in the Jacksonville area, as well as state funeral laws, and where you can go to find help.

Direct cremation service $795   Call (904) 395-7939

First call:  What to do when a death occurs

The first thing that you will need to when a death occurs is to select a funeral home to handle funeral arrangements, and transfer the deceased into their care.  The majority of deaths occur in a medical facility, where they can be held for a short period in the hospital morgue if necessary.  It is important not to feel like you have to rush this decision. Give yourself some time to select the right funeral service provider for your needs.

How to choose a funeral home or cremation service provider in Jacksonville?

If your loved one had no funeral plan, and you have no prior experience with a funeral home, this can be a difficult task.  There are around 48 funeral service providers in Jacksonville.  If you want to have a funeral ceremony, the actual location of the funeral home may be an important consideration.  Also, if you are working to a specific financial budget for the funeral cost, you will likely want to make funeral price comparisons, before selecting a suitable funeral home.

Direct cremation service $795   Call (904) 395-7939

What are the funeral service or cremation service options in Jacksonville?

With the range of funeral service locations serving the Jacksonville area, you can arrange anything from a full-service traditional funeral to a simple direct cremation service.  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.

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

According to a recent survey, the average funeral costs for an adult funeral in Jacksonville is $7,775. 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 in Jacksonville. Therefore, a typical traditional funeral and burial cost is likely at least $9,000.  

A more recent funeral price survey conducted by Funeralocity puts the average cost of a traditional full-service burial in Jacksonville at $5,395 (Not including cemetery costs). As you can see, funeral costs can vary greatly, however a funeral is likely to cost somewhere between $4,000 to $10,000 depending on the funeral service provider and the chosen items.

How much does a cremation cost in the Jacksonville area?

It is often more difficult to quote cremation prices as it is dependent on the type of cremation service you opt for.  Whether you opt for a cremation with a traditional service or a direct cremation without a service.  Cremation is definitely a cheaper alternative to a tradition funeral, but a cremation with a memorial service will still cost around upwards of $3,000.

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 $795 in Jacksonville.  This is the most economical funeral service arrangement available to families. The cost of a simple cremation can, however, still vary between different funeral service providers in Jacksonville, therefore an average cremation cost is nearer to $2,200.  How much your cremation will cost will largely depend upon what type of cremation service you select, and which provider you opt to conduct the service.

It is, also, still necessary to check what is included in a low-cost direct cremation package to ensure there are no hidden fees to what may appear ‘too cheap’.  County fees are generally ‘third-party’ additional charges – such as death certificates and cremation permits.  But, 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 pace-maker needs to be removed prior to cremation.

Direct cremation

In Florida, 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. In Florida, there is a mandatory waiting period of 48 hours after death before a cremation can proceed. That being said, it usually takes about 3 days to make all the necessary arrangements and complete the paperwork but an expedited service can be arranged if required.

Generally, the funeral director will obtain the death certificate for you and will ask how many copies you require.  The first certified copy costs $5.00 and each additional copy costs $4.00. In Florida, anyone may order a Florida Death Certificate “Without a cause of death” but a Death Certificate “With Cause of Death” is confidential by Florida Law and may only be issued to the deceased family or those acting on behalf of the family or the deceased’s estate. You will need to provide ID to request a copy.

Who is responsible for paying for a funeral?

If the deceased did not pre-arrange and pre-pay for a funeral plan, then the responsibility for paying for a funeral falls to the immediate next of kin.  This can, understandably, be quite a burden for many people, 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 whomever signs the funeral contract with the funeral home is considered legally responsible for payment of the funeral bill.

If you are interested in pre-arranging a simple cremation plan, contact your local DFS Memorials location on (904) 395-7939.

Cremation Plan

What happens if the deceased is at the County Medical Examiner’s?

If the death occurred outside of a medical facility, was an accident, or 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 Duval County Medical Examiner at (904) 255-4000. Alternatively, you can find them at: 

Duval County Medical Examiner
2100 Jefferson St, Jacksonville, FL 32206
Duval County, Florida

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

If your loved one is in hospice care, and the support staff have advised you to prepare for his or her passing, it can help to have made provisional arrangements.  This means 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 preparation in place, this can make it easier when the time comes, alleviating some of the stress that comes with having to make arrangements on short notice. This also means the hospice know who to call, and the authorizations and other legal documentation can be pre-prepared.

What help with funeral/ cremation expenses is there for low-income or uninsured families in Jacksonville?

More families are finding themselves in a position of 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 (as is their responsibility) but this is done by the means of a pauper burial or cremation. Social Security offer a $255 death benefit payment (if qualifying) and the funeral director will assist you with claiming this. For some further guidance read our article ‘What do I do if I Can’t Afford a Funeral’?

What can I legally do with the cremated remains?  Laws for scattering ashes in Florida
As cremation is so popular in Florida, this is a common question. Florida law allows for cremation ash scattering on any land, but not in any Florida freshwater. You must check with the landowner as spreading ashes on private property could be construed as establishing a cemetery. If in doubt, check with the Department of Environmental Protection. 

Ash scattering at sea is more common in Florida as obviously the state has a beautiful coastline and the easy means by which to arrange a sea burial. The United States Coast Guard issues permit for burials at sea within a three-mile limit. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has governance over burials at sea or sea ash scatterings. Florida is in Region 4 of the EPA, and can be contacted at Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center, 61 Forsyth Street, SW, Atlanta, GA 30303.

The Neptune Reef and Eternal Reefs are also situated just off the coast of Florida and provide a unique way to immortalize a loved one. 

Cremated remains are sterile, organic matter and pose no threat to the environment. However, it is wise to ensure you use safe scattering techniques. You can read more about this in our Ash Scattering section.

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

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 and more cremation providers are 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.

If you travel (as 80% of adults do these days), you may wish to consider purchasing a Travel Protection Plan.  This is an affordable assurance policy that provides you with life time cover for funeral costs should you happen to pass away 75 miles or more away from your home in Jacksonville.  The plan costs just $450 for a individual or $875 for a couple, and will cover all costs for a cremation at the place of death, or returning the deceased home to Florida.  The cover is worldwide.  Read more about this affordable peace of mind death expense coverage here: Travel Protection Plan.

Arranging a green burial in Jacksonville

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 2 options – traditional burial or cremation.  However, a ‘natural’ green burial is certainly less expensive than a traditional burial, and more environmentally-friendly than a cremation.

There are a number of funeral homes offering green burial options around Jacksonville.  Typically, a green funeral will cost between $3,000 and $5,000.  Visit our green burial resource section for more information.

How do I obtain copies of a death certificate?

As mentioned above, the funeral director will generally file for the death certificate for you, and will ask how many copies you require.  The fee for a death certificate in Florida is $5 for the first copy and $4 for each additional copy.

You can request additional copies from Vital Records at a later date if you are a relative of the deceased or have a financial concern in their estate.

What about no-cost cremation? 

A “no-cost” cremation generally 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 Florida, you have the option of donating your body to one of the Universities or Medical Schools that accept donations. For more information, visit our page on Body Donation.

Is it possible to have a private viewing before a simple cremation?

Yes, you can arrange for a private ‘goodbye’ viewing before a direct cremation. However, this often depends upon the availability of facilities, staff and scheduling.  Sometimes, it can be arranged at no additional cost, but this can often be dependent on whether there is a need for additional staff, in which case there may be a fee. It is best to consult your chosen funeral service provider for more details regarding private viewing.

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

No, there is no requirement (or law) that stipulates a casket is needed for a cremation service. A simple cremation is usually conducted using a simple reinforced cardboard container.  It is, however, possible to rent a casket if you wish to have a service before the cremation.  This can also help you save on funeral costs.

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

You can contact our DFS Memorials affordable funeral service provider in Jacksonville with any questions you have.  If you should have reason to be dissatisfied with the services of a licensed funeral home you can put your complaint in writing to:  

The Division of Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services 
200 E. Gaines Street  
Florida 32399 

If you need further information about the funeral industry in Florida contact: 

Florida Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association  
325 John Knox Road  
Ste. L103  
Florida 32303 

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.

DFS Memorials Jacksonville