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FAQs about arranging funeral or cremation services in Dallas
The aim of this funeral and cremation planning guide is to answer some of the more important questions you may have about making funeral arrangements. Regardless of whether you are arranging a funeral or cremation service for a lost loved one, or are researching to make a cremation plan for yourself, this guide will provide some FAQs about cremation and funeral prices in the Greater Dallas area, as well as giving you a better idea of state funeral laws and where to find help.
What is my first call when a death occurs?
Your first call will be to select a funeral home that meets your needs. They will then be able to advise you on funeral arrangements and transfer the deceased one into their care. It is, however, important not to rush this decision, as you will need to consider which funeral service provider best meets your needs. If your loved one died in a medical facility, they can be held there for a short period in the hospital morgue if necessary. This will allow you some time to look for the right funeral service provider.
How to choose a funeral home or cremation service provider that best meets my needs?
Choosing a funeral or cremation service provider that best meets your needs can be a daunting task if you have no prior experience with this. This is especially true if your loved one did not have a funeral plan in place. There are around 40 funeral homes in the Dallas area, therefore you have a lot of options. You may want to consider the actual location of the funeral home, as this can be an important factor if you wish to have a traditional funeral ceremony. Another important factor is whether you have a specific financial budget. If this is the case, it may be worth making some funeral price comparisons beforehand so that you can choose the most suitably priced funeral home.
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What are my funeral home or cremation service options in Dallas?
You have options when it comes to the type of service you wish to have for your loved one. You can arrange anything from a more traditional service to a simple direct cremation service, or even a life celebration service if you want something a bit more modern and less somber. Whatever you decide you will be able to find a funeral service provider to meet your needs.
Average cost of a funeral service in Dallas?
The N.F.D.A* surveyed the average cost of a funeral service in 2019 at $7,640. This is without any cemetery fees. According to a funeral price survey conducted last year, the average price for an adult funeral in Dallas is $7,775, making it just higher than the national average. This is based on the most commonly selected items for a traditional funeral including a casket and vault. A grave space, a grave marker, and opening/closing the grave can easily cost another $1,500 to $2,500 in Dallas. This means that an average funeral and burial service will likely cost somewhere around $9,000 in total.
How much does a cremation cost in Dallas?
Cremation prices, on the other hand, can be a bit more difficult to quote. It depends on the type of cremation service you select. If you want to have a cremation with a ceremony, for example, it is going to cost a lot more than a simple direct cremation without a service. Cremation is still going to be a cheaper alternative to a traditional funeral service but can still cost upwards of $4,000 with a ceremony.
A simple cremation service with no ceremony is referred to as a “direct cremation” in the funeral industry. A direct cremation in the Dallas area can be arranged for as little as $755. This makes a direct cremation the most cost-effective option if you are looking for a cheaper alternative to a traditional funeral service.
It is worth noting, however, that some cremation providers will add hidden fees on top of the quoted price, so you should always check what is included in the price before choosing a cremation package that appears ‘too cheap’. County fees are generally ‘third-party’ additional charges – such as death certificates and cremation permits. In some cases, an affordable direct cremation package may include a death certificate and cremation permit fee. Again, ensure you check what is included before you choose a cremation package. Additional charges that can generally be incurred on a budget direct cremation include fees for a residential collection, transporting the deceased greater than a certain mileage if the deceased weighs over 300 pounds, and if a pace-maker needs to be removed prior to cremation.
What legal issues do I need to understand about arranging a funeral?
If the deceased did not have a paid-for funeral plan in place, then the responsibility for making and paying for the funeral arrangements falls on the legal next of kin. The funeral director will usually obtain the death certificate for you, and ask you how many copies you require. The fee for this will be charged on top of your funeral service contract, as it is considered a third-party fee. There is a $20.00 fee for a death certificate in Texas and a further $3.00 for each additional death certificate order at the same time.
Texas law prohibits cremating any dead human body within 48 hours after death. A body cannot be cremated immediately following death without a waiver, only the County Medical Examiner or a Justice of the Peace may waive this time requirement. After the mandatory waiting period, cremation can be performed. The legal next of kin must sign a cremation authorization form and a cremation permit will be issued.
Who’s responsibility is it to pay for funeral arrangements?
As mentioned above, if the deceased did not pre-arrange and pre-pay for a funeral plan, the responsibility for making and paying for a funeral falls to the immediate next of kin. This is why more seniors today are considering setting up simple cremation arrangements, to ensure that their loved ones aren’t left with the burden and unable to afford to make arrangements.
Pre-planning can be a simple and affordable option, and give the family peace of mind for when the time comes. Be aware that whoever 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 (214) 380-4964.
What if the deceased is at the County Medical Examiner’s?
The deceased will be transferred to the Medical Examiner’s Office if the death occurred outside of a medical facility, was an accident, or was unexplained. It is the responsibility of the coroner to determine a cause of death before a death certificate can be issued. You will then be able to arrange for a funeral home to collect your loved one. 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 Dallas County’s Medical Examiner on (214) 920-5900.
Dallas County’s Medical Examiner office can be found at 2355 North Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, Texas 75207.
How can 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 made provisional arrangements. This way when the time comes, the hospice can immediately call 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, which can make it easier when the time comes.
When these provisional arrangements are in place, they can help both the family and the hospice. The hospice knows who to call, and the authorizations and other legal documentation can be pre-prepared. This can save a lot of stress at the time of your loved ones passing.
Can I find help with paying for funeral expenses?
Texas Health and Human Services have the responsibility to assist citizens. There is a burial or cremation assistance registry of funeral homes that are willing to provide free common burial or low-cost private burial. For more information refer to Texas HHS.
Are there any legal considerations for scattering cremated remains?
If you want to scatter ashes, Texas law allows you to do so over “uninhabited public land, over a public waterway or sea, or on the private property of a consenting owner.” If the container is not biodegradable, you must remove the ashes from the container before scattering them.
What is the best way to set up a cremation plan in Dallas?
You can set up a cremation plan with a funeral home and/or crematory. The terms and payment plans may differ depending on your requirements and age, as well as whether you make payment in full at the time of purchasing your pre-need plan, or arrange a payment plan.
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.
Can I arrange a green burial in Dallas?
The National Funeral Directors Association recently conducted a survey and discovered that 72% of funeral homes reported an increase in interest in a green burial from families. At present, families typically have 2 options – traditional burial or cremation. A ‘natural’ green burial is less expensive than a traditional burial, and more environmentally friendly than cremation.
How to obtain copies of a death certificate?
The funeral director will generally file for the death certificate for you, and will ask how many copies you require. The first death certificate costs $20.00. Each additional copy (ordered at the same time) is charged at $3.00 each.
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 is a 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. Texas State University has a whole body donation program, more details can be found on their website.
Is it possible to have a private viewing before a simple cremation?
Yes, if you want to hold a private ‘goodbye’ viewing before a direct cremation, this can certainly be arranged. However, this is often dependent upon the availability of facilities, staff, and scheduling. Sometimes, it can be arranged at no additional cost, but more often than not there will be a fee to offer a private viewing if additional staff and transfer of the deceased are required.
Is a casket required to have a cremation service?
No, there is no requirement (or law) in Texas that stipulates a casket is required for a cremation service. 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 will help you save on funeral costs, as caskets can be a significant expense for a traditional funeral and burial.
Where can I find help with questions, or concerns, about arranging a funeral in Dallas?
You can contact our DFS Memorials affordable funeral service provider in Dallas 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 you do not manage to reach a satisfactory resolution, then you can contact the Texas Funeral Service Commission. A formal complaint against a funeral establishment must be put in writing to them, and include copies of all documentation from the funeral home.
Texas Funeral Service Commission
P.O. Box 12217
Austin Texas 78711
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.