This funeral and cremation planning guide is tasked with answering some of the key questions you will have if faced with the task of making funeral or cremation arrangements in El Paso. Regardless of 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 El Paso area, as well as state funeral laws, and other funeral/cremation considerations.
Direct cremation service $925 Call (915) 201-2446
First call: What to do when a death occurs
Your first point of call when a death occurs 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 they can be held for a short period in the hospital morgue if necessary. Try not to feel like you need 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?
If your loved one had no funeral plan, and you have no prior experience with a funeral home, this will be the first decision to make. There are around 20 funeral service providers in El Paso. If you want to have a funeral ceremony, the physical 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 $925 Call (915) 201-2446
What are the funeral service or cremation service options in El Paso?
With a range of funeral service providers serving the El Paso 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. 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 El Paso?
According to the NFDA, the average funeral cost for an adult funeral in El Paso is $7,848. 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 $9,000.
How much does a cremation cost in El Paso?
Cremation cost is often more difficult to quote 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 a cheaper alternative to a traditional funeral, but a cremation with a memorial service will still cost upwards of $3,000, with an average cost of around $5,000 in the El Paso Metropolitan Area.
How to arrange a low-cost cremation service
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 $925 in El Paso. 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 El Paso, and is likely to cost nearer to $2,000 with most funeral providers. Therefore, 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 generally 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.
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.
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. 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.
How do I apply for a Death Certificate in El Paso?
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.
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 (915) 201-2446.
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 Office of the Medical Examiner for El Paso at (915) 532-1447. Alternatively, you can find them at:
Office of the Medical Examiner
4505 Alberta Avenue
El Paso, TX 79905
Phone (915) 532-1447
Fax: (915) 532-6630
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 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 preparation in place, this will alleviate 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 expenses is there for low-income or uninsured families?
More and 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 be able to assist you with claiming this. You may also find it useful to 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 El Paso, Texas
According to the Texas Health & Safety Code #716.304 cremated remains can be stored in a niche, crypt, grave or a container at home. Texas law also allows for the scattering of cremation ashes on “uninhabited public land, a public waterway or sea, or on the private property of a consenting owner.” Only biodegradable containers may be used if the ashes are to remain submerged or buried.
For an inland water scattering you may require a permit from the state agency who manages the waterway according to The Clean Water Act.
EPA Region 6 Main Office
1201 Elm Street, Suite 500
Dallas, Texas 75270
Phone (214) 665-2760
I want to pre-plan a simple cremation. What is the best way to set up a cremation plan in El Paso?
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 El Paso, contact your local provider on (915) 201-2446.
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 El Paso. 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 Texas. The cover is worldwide. Read more about this affordable peace of mind death expense coverage here: Travel Protection Plan.
Arranging a green burial in El Paso
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 less expensive than a traditional burial, and more environmentally-friendly than a cremation. Typically, a green funeral will cost between $3,000 and $5,000.
There are currently around six cemeteries offering green burial options in Texas. Details can be found on our Guide to Green Burial in Texas.
Can I arrange a no-cost cremation in El Paso?
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 Texas, Texas Tech University’s Health Sciences Center has a Willed Body program, more details including a Donation form can be found on their website. For more information on whole body donation, visit our page on Body Donation.
Do I need a casket for a cremation service in El Paso?
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.
I have questions, or concerns, about arranging a funeral in El Paso. Where can I find help?
You can contact our DFS Memorials affordable funeral service provider in El Paso 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.