Arranging a funeral or cremation in Texas
Death is still a little-discussed subject in our culture today. Something many people suddenly find themselves having to face, without ever having openly considered what the death-care process is. Many funeral societies in Texas offer pre-planning services. If you have been recently bereaved and are faced with arranging a funeral or cremation, then US Funerals Online can help you locate the services you require in Texas.
Locating Texas funeral homes and cremation Providers
There are some 1951 Funeral Homes & cemeteries in Texas. Visit our Funeral Homes section to find listings for funeral homes in Texas by city.
All funeral homes in Texas must be licensed and the Texas Funeral Service Commission (TFSC) serves to protect the public and legislates the death care business in Texas.
What to do when a death occurs
It can be very daunting to know what to do first when a death occurs. When a death occurs in Texas, the determination of death must be made by a coroner, Justice of the Peace, or attending physician. If the deceased had a prepaid funeral plan or had expressed wishes, these can be implemented immediately and you will need to locate the paperwork and contact the appropriate funeral home or cremation provider.
If the death is sudden and/or the deceased had no funeral plan or life insurance, you may need to make some rather quick decisions about how to proceed.
Understanding funeral costs in Texas
Funeral homes are required to provide current retail price information by telephone. According to the law, any consumer entering a funeral home and making inquiries must be presented with a general price list (GPL). This must itemize the costs of funeral services and the merchandise for sale from a funeral director.
We often get asked ‘what is the cost of a funeral in Texas?’ and this is unfortunately not a straightforward question to answer. Unlike many other trades and professions, average service charges can vary significantly. The NFDA quote the national average funeral cost at $7,848 (2021), however, this does not take into account any cemetery fees. It would be fair to say that the average traditional funeral in Texas can cost around $10,000.
In recent years there has been a greater demand for alternative, and indeed more affordable funerals. The interest in cremation services in Texas has increased because it offers such a cheaper option than a traditional burial service. The cost of a cremation in Texas can be under $1,000, so a meaningful and affordable funeral can be achieved for a tenth of the cost of an elaborate traditional funeral service.
Cremation services in Texas
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, the cremation can be performed. The legal next of kin must sign a cremation authorization form and a cremation permit will be issued.
Texas cremation services with a memorial
A cremation service with a memorial is really not much different from a burial service, only the deceased is cremated instead of buried. There are various options as to how you can conduct a cremation funeral in Texas. You can hold a funeral service with the deceased present prior to cremation, or conduct the cremation and hold a memorial with the ashes present or not present.
Today we are embracing more novel and alternative memorialization ceremonies. Life celebrations that can even be held in locations other than places of worship. Celebrants are leading and officiating at memorial services as well as traditional clergy and ministers.
Texas direct cremation service providers – cremation costs & packages
Direct cremation in Texas is growing in popularity. A direct cremation simply means that an immediate cremation is conducted with no service, and minimal services and intervention by a funeral home. The deceased is generally collected from the place of death and transferred to the funeral home or crematory. After the 48-hour waiting period passes, the deceased is cremated (most often in a simple cardboard container) and the cremated remains are then returned to the family.
Direct cremation in Texas can generally be obtained for between the cost of $595 and $995 (depending on where in Texas you live). In some rural areas, a direct cremation can be much higher than this, but if you shop around and compare cremation prices, you should be able to obtain a low-cost direct cremation in Texas.
If you are concerned about funeral costs, the DFS Memorials providers in Texas offer low-cost cremation services and affordable burial services. All DFS Memorials providers guarantee to offer a ‘best value’ direct cremation package.
Texas Funeral legislation – laws governing home death care, embalming & Texas casket sales
A family can bury its own dead without using a licensed funeral director in Texas, however, a statement of death and a death certificate are legally required. In the main, local ordinances or deed restrictions prohibit private burials within city limits. You must check with the State Health Department and local zoning authorities for applicable laws.
Embalming is the use of chemicals, internally and externally, to disinfect and temporarily preserve the body. Texas law does not require embalming. But most carriers will require a body to be embalmed prior to shipping. The laws of the destination country or state will apply. Because of the rapid deterioration of a body after death, Texas law requires that bodies held for over 24 hours or in transit must be embalmed, refrigerated, or encased in a leak and odor proof container.
Caskets are not required by law in Texas, however, there may be cemetery or mausoleum restrictions regarding caskets and outer burial containers or vaults. The law does not require a casket for cremation but some type of container such as a cardboard box or canvas pouch is usually required by the crematory.
Donating your body to science in Texas – or ‘no cost’ cremation
You may choose to make an anatomical donation to a medical or research institution within the state of Texas. Most major medical colleges do accept body donation. You will also find that there are companies in the U.S. who manage whole body donation programs and offer a ‘no cost’ cremation in Texas. Do be aware that no all donations do get accepted at the time of death. So, it is advisable to have a plan for a cremation service provider.
What happens if your loved one dies away from Texas?
Unfortunately, this is happening more and more as Texans choose to ‘snow-bird’ and winter away, and as people need to move for employment. Coping with a death is very distressing, but if it has occurred whilst your loved one was away from home, it can be even more difficult. Shipping a body either domestically or internationally can be inordinately expensive. The typical professional fee for a funeral director to coordinate the collection of the body at the place of death, preparing the body for shipping, and handling all the relevant documentation can cost as much as $3,000 and this does not include the freight charge. For this reason, many chose to cremate at the place of death and have the cremated remains shipped back. To learn more visit our section on ‘Funeral Shipping’.
Hispanic Funerals in Texas
Texas has one of the highest concentrations of Hispanic population, mainly immigrants from Mexico. Although many Hispanics and Latinos choose to repatriate remains, the rapidly growing Hispanic-American population also chooses Texas as their final resting place. Therefore, there are a number of dedicated Hispanic funeral homes in Texas.
Texas funeral home reviews and or complaints
Our online review-based consumer culture has reached the funeral business, and now you can review and compare funeral homes in Texas online. Directory sites often include local business reviews and this can help you to learn about a funeral or cremation provider. As with reviewing any service or product, some common sense and integrity must be employed.
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
This guide to arranging a funeral or cremation in Texas has hopefully answered some of your questions. Please use our funeral resource library to access further articles to assist you with arranging a funeral.
- Cremations in Dallas-Fort Worth: 5 Tips for arranging an affordable cremation
- Funeral Homes catering to Hispanic Population