Dealing with a death & making funeral or cremation arrangements
Dealing with a bereavement that has recently occurred, or is imminent, is an extremely distressing time. For those who have not had to deal with making the necessary arrangements following a family death, this can be an additional stress, especially with the need to take care of matters in a timely manner.
With funeral expenses having the potential to run to thousands of dollars, it is imperative to check around before selecting a funeral provider. More families are finding themselves concerned about the cost of a funeral today, making it all the more imperative to do some research and consider the options available for arranging a funeral within a budget.
If like many people today, you want a simple, direct cremation at an affordable price, then how do you find a reputable direct cremation provider in your local area?
Opting for a direct cremation
Many local funeral homes in the U.S. do provide a direct cremation, although they may not generally publicize that they offer this service. Funeral homes operate as businesses and in the main seek to maximize what profit they can make on a funeral. It can be daunting and intimidating to have to contact several local funeral homes with the aim of finding one that will offer a simple low-cost cremation. A direct cremation is the least expensive funeral disposition arrangement.
Should I compare prices between funeral homes?
As mentioned above it is generally recommended to check around and compare prices for a cremation between cremation providers and funeral homes. All funeral homes are obligated by law (FTC Funeral Rule) to disclose prices from their General Price List (GPL) to consumers either by phone, on their website, or in person. If you are researching online what you may have found is that not many funeral home websites DO disclose process online.
If you phone or email a funeral home asking for cremation prices, be sure to demand that they give you a full price, and use the correct terminology to ensure you are getting the right price for the service you require. Check for what is included and what is not. Death certificates and cremation permits are generally not included in a direct cremation price, although some cremation providers will offer a package for direct cremation that will include the cost of the permit and 2-3 death certificates.
The DFS Memorials network was established to remove the need for making several phone calls to compare prices. Basically, we do that for you. Each local area DFS Memorials funeral home is selected for the network on the basis of fulfilling the requirements to offer a ‘best value’ basic cremation for the area.
DFS Memorials – the network of independent, low-cost cremation providers
DFS Memorials is a network of licensed local funeral homes that are affordable cremation providers. The network operates in the U.S and Canada and consists of member licensed funeral providers who believe that people are entitled to quality funeral services at a low price.
All providers in the network are experienced, family-owned funeral businesses that offer a fixed price for a simple, direct cremation. No added extras unless you require them! A direct cremation does not include a memorial service for the deceased, and a basic direct cremation package will generally include the collection of the remains, the completion of all necessary documentation, the cremation of the remains and the return of the cremated remains to the family within 5-7 days (in a basic cremation urn).
If you are looking for a direct cremation at an affordable cost, then simply visit the DFS Memorials web site and search for the low-cost cremation provider in your local area. The site will identify for you the low-cost cremation funeral provider nearest to you. The ethos of the DFS Memorial Network is to connect people with a trusted and licensed low-cost provider at their time of need and to make the process of selecting a funeral provider a simple and affordable one.
Low-cost cremations in the U.S start from $495.00, depending on which state you are in. Generally, in most cities, the cost is between $695 – $995, although some cities are more expensive.
Can I still have a funeral service if I choose direct cremation?
Yes, you can still arrange to conduct a memorial service once you have the cremated remains returned to you by the funeral home. This can be at your place of worship, community center, at your home or anywhere you choose. This can significantly help to keep costs down, and it can be more personal if the family gathers to arrange their own memorial instead of letting a funeral home lead it.
Is there assistance to help families with cremation costs?
In all honesty, there is limited financial assistance to help families towards their funeral expenses. This is also very inconsistent across the states. A few states do provide some financial assistance alongside Medicaid, but in many states, the criteria to qualify for financial assistance means many families do not receive much help.
In this situation, the best thing to do is to try and arrange a low-cost direct cremation and hopefully spread the cost between family members. In many cases, a funeral director will not proceed with cremation or collection arrangements until the full fee for a direct cremation has been paid upfront.
Simple cremation from the Medical Examiner’s office
If the deceased was transferred to the Medical Examiner and you are seeking a quick and simple cremation once the body is released, you can generally arrange a budget direct cremation, often at a lower cost than a direct cremation with collection from an institution or residential address.
This is because the local funeral homes have relationships with the Medical Examiner to obtain cremation permits and have the body released. The ME’s office has staff to assist with the transfer of the body to the funeral director so the cost for collection can prove less.