How to Plan a Simple and Affordable Funeral or Cremation Service

Cremation network

The following funeral planning guide is designed to highlight many of the immediate decisions that need to be made when planning a simple, affordable funeral service.

Did the deceased make any provisions for what they would like to happen when they die? This could include a funeral plan with a local funeral home, whereby they have planned and paid for the funeral and arrangements ahead of time. Some people also purchase “burial insurance” which will have been set up to cover the cost of their funeral.

If no funeral plans or provisions have been made, then the first question needs to be whether the body is to be buried or cremated. Burial has long been preferred choice for many Americans, however, over the last 10 years, the cremation has risen to almost 55%. The primary reason for the big rise in cremations is that generally, a cremation service will cost less than a traditional burial.

Advice: Be warned that funeral home prices for both burials and cremations can vary by thousands of dollars, so do shop around and compare costs. Federal Law states that all funeral homes must provide you with a price list of all their cost including merchandise like caskets and grave markers.

If you and your family choose for your loved one to be buried, then do look online at some of the casket stores. Buying a casket online can save a considerable amount, however, some funeral homes do not like this. However, Federal Law requires ALL funeral homes to accept a casket purchase from another company, and they cannot charge you extra for this.

With cremation, you have a few choices. If there is to be a viewing, then there are rental caskets for this purpose. It does seem excessive to spend a lot of money on a casket and with the cremation, the funeral home can use a much less expensive coffin or container for the cremation. A basic urn is usually included in a cremation service. Some families choose to purchase an urn separately in which to keep the ashes in. You can also purchase what is known as a keepsake urn, which is much smaller, and the ashes can then be kept by several family members.

The least expensive funeral option is a “direct cremation”. With direct cremation, there is no viewing or memorial service, it is just as it sounds direct. The body is cremated and the ashes returned to the family in a basic urn. More families are choosing this option and choosing to have their own memorial service and ash scattering ceremonies. This can all be done much cheaper and at a time that may be more convenient for other family members. It is all about choice and looking to not overpay for a funeral is simply common sense.

Visit DFS Memorials to find the cost for a simple cremation, or direct burial, service locally.

Written by

Sara is the Editor in Chief for US Funerals Online and has been researching and writing about the death care industry in the US for the last 15 years.