Curious about what cremation costs? Do you need to arrange an affordable cremation service for a loved one? Or, are you looking to set up a simple, no-fuss, inexpensive cremation plan to have peace of mind and save your family the burden of funeral expenses?
Then, this guide to cremation costs in Florida aims to help you do just that. Read on to learn more about funeral and cremation costs in Florida, and how you can save thousands by arranging a direct cremation at a fraction of the cost of a traditional funeral service. We have also included a table with a breakdown of affordable direct cremation prices in the major cities to help give you a better understanding of costs.
Firstly, we will go over the average funeral and cremation costs before covering some other considerations about cost and laws when arranging a cremation service.
What is the average cost of a funeral in Florida today?
A traditional funeral service can be a significant financial strain for many families who are not able to pay out thousands of dollars at short notice, especially when the loss is unexpected and/ or no funeral or cremation plan is in place. When you consider that the average traditional funeral costs around $7,600 in Florida, it is easy to see how this could be too large an expense for many families. Furthermore, this price does not include cemetery fees, with cemetery fees on top of that, you’re looking at around $9,000 for a traditional funeral service.
In comparison to this, a direct cremation can be arranged for under $1,000 in most cities in Florida and for as little as $696 in some areas. This undoubtfully explains why direct cremation has grown substantially in popularity in more recent years. Especially when you take into account the fact that many families are living paycheck to paycheck, have suffered financially during the pandemic, and are faced with rising living costs.
What is the average cost of cremation in Florida today?
A cremation with memorial service will still cost upwards of $4,000 in most parts of Florida, with an average cost of around $5,700. However, as mentioned above, you can pay significantly less than this if you opt for a direct cremation service. Opting for a cremation also allows you to forgo some of the more costly end-of-life purchases such as an expensive casket, embalming, a grave liner, and a cemetery plot – saving you a lot on the full cost of a funeral with burial.
What is the least expensive cremation service available?
As established above, direct cremation is doing to be your least expensive cremation option in Florida. A direct cremation is when cremation is simply carried out without a service or ceremony. It is a simple dignified cremation of the deceased with minimal ‘fuss’, and at a minimal cost.
The cremated remains are returned to the next of kin after everything has been taken care of. A family can choose to hold a memorial service if they wish when they are ready, and this can even be conducted at home for a much lesser cost.
A direct cremation service can even be arranged without the need to visit a funeral home. It can be arranged online or over the phone, and the cremated remains can be mailed directly back to the next of kin. This can be an easier (and less costly) solution for families arranging a disposition from out of Florida state.
Direct cremation cost comparison for 10 of the top cities in Florida
To help provide a better idea of how cremation costs can vary considerably, we have put together the following table of cremation costs for 10 of the major cities in Florida. It gives a breakdown of the average direct cremation cost, as well as a low-cost direct cremation and a number to call for immediate help. As can be seen below, a direct cremation can be arranged for under $1,000 in all the cities listed.
|City||Average direct cremation cost*||Low-cost direct cremation||Immediate help|
|St. Petersburg||$1,723||$995||(727) 201-1616|
|Port St. Lucie||$1,565||$995||(772) 207-0196|
|Cape Coral||$1,474||$995||(239) 244-2418|
|Fort Lauderdale||$1,855||$696||(954) 281-7747|
Are there any extra fees added to a low-cost cremation service package?
The funeral provider’s General Price List will list the service charge for a direct cremation. This should include the basic services of the funeral director, collection and transfer of the deceased, completing the legal paperwork, and conducting the cremation. It usually includes a simple cardboard cremation container and a temporary urn. The funeral director will also pay third-party fees to the local county, such as any permit charges. These are third-party fees that are added to the direct cremation service fee.
The funeral home will also generally obtain the death certificate for you if they are handling your disposition arrangements. If you need to obtain a death certificate or further copies, you will need to contact the county office of the Department of Vital Statistics. Certified copies of death certificates can be ordered online, by mail, by phone, or in person. The first certified copy costs $5.00, and each additional copy costs $4.00. In Florida, anyone may order a Florida Death Certificate “Without a cause of death” but a Death Certificate “With Cause of Death” is confidential by Florida Law and may only be issued to the deceased family or those acting on behalf of the family or the deceased’s estate. You will need to provide ID to request a copy.
Other possible additional charges would be:
- Residential collection
- Removal of a pace-maker
- Overweight surcharge (above 250 pounds)
- Family arrangement consultation
- Mailing of cremated remains
What Florida funeral legislation governs cremation arrangements?
Each state has its own legislation that governs funeral practice, and a crematory must abide by certain practice standards in disposing of human remains by cremation. In Florida, a cremation can only be performed once a ‘Cremation Authorization Form’ has been signed by the legal next of kin and the coroner has issued the cremation permit. There is also a mandatory waiting period of 48 hours after death before a cremation can proceed. That being said, it usually takes about 3 days to make all the necessary arrangements and complete the paperwork, but an expedited service can be arranged if required.
A casket is NOT required by law for a cremation. All that is required is a suitable rigid container. A cremation container is usually a reinforced cardboard or plywood box. Some funeral homes offer rental caskets if you wish to hold a funeral service before the cremation.
What about a “no-cost” cremation in Florida?
A “no-cost” cremation is possible if you wish to donate your body to science. This is where your whole body can be donated as an ‘anatomical gift’. If you wish to donate your body to science in Florida, you can donate your body to one of the Universities or Medical Schools that accept donations. For more information, visit our page on Body Donation. However, it is worth noting that not all anatomical gifts can be accepted.
Is there any help with cremation costs in Florida? The deceased had no life insurance, and I can’t afford a funeral.
The responsibility to pay the funeral bill falls to the immediate next of kin if the deceased had no pre-paid funeral plan or life insurance. This can be incredibly stressful if you lose a family member and become responsible for the funeral arrangements without any resources.
Unfortunately, more families are finding themselves in a situation where they are unable to afford a funeral for their loved one who has passed. Public or state assistance for funeral costs is very limited, with the state only taking care of any indigent deaths by means of a pauper burial or cremation. Social Security offers a $255 death benefit payment (if qualifying), and the funeral director will usually assist you with claiming this. For some further guidance, read our article ‘What do I do if I Can’t Afford a Funeral’?
The best option available if you find yourself in a situation where you simply cannot afford a funeral is to arrange a direct cremation to keep the cost as low as possible. As seen in the table above, you can arrange a direct cremation for under $1,000 in most cities in Florida.
How can I set up a Simple Cremation Plan?
There are two main options when it comes to setting up a simple cremation plan. Your first option is to enter a preneed contract with a funeral home. But bear in mind that the preneed direct cremation price will usually be slightly higher than the immediate need due to the funeral home having to account for inflation.
Your second option is to set aside funds to cover funeral arrangements, and this can be done by setting up a payable-on-death bank account where the beneficiary can withdraw the funds upon death. You can then set up a simple cremation plan with a funeral home so that your plan is in place for when you pass, and your beneficiary can then use the funds you set aside to pay for the arrangements. This is preplanning without prepaying, so your funds remain in your care but are assigned ready for when the time comes. It is important to ensure you share your plan, intentions, and P.O.D account information with your next of kin. So they know what to do when the time comes.
What if I spend time in Florida but am from another state?
If you travel (as 80% of adults do these days), you may wish to consider purchasing a Travel Protection Plan. This affordable assurance policy provides you with lifetime cover for funeral costs should you happen to pass away 75 miles or more away from your home (or legal U.S. residence). As Florida is a ‘second’ home to many retirees, snowbirds, and other transplants, purchasing travel protection can be a very affordable way to cover death expenses if your legal residence is in another state.
The plan costs just $450 for an individual or $875 for a couple, and will cover all costs for a cremation at the place of death, or returning the deceased home from Florida. The cover is also worldwide. Read more about this affordable peace of mind death expense coverage here: Travel Protection Plan.
Additionally, you can arrange a direct cremation online or by telephone and then arrange to have the cremated remains shipped home.
* Average direct cremation prices data gathered from Funeralocity 2022. Low-cost direct cremation prices obtained from DFS Memorials providers in Florida