The Average Cost of a Cremation

by Debra Stang
An urn can be as simple or as elaborate as you'd like.

An urn can be as simple or as elaborate as you'd like.

Cremation is a process that uses extreme heat to reduce a dead body to ashes and bone fragments. People choose cremation for a variety of reasons including concern for the environment, dislike of the idea of being buried, and worry about the high cost of a traditional funeral.

Significance

Approximately 25 percent of all bodies in the United States are cremated. Families often cite financial concerns as the reason.

Traditional Funeral Service

A traditional funeral complete with embalming, casketing and burial costs approximately $5,000 to $6,500. Many families cannot afford this, and others would rather honor their deceased loved ones in other ways.

Direct Cremation

A direct cremation involves no formal funeral services and no traditional preparation of the body. The deceased is cremated within a day or two after death. The cost of direct cremations vary throughout the country, but you can usually expect to pay around $1,000.

Warning

Many families choose cremation out of concern for price, and then allow funeral directors to talk them into adding extras that drive the price up. Before you agree to any additional services, be sure you know what they each service will cost and be sure that you really need it. For instance, there is no reason to purchase an expensive casket for a cremation.

About the Author

Debra Stang is a licensed social worker and freelance writer. Her work has appeared on Suite101.com, Bella Online, the National Association for Social Workers website, and Open Travel Info. Her brochure for bereaved families, "What to Do When a Crisis Occurs" won a Missouri Hospital Association award.

Photo Credits

  • brass urn image by Richard J Thompson from Fotolia.com