Cremation is a popular method of death, both public and private. There are many cemeteries and funeral homes that offer cremation services.
Cost differences between cremation and burial
As discussed earlier, there are two main cost components to a cremation services. The first is the burial space, which can range in price from free to nearly $500. The second is the casket or space between casket and ground, which can range in price from $200 to $1500 or more.
For most people, the cost of a burial space is well worth it as you save on funeral expenses. However, if you have loved ones that aren’t necessarily religious but you want to send their condolences, then burial in a non-religious context is an option.
The other two costs associated with a cremation service are the disposal container and the memorial service. Non-religious burials do not require either of these elements so long as the person is respectful of their fellow humans and their surroundings.
Our graph shows how much each cost element costs in different scenarios, making it easy to determine which one you need based on your needs and budget.
There are several critical spaces in your body that cannot be replaced by a casket. These include the heart, kidneys, and lungs. So, when someone close to you passes away, the funeral home charges a bit of space for their use.
Typically, this space is limited to removing the deceased’s clothing and placing the items in a garment bag for shipment. Any other preparation or care needs to be done by the family or funeral director.
This cost is not discussed much as it is highly regulated. For example, if someone was naked while being placed in the coffin, then no one could see any genitalia or any other private parts. Or if someone wanted special care such as washing or grooming of their corpse, then that would need to be done before burial.
Many people are uncomfortable with this regulation as it is limited access to death by having only minimal preparation for what death looks like.
As mentioned earlier, burial is eligible for some insurance policies. These policies do not currently factor in costs, though.
As the majority of people are covered by insurance, burial costs are covered by the insurance. However, there is a cost involved- fuel cost.
The funeral home or minister pays for gas to carry the body throughout the cemetery or publically displayed graves. This cost can be substantial when considering how many times a person needs to be laid to rest.
Many people prefer to be present at the burial and have their belongings brought to them. The cost of that can be more than just the funeral home or minister paying for it- people need to create an account on sites like cemeteriesandcemetaries and find the right number of people at what price.
As important as it is to have a staff at your disposal, you also have to pay for their salaries which depend on the job.
Every funeral has its own budget, and there are fees charged for supplies such as flowers and a casket. As with any supply, this cost can vary from cheap to expensive depending on the quality.
For example, buying a casket can be cheaper than buying one with an empty space inside it, which is what is used when the person is no longer able to pay for it. Or how much you would charge to deliver the service yourself, versus having a funeral director do it for you.
There are also costs that come along with providing your services such as sending an email or phone call to friends and family about the service, paying for an event planner or organizer, paying for a clergyman or minister, and providing aide staff such as an usher or tiller-carrieress.
Regulations and paperwork
As mentioned earlier, cremation is a little more expensive option compared to burial. This is mainly due to the cost of the ceremony and regulation and paperwork required at both the funeral service and post-funeral stress counseling.
Most cost-conscious families choose cremation because they do not want to spend money on a dead body that will soon be destroyed. Since most bodies are consumed within a week of life, this is hardly an issue.
However, with legal uncertainty surrounding body disposal in some places, cremation has become an even more affordable option for families.
Disposition of remains
After death, the majority of people spend a long time looking after the dead. There are many different ways to dispose of a body after cremation.
Some people choose to donate the body to a funeral home for burial or burial with their loved ones. Others prefer to take possession of the body and have it dissected and study it. Still others prefer to leave the body blank away from families choosing not to have a final resting place for them.
In cases where no family member is present, there are many studies that show that dissection and study of the bodies can lead to new ideas on what caused death and could prevent future deaths. These studies are called scientific research due to this being what they are done.
While these methods are important for studying death, most families cannot afford both of these methods. Thus, they choose another way to honor their son or husband, father, or friend at funeral services or disposition.
A more cost-effective alternative to a burial plot is a memorial piece. A plot can be around $100, whereas a memorial piece can be as little as $30!
Many nations offer their population-waiver memorial plots for around $100, so it is possible to have a private ceremony in a consecrated area. The priest will then arrange for the cremation of your loved one’s remains.
This is an excellent way to preserve the memory of your loved one as the ceremony and funeral are both relatively low-cost. Cremation is generally cheaper than burial, which is more expensive.
However, there are some important difference between a burial plot and a memorial piece. A burial plot requires you to put your body in an urn, whereas a memorial piece does not.
Cost of the crematory facility
The cost of a funeral service in the U.S. is mostly dependent on where you are in the country. Most large cities have a funeral director or assistant who can charge you an additional fee for a special arrangement such as placing your body in an ice bath or oven prior to processing, or offering up to five different methods of memorialization such as flowers, a private ceremony, and burial or cremation.
A private ceremony is where someone officiates at your funeral rather than a minister. This includes the ability to charge for extra workers such as photographers and morticians. The difference between a private ceremony and a formal service is that the former is used for informal moments during the service while the latter is used for more intense mourning rituals.
Buryings are when someone buries their body rather than cremate it. With this type of service, there is no cost-of-cremation factor involved.