How Much Does Cremation Cost?

How Much does cremation costSo how much does cremation cost? Currently, a little over 40% of families in the United States are opting for cremation services over traditional burial services when deciding how to say goodbye to a deceased loved one. It’s projected that within the next several years, for the first time ever, the number of people who are cremated in the United States will actually exceed the number of people who are buried. While there are a number of reasons for the shift, the biggest reason is cost. A standard funeral service and burial can cost $10,000 or more, but a basic cremation can cost about one quarter of the price. That’s an interesting fact and it has many asking how much does creation cost?

Of course, the cost of a cremation, just like with a traditional burial, increases with each added service. For example, one estimate lists $474 as the national average cost of using a funeral home for the purpose of conducting a viewing prior to cremation. If you would like to use the funeral home for the purpose of a funeral service as well, you’ll add on another $544 on average. The cost of an average urn is about $250. Including the physical cremation itself, the entire cost, when including the use of a funeral home, can run between $2,000 and $4,000. However, if the cremation is arranged directly through the crematory, the total cost averages between $1,500 and $2,500.


How Much Does Cremation Cost

When you opt for cremation, you save money on certain items, such as embalming, a gravestone, a casket, and a cemetery plot.  Cremation doesn’t require any of those things, though a couple of them are optional. There are, however, other charges associated with the cremation process that you may not automatically think about.

Additional expenses can run well over a thousand dollars total, but, again, unlike with a traditional burial, many of them are optional. It is best to be prepared for them, though, in order to eliminate any negative surprises.  Here is a list of some of the services you may need to calculate into the final cost:


  • Getting a certificate that releases the body for cremation – typically by way of a coroner or medical examiner
  • Transporting the body to the crematory
  • Obtaining the certified death certificate
  • Cost of disposing of the cremated remains (optional)
  • Renting a casket for the viewing (optional)
  • Purchasing a vault or burial space (optional)


The death of a loved one never comes at an opportune time. Many families are left coping with the loss while also trying to figure out how they’re going to pay for the funeral. For those who are struggling financially, it is possible to reduce the cost of cremation to below the $1,500 average. By eschewing all funeral home services, dealing directly with the crematory, purchasing a basic urn, and opting out of a burial vault, you can spend $1,000 or less total.

As the cost of traditional funerals continue to rise (an average casket alone is around $2,500), more and more people are turning to the option of cremation. It’s a much more affordable option than a burial service, and it’s important to remember that the amount of money you spend to say goodbye to your loved one has no bearing on how much that person was loved in life.


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