by Funeral Home Resource Team
Cremation is increasing in popularity and in large part because the cost of cremation is significantly lower than traditional burials. Cremation costs can be less than $1000 in many areas of the country.
Although cremation costs are lower than with traditional burials, there are extra options that you can select that can increase the cost of cremation and in many cases, make it as expensive as a traditional burial.
One of these options is selecting a traditional (although cremateable) casket for the cremation. These can be very expensive and can cost into the thousands. Funeral homes and crematories will also be able to provide a simple wooden casket which for the cremation, or even a casket designed specifically for cremation, which will be much less expensive that a fancy wooden box. If you will be having a memorial service prior to the cremation, you can choose to hire a viewing casket for the service and then have a wooden box for the cremation to help minimize costs.
After the cremation, you can choose to have the ashes kept in a mausoleum or you may take them home with you to keep, or to scatter at a place of significance. Keeping the remains in a mausoleum is the more expensive option. Obviously, if you choose to keep or spread the ashes then you will not have to cover this cost.
It is not uncommon for families to spend the majority of their budget of the cremation on a cremation urn. These provide lasting memory of your loved one and are often kept in the family for many generations. Cremation urns can be as little as $50 for a basic urn or into the thousands for something more elaborate. However, if you are planning in spreading the ashes, purchasing an urn is not necessary as the remains will be placed in a temporary urn for you, anyways.
The average cost for cremation services is what makes cremation an attractive alternative for many families but if you are not careful, you could end up spending as much money for a cremation as for a traditional funeral.