As an alternative to burial or as a last wish, cremation can be very cost effective and keep your loved one close to home.

Cremation has been the choice of historical figures, such as Alfred Hitchcock and Gene Kelly, but even before, it used to be the preferred method of burial for ancient civilizations. People choose cremation services for many different reasons. Some people actually prefer to be cremated and request that it be used when they pass, and others choose to cremate because it saves on land and funeral costs. More individuals simply want it to be a less emotional process and wanting something shorter, such as a memorial service. Funeral homes will offer different cremation services and accessories, but the costs really shouldn't be over $1,000, and the most expensive part of the process will probably be the urn that you choose.

Direct Cremation

Without a formal viewing, visitation or ceremony, you're opting for direct cremation. This is where the funeral home will either outsource the cremation services or will have an in-house crematorium to provide a full cremation service. In general, it is cheaper if the funeral home also has a crematorium on site. Therefore, there aren't any transportation costs. It's also much cheaper to get a direct cremation without a viewing, which may require renting a casket, embalming, and funeral service planning costs.

Cremation with Ceremony

If you do want the body to be viewed or you want to have a full service with a casket, then you should look into renting a casket instead of having to purchase a casket for presentation. In addition, there will be embalming and preparation costs if the body is going to be in an open casket. In some cases, people really want to be able to pay their respects to the casket and have a full service, while others can handle a simple memorial service with an urn and past pictures of the deceased individual.

What's Included

Funeral homes should respond to a cremation request within 24 hours. There will be a death certification prepared, then filing and obtaining the death certification. The funeral home may also notify social security by form to local office, and obtain permission from the medical examiner to cremate. In addition, there will be a fee to remove the body from the place of death, such as a hospital or home. Usually these need to be within a 55 mile radius of the funeral home. There may be a fee charged per mile out of that radius. Container or urn will also be included. You can upgrade or downgrade based on the options give to you by the funeral home. There will be a refrigeration period, which is a 48 hour waiting period before being cremated that is required by law in most states, and there will also be a cremation fee. Funeral homes can also ship ashes if necessary.

Cremation can be an affordable alternative to a traditional burial. There are those who prefer to be cremated in order for their ashes to spread somewhere. As you go through the cremation process, you'll likely wonder about different fees, and it's important to talk about these with your funeral director.