Which is Cheaper Cremation or Burial?

If you’re wondering: “Which is cheaper cremation or burial?”, we suggest you read this article and learn more about it. If one day you will die and your family members need to make a decision which form of body disposition to choose, we hope that after reading this article they’ll be able to make the right choice.

The amount of money involved in cremation or burial can vary widely depending on location and service chosen. It’s not unusual for the average cost of a simple cremation without ceremony to be $500 while a full funeral service with embalming, viewing and burial might cost $10,000+. Here are some examples of what various services might typically cost:

$595 for direct cremation (body is cremated without any services)

$1,495 for a visitation and funeral service (but no burial)

$2,000 – $3,000 for a direct cremation with basic memorial package (cremation plus simple memorial printed book or video)

$4,995 for a traditional funeral service with burial at the cemetery.

A cheap burial can cost as low as $300 but you’ll be lucky if the casket is included in that price. You will probably need to pay another few hundred dollars at least for opening and closing of the gravesite, a grave liner, flower arrangements and other necessary items.

$1,000 – $2,000 for a direct cremation with memorial service

$3,500 – $7,700 for a visitation and funeral service (with or without embalming)

$5,200 – $10,800 for a traditional funeral service with embalming and burial at the cemetery. This also includes a basic casket. A more deluxe or custom-made coffin would start from about $2,700.

Additionally, it’s important that you also consider the following:

1. Cost of a grave site and burial vault  (the container that holds the casket and keeps it in place) at the cemetery, where you plan to have your loved one buried. This can range from $2,000 – $10,000 or more depending on location and type of vault.

2. Cost of graveside service with tent (if you’ll hold funeral ceremony at the cemetery). This can surprise some people as funerals at the cemetery are typically less expensive than those held elsewhere but this is because there is no staff and overhead costs associated with them which exist with church or other venues. For instance, if you want to rent a tent for your graveside service, it can cost between $200 – $1,000 or more.

3. Cost of obtaining death certificates (required by many people and organizations for a variety of purposes) which typically ranges from $10 – $50.

4. Cost of transporting the body to the crematory or funeral home (if you don’t opt for direct cremation; this is usually included in the price if you choose to have services at funeral home).

5. Embalming (it’s recommended unless you select direct cremation). The average cost of embalming is about $295 but prices vary depending on location and type of facility chosen for embalming ceremony. Some funeral homes offer more advanced restorative techniques that might be more suitable for some families. Embalming is required by law in certain states if you wish to hold public visitation or funeral service before cremation or burial.

6. Casket (the container that holds the body during memorial service, before and/or after embalming). A simple wooden casket can cost as little as $800 but you’ll probably want to spend between $2,000 – $5,000 for a deluxe model made out of metal or wood with brushed nickel hinges and other features. A more expensive custom-made solid bronze casket can cost upwards of $20,000.

7. Cost of obtaining death certificate copies (required by many people and organizations for a variety of purposes) which typically ranges from $10 – $50.

8. Cost of flowers and other memorial items, including printed programs, guestbook and video or audio tributes for service.

9. Cost of renting equipment such as chairs, tables, podiums etc., if you’ll have a public memorial service at a location besides funeral home chapel or a cemetery. A typical rental fee would be about $200 – $300 but this can vary greatly depending on the type and number of items that need to be rented as well as where services will be held.

10. Newspaper obituary notice with photograph (optional). The average cost is between $400 – $800 (more for an extra-large print) but some newspapers charge as much as $2,500 for their most expensive packages.

11. Funeral planning software programs, which allow surviving family members to coordinate various aspects of the service according to their own wishes and budget preferences. There are several reputable companies offering this type of service (we recommend LegacyWriter™ ), but it will cost at least $50 to print out your personalized funeral plan after you’ve completed it online (prices typically range from $30 – $100). You can also use free online software such as EZLynx™. With this program you’ll be able to make all arrangements in about 30 minutes and it’s absolutely free . All you need is any computer with Internet access.

12. Crematory fee for cremation (if applicable) in addition to direct cremation fees which are separate from cemetery or funeral home. This can cost anywhere from $200 – $900 on average but you might have to pay more if the transport distance is far, or for a private cremation (for example, if there’s no room left in the crematorium’s public chamber).

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