What is the Average Cost of Cremation?

Profile-PicFor many years, we have read that the national average cost of cremation is around $2,500 and wanted to find out if the average is true. On January 27, 2011, the National Cremation Research Council conducted a national price survey to ascertain the cost of direct cremation from over 80 cremation societies and the results were quite interesting.

According to our national survey of cremation societies conducted on January 27, 2010, the average cost of cremation is: $1,110.05, the median price is $1,079.50 and the mode price is $1,295.00.
We underlined the words, “direct cremation”, to emphasize that direct cremation is the immediate disposition of the body, without a formal viewing, visitation, or ceremony. So, if you desire more than direct cremation and want a viewing (if permitted, with our without embalming), a visitation with the body present, a ceremony with the body present, a memorial service or graveside service and inurnment, you will pay more than just the price of direct cremation. Additional considerations should include: the cost of urns, keepsake jewelry and keepsake urns, reef balls, scattering services, obituaries, death certificates and memorial service items used during the service.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, FTC, all funeral and cremation providers must provide the consumer with a written price list (General Price List) prior to any discussions about their services. Further, the FTC mandates that direct cremation include the following services for one price:

  • Basic services of funeral director and staff
  • A proportionate share of overhead costs
  • Transportation of the body to the funeral home or crematory from the place of death or medical examiner’s office (often referred as the removal of remains).
  • Transportation to crematory
  • Necessary authorizations
  • and the crematory fee

Funeral and cremation providers must also disclose every cost and price for the services they provide. So, if your need for cremation, funeral or memorial services has not already occured, please ensure that you receive a General Price List prior to any discussion on services. An informed consumer is safe consumer.

This survey discovered that many cremation societies are owned by funeral homes, many do not include pricing on their website, do not offer cremation packages and there is a trend to offer one price over a member price and a non-member price and no not charge a membership fee in advance.

/// CRC Staff.

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States covered: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming