Veteran Cremation Benefits in Florida

florida veteran cremation

If you or your loved one is US Veteran you are entitled to certain benefits upon death. One of the most surprising aspects is that a cremation will not be covered by the US government unless your loved one passes away due to a service-related death.

Before you will be applying for the free veteran benefits, you will need to figure out where your loved one with be cremated. The most cost-effective cremation option is called a direct cremation. A direct cremation is a cremation where there will be no viewing of your loved one’s body. However, you can still have service once your loved one is cremated. Once your loved one is cremated there are benefits, they will receive a free plot at the Florida National Cemetery.

  • Florida National Cemeteries will provide all of the items for you at the graveside when you attend the Inurnment Service. The memorial Certificate will be mailed at a later date.
  • The direct cremation facility can provide the necessary info and phone numbers to Families of Veteran Cremation Services. At Going Home Cremation, we can work with you to give all the necessary information.
  • You will need the Veterans DD214 (discharge papers). If you do not have this form, you can call your local Veterans administration to acquire that. If your Veteran has attended a VA hospital or VA doctor recently the VA can identify your loved on through their medical records.

Additional Free Veterans Cremation Service Benefits:

  • Burial flags, provided for free, drape the casket or urn of a service member who served honorably in the military.veteran cremation
  • Presidential Memorial Certificate — Provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Presidential Memorial Certificate is a gold-embossed paper certificateavailable to next of kin and loved ones of deceased service members It is signed by the current president of the United States to honor the memory of honorably discharged veterans.
  • Government-furnished gravesite — The Department of Veterans Affairs’ burial services for eligible veterans include a gravesiteat any Department of Veterans Affairs national cemetery, based on space.
  • Government-furnished headstones and markers — The Department of Veterans Affairs will furnish a free government headstone or markerfor the grave of any deceased eligible veteran in any cemetery around the world. Headstones and markers are also available for eligible spouses and dependents of veterans in a national, military installation or state veteran cemetery.

It is important to pick a direct cremation facility that has familiarity in guiding families in how to appropriately request the veteran cremation benefits.

Step by Step Guide to A Basic Cremation in Florida

affordable cremation planning

If your family has recently passed away or is close to passing away, you might start looking into cremation arrangements for them. You will quickly see there are many options to choose from but the lowest cost and most environmentally friendly option for cremation is a basic cremation.

What is a basic cremation?

A basic cremation is a simple cremation where there is no viewing of the body. When you look into cremations in Florida, there are two cremation options: cremation with a viewing and cremation with no viewing. If you choose to not have a viewing you can save thousands of dollars on the costs and the whole cremation process with also occur much faster.

What are the costs of a basic cremation?

A basic cremation cost can vary in Florida, however most around between $700-$2000. Some of variables to this cost is where the cremation will take place, and the additional fees that can be added onto the cremation like the Medical Examiner fees, death certificates and paperwork fees.

cremation planning

How do I find a basic cremation facility near me?

The best way to find a basic cremation facility near you is by googling basic cremation near me. This will show you the basic cremation facilities near you and if you start looking a little deeper, you will also be able to see the prices of the cremation and the reviews of the cremation facilities.

Make sure to do your due diligence when it comes to looking at reviews for the basic cremation. Try and pick a facility with 5-star reviews that has been in business for a long time. If you loved one is in a Hospice or Hospital, the facility should not recommend a basic cremation facility. Instead, if you ask, they will provide a list of local cremation facilities for you to look into.

A huge red flag is if the hospice, nursing home or hospital recommended one facility in particular. An even larger red flag is if the facility tries to get their chose of cremation facility to pick up your loved one.  We recently have been hearing issues of nursing homes trying to force families to use the cremation facility they picked. Please understand, you have every right to choose the facility you want and no one should pressure you at all to pick a facility. Even if your loved one dies at home and is picked up by a local funeral home that works with the police, you do not have to go with that funeral home or cremation facility. In general, these facilities are more expensive than the norm and you should shop around.

What are the steps in a basic cremation?

When you decide on a basic cremation facility, you will give the facility where your loved one passed away or is close to passing the information of the basic cremation facility. When they do pass, the facility your loved one is at will call the cremation provider. The cremation facility will they go to pick up your loved one to be brought to the crematory. You will then be sent many forms including a cremation authorization form. This form must be filled out before the cremation can occur. In general, it can take 10 to 14 business day for a cremation to be fully completed.


At Going Home Cremations, we offer basic cremations in all of Southwest Florida.

Finding an Affordable Cremation Service Near You In Florida

cremation services near me

When a loved one passes away in Florida one of the first things you will do is look into arranging an affordable cremation in your area of Florida. But this can be a daunting task, you don’t know what an average price of cremation in Florida is and you aren’t sure which cremation service facility you should choose. At Going Home Cremation, we wanted to write a how to guide on how to find an affordable cremation service near you.

The first thing you need to decide is if you are going to want a viewing or not with the cremation you are arranging. A viewing can add thousands of dollars onto your price and make the affordable cremation much less affordable. If you choose to arrange a cremation without a service, then you are looking at a direct cremation. A direct cremation is a cremation where there is no viewing of the body and the body goes direct to the Florida crematory. The average price for a cremation with a viewing in Florida is close to $3500, whereas a Florida direct cremation the price can range from $1200- $2000. There is a significant difference between the two prices, saving you a lot of money. If you do choose a Florida direct cremation, the first thing you need to do is look up local direct cremation facilities near you. For example, if you live in Sarasota you would look up “affordable direct cremation services in Sarasota” or “affordable direct cremation near me.”

Once you have performed your initial search of affordable cremation facilities in your local Florida area, you should pick two to three to call. However, we have some tips on figuring out which Florida cremation service facilities near you that you should call.

  1. Look up their Google reviews. We advise to make sure any facility you choose or even call, should have close to all 5-star Google reviews.
  2. Look for their General Price list on their website. Their general price list will show you the range of prices you could pay in arranging a cremation service near you. There are additional fees like the Medical Examiner fees, and death certificate fees that you need to be aware of.
  3. Get a feel for their website. As the world is evolving, it is important that business’ keep up. You want to pick a Florida cremation facility that has an updated website that is easy to navigate. If you think you want to have an obituary for your loved one, check that their website has an obituary option. Also, if you plan on celebrating the life of your loved one of social media, make sure they have a Facebook presence where you can share your loved one’s obituary.

cremation service near me

Now that you have your list of facilities to speak to about arranging a cremation service near you, we suggest asking some specific questions to each facility.

  1. Ask them for the total price of their affordable direct cremation and what it includes. For example, is an urn included in their price? Or is an obituary? At Going Home Cremations, we include both an urn and an obituary at no additional cost. Make sure to ask the facility to itemize every fee and for them to let you know exactly what each fee entails.
  2. Ask them how long it will take for them to pick up your loved one and how long their average cremation takes. Some facilities take much longer than others.
  3. Get a feel for who you are speaking to when arranging an affordable cremation near you. Do they seem emphatic or do they seem like they want to get off the phone? Make sure to pick a facility that emphasizes with you and that you can tell they’d go above a beyond for you if needed.

The final step is choosing the cremation service facility that is near you is finding a facility that is a combination of an affordable cremation price and great customer service. At Going Home Cremation, we pride ourselves on providing affordable cremation services where we lead with our emphatic service.


What Happens If Your Loved Ones Needs to Go to The Medical Examiner in Florida Before A Cremation?

Medical Examiner Cremation

Sometimes when your loved one passes away in Florida, they will be sent to the Medical Examiner before they can be buried or cremated. This process with a medical examiner is incredibly important to the state of Florida if you are going to get a direct cremation in Florida. It can be nerve wracking when your loved one is sent to the Medical Examiner, so we wanted to help guide families in Florida on some of the steps when they are sent to the medical examiner before your loved one is cremated in Florida.

When does the Medical Examiner Get Involved Before A Cremation in Florida?

When a death occurs in Florida, under certain circumstances, the Florida Medical Examiner will be involved. This will occur when a health care practitioner, police officer

or by others authority figures report a death as suspicious. Normally, these are the type of deaths that are traumatic, criminal, or suspicious in nature, or a result of suicide or drug overdose. This is specific to Florida Statue 406. Deaths that are considered unattended also fall under the medical examiner’s jurisdiction. Unattended deaths are deaths that occur to people that have not seen a doctor recently or died suddenly while appearing to be healthy.  It is very important that if a family is going to choose a direct cremation in Florida, that the medical examiner approves it before it commences. If your loved one’s death falls under the circumstances above, the death must be reported to the medical examiner.

No matter if your loved one needs to be sent to the medical examiner in Florida or not, the medical examiner is involved with every cremation approval in the state of Florida. When we take your loved one in our care for Florida direct cremation, we must get the attending physician that oversaw your loved one to sign the death certificate. Then the death certificate is sent to the medical examiner to overlook and approve. A cremation cannot occur until the medical examiner approves of what the doctor said about your loved one’s cause of death. Sometimes, the Florida medical examiner will request more information from the doctor on the cause or death, or even sometimes the medical examiner will require the body be sent to them for further review.

For example, in both Sarasota and Manatee county there are specific county ordinances and fees for the Medical Examiner:

In accordance with Florida Statute 406.11, rule 11G of the Florida Administrative Code, and other rules and regulations of the state of Florida, all deaths in which the body is to be cremated must be investigated by the medical examiner and an approval number must be supplied to the funeral home or crematory prior to cremation.  In support of this service, local ordinances # R-08-217 (Manatee County) and # 2008-083 (Sarasota County), require the payment of a cremation fee for bodies from Sarasota and Manatee Counties.  The fees vary depending on the county. You can learn more here:

It is important when choosing a Florida direct cremation facility that you make sure they are competent in handling Medical Examiner cases. The Medical Examiner will not refer you to a facility, so it is best to look online for facilities that have good reviews and that have been around for many years. If a Florida direct cremation facility is not competent in dealing the medical examiner faculties, especially when it comes to autopsies, it could cause issues.

What occurs during a Medical Examiner’s investigation?

Medical examiner investigation starts with evaluation of the background information, medical history and circumstances leading up to death.  In certain circumstances it may also include response by medical examiner personnel to the death scene.  Medical examiner investigation also entails examination of the body, which includes examination of the clothing and personal effects and the external surfaces of the body.  Autopsy is commonly, but not always, performed.   In criminal cases, medical examiner personnel work with law enforcement officers in the collection of evidence from a body.

sarasota cremation

How long after the conclusion of the Medical Examiner’s Investigation, can they body be sent for a cremation?

In Florida, once the medical examiner has concluded their investigation, the direct cremation facility can pick up your loved one normally within the same day. Then generally within 72 hours the cremation will occur. In general, the whole Florida direct cremation will be concluded within 7-10 business days, when you will receive your loved ones cremated ashes.

At Going Home Cremations we have affordable cremation facilities in St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Port Charlotte, Fort Meyers & SW Florida. We have good working relationships with all the medical examiner facilities within our coverage areas, and can help guide you through the direct cremation process if your loved one has been sent to a medical examiner facility.

What Is Involved in A Direct Cremation in Florida?

cremation trinity

When you’ve had a death in your family, one of the most daunting aspects if figuring out how to be deal with your loved one’s body. There are so many choices: cremation, direct cremation, green burials, traditional burials and so on. One of the biggest trends you will see while performing your search is how popular cremation has become in the United States.

Cremation has become the most popular form of a final disposition choice within the US. In 2019, 54.6% was the cremation rate in the United State. It has been forecasted that by 2035, the cremation percentage for Florida families will be 79.1%. Florida has the second fastest increase rate in cremation as the choice for families. This is mostly attributed to the direct cremation option families are picking in Florida.

Before we dive into what is involved in a direct cremation, let’s first get to the main reason so many Floridians are choosing direct cremations in Florida. The Price!

The 2019 median cost for final disposition arrangements varies greatly, the average cremation price is $5,150 and the average burial cost is $7,640. Whereas the average direct cremation cost in Florida is $2,800 (Our direct cremation cost is $795). Now we will go into the details on what you get in Florida with a direct cremation and why the price is so much lower for a Florida direct cremation compared to a normal Florida cremation or Florida burial.

cremation cost Florida

1. With a Florida direct cremation, your loved one’s body gets picked from where they passed away and gets transported directly to the crematorium. In other forms of cremation or burial, the body would first be brought to the funeral home for embalming for a viewing. Embalming is an incredibly time intensive task that can cost thousands of dollars and is also very harmful to the environment due to the chemicals used in the embalming process.

2. The time from start to finish for a direct cremation can be much less. There is always a waiting period after your loved one dies in Florida to get medical examiner approval of a direct cremation. Once the Florida direct cremation facility gets the medical examiner approval, the cremation can occur right away. On average, the whole Florida direct cremation process can take between 5 to 7 business days.

3. Due to the current COVID environment, most funeral homes are not allowing viewings. So, if you chose a direct cremation, you do not need to worry about social distancing and the issues that arise from having a funeral.

4. Now more than ever, families from all around the US are choosing to move to Florida. That can create some issues if there is a death in the family, because of a distance. When families in Florida choose a cremation, they can ship or fly ashes to other parts of the country for minimal costs. Whereas, if a family chooses a burial, in most cases that’s not a feasible option.

At Going Home Cremations, we have been helping families with cremations in South West Florida for over twenty years. We can help you save money without sacrificing care.

The Average Cost of a Cremation in Florida

The Average Cost of a Cremation in Florida

  Florida Cremation Cost

Since 2015, cremation has become the top choice for families when it comes to cremations vs burials. It’s predicted that within 20 years over 80% of people will choose cremation as their final wish once they pass away. In Florida, it seems like cremation is getting close to the 80% already, due to the lower costs compared to normal funerals and the ease of arranging direct cremations in Florida. Especially areas where “snow bids” tend to migrate like St. Petersburg, Tampa and Fort Meyers, Florida. One of the biggest issues for Florida families is figuring out what’s an appropriate price to pay for a cremation in Florida. What is why below, we will break down the average cost of a cremation in Florida.

This increase in frequency in cremation as the number one choice for families in Florida has led to a boon of facilities offering direct cremations in Florida. In general, the prices for direct cremations in South West Florida range between $700-$3000. Cremations that fall below the $700 price in general have a lot of additional fees, so in truth their direct cremation prices when everything is said and done are closer to $1200.

There are a few reasons for the incredible variability in Florida direct cremation prices. First, it depends on facility you choose to have your cremation done. In Florida, funeral homes have very large overhead costs, and in years past they received most of their profit from funerals that on average would cost Florida families $10,000. Now that direct cremations in Florida are becoming more popular, they have had to change how they receive their profits. They now have increased their prices of their cremations to compensate for the reductions in burials. So, in general, the highest priced cremations in South West Florida are from funeral homes that are selling cremations. Funeral homes also tend to upsell additional cremation options more and will try and get families to use their cemetery for example, which can add thousands of dollars onto the costs of a Florida cremation.

Cremation Florida Costs

For the direct disposer facilities that only offer cremations in Florida, their prices tend to be lower than funeral home prices. But the big thing to be aware of from these facilities is where their crematories are located and the reviews they have. It is important to research any cremation facility you look at in Florida to make sure your loved one will be handled with dignity and care. We suggest Google and Yelp as great ways to research customer reviews.

We wanted to spend a moment and breakdown common things you will pay for when your loved one dies and wants a Florida cremation.

  • Cremation Cost
    • This is the biggest cost and in general just includes the costs to have your loved one cremated.
  • Transportation of Your Loved One
    • You will have to pay to have your loved one picked up from where they passed to be brought to the crematory. If your loved one is larger than an average person, there tends to be additional fees due to increased need for additional men to help transport your loved one.
  • Refrigeration
    • In the state of Florida, there is a mandatory 48 hour waiting period before your loved one can be cremated, so they need to be refrigerated at the crematory while this waiting period occurs.
  • Casket to Be Cremated In
    • Your loved one will be cremated in casket and the prices can vary.
  • Urn (We include an urn for free in our direct cremation)
    • Try and find a Florida direct cremation facility with well-priced urns. Urns can be incredibly expensive. That is why at Going Home Cremation, we include an urn for free in the cost of our cremation.
  • Obituary
    • Obituaries can be a surprisingly expensive add on to cremations in Florida. We have even seen them cost families close to $1000. We include a premium obituary for free for our Florida direct cremations.
  • Death Certificates
    • There will be county fees for death certificates that everyone has to pay, and they are set by each county.
  • Paper work fees
    • Preparing your loved one for a cremation takes an incredible amount of paperwork, and most all facilities charge for that. When your loved one passes, the direct cremation facility has to undergo many steps to get the cremation approved, have the doctor sign the death certificate and then to get the death certificate approved, these steps can take many hours.

Florida Direct Cremation Planning


At Going Home Cremations, we offer direct cremations in St. Petersburg, Fort Meyers, Trinity, Sarasota, Bradenton, and Port Charlotte, Florida. But most importantly, we want all families searching for Florida direct cremations to understand the average cost of a cremation in Florida so they can make the best choice for their family.

What to Look for When Choosing A Florida Direct Cremation Facility

When your loved one dies, it can be an overwhelming process to figure out what to do next. First, you need to make sure you loved one doesn’t have prearrangements for their cremation. If they do not have prearrangements, you need to start by figuring out how you want to handle your loved one’s direct cremation in Florida.

A direct cremation is becoming more popular day by day in Florida, especially in the south west region of Florida. This is due to the lower costs of direct cremations and also the current pandemic crisis which does not allow for congregation of people to celebrate the life of a loved one. In a direct cremation, you do not have a funeral where you view the body. Instead, your direct cremation facility will pick the body up and have it cremated directly.

Once you have figured out that you want a direct cremation in Florida for your loved one, you need to figure out which direct cremation facility you want to go with. This can be the trickiest part of the whole direct cremation process. When you google direct cremation St. Petersburg or direct cremation Trinity, you will see pages upon pages of direct cremation facilities pop up. Here are a few tips and “red flags” to be aware of and ask questions about:

cremation red flags

Very Low Prices

  • When facilities offer cremations around the $500-$600 mark there should be some alarm bells going off in your head. Most of the time, they advertise a much lower price but do not include costs like transportation, urns, or will even add unnecessary additional fees that can bring your final total easily over $2000. If something like that happens to you, know that within the state of Florida, no facility is allowed to hold a body once they pick it up. If you are not happy, its within your rights to move to another facility. You should aim for a cremation facility that starts offering prices in the high $700-$1000 range. For example, our simple cremation is $795 and it includes transportation, an urn and an obituary.


Their Headquarters

  • We have been seeing an uptick in corporate direct cremation facilities that are not even located in Florida. That should be concerning. You want a facility where their headquarters are based in Florida to make sure they are following all rules around direct cremations in Florida.


Look Up Their Reviews on Google and Yelp

  • Please look at a company’s reviews before you choose to go with them. We have seen many families be shocked at the lack of customer service or upcharges because they did not review their direct cremation facility, they chose in Florida first. For example, our facility Going Home Cremations, has over 24 five stars Google reviews. In fact, we only have five-star reviews, and its important you go with a facility that has similar numbers.


Ask Them How Long They’ve Been in Business

  • We are also seeing more facilities being started by people who do not really understand the Florida direct cremation industry. It’s imperative that your facility knows the ins and outs of each city they are in. When you have a direct cremation in Florida, there are special rules for each area. For example, direct cremations in St. Petersburg can have different county fees than direct cremations in Port Charlotte. That’s why it is so important that you have a facility that can handle each city like they have lived there for their whole life. At Going Home Cremations, we have been in Southwest Florida doing cremations for over 20 years, and know the ins and outs of all the areas we service.

Cremation Urn

At Going Home Cremations, our main goal is helping families because compassion is at the heart of our care. If you are out of our service area but just want to ask questions on some facilities you are looking at for a cremation in Florida, call us! We will try and help guide you to pick a cremation facility that is dignified but offering affordable cremations.

The Rules of Shipping and Flying with Cremated Remains and Ashes

Shipping Cremated AshesShipping and Flying with Cremated Ashes and Remains

It happens almost every day, the untimely death of a family member while out of state or even the country. Or a loved one dies in Florida while in retirement, but you live outside of Florida. What do you do when something like that happens and you want your loved one’s ashes sent some where different than where they passed? You are most likely going to have to fly or ship the cremated remains to their destination.  There are many rules and regulations surrounding shipping ashes nationally or flying with them domestically.


Shipping Cremated Remains:

Once your loved one has been cremated; you do have the option of shipping their ashes once the direct cremation is done. However, there are many rules and regulations surrounding shipping ashes. First, cremated remains are only allowed to be shipped via USPS. They must be shipped overnight via Priority Mail Express. You must have something called a label 139 to accompany the ashes that will be shipped. The priority mail express will provide tracking for the shipment. You can also ship ashes internationally via USPS Priority Mail Express International. However, you must ensure the country will accept cremated remains. Also Priority Mail Express International must be an option to ship cremated ashes to.


The packaging of shipping cremated ashes is very important with a few requirements. If you use your direct crematory to help you ship the ashes, they should be able to do it all for you. If not, check out this link to UPS shipping guidelines for cremated remains: At Going Home Cremation, we offer the service of shipping cremated ashes for our families. The USPS prices tend to vary between $100-$300 depending on where they cremated remains need to be shipped to.

Flying with cremated ashes

Flying with Cremated Remains:

You are legally allowed to fly with cremated ashes as long as you follow some specific guidelines. In the US, most airlines will allow you to fly with cremated remains, but each carrier has a different policy and you must double check their policy. If you are bringing the cremated remains on as a carry on, you must ensure that the urn holding the remains can go through the X-Ray machine, and allow TSA to see the full contents. Stone urns, metal urns, ceramic urns and any other material that is not easily x-rayed will not be allowed. Plastic, cardboard, and most wood urns are okay for the X-ray machine and should be allowed through the TSA security check point. The TSA will not open any urns or examine cremated remains, even if granted permission, so ensure cremation ashes are packed properly prior to going through security.


In Florida, when you are flying with cremated remains, you need two documents: A burial transit permit and a certificate of cremation. The crematory you work with should be able to provide you with both items with ease. You can also put cremated ashes in your luggage, and we suggest that if you do so, attach a copy of the burial transit permit and certificate of cremation to the ashes in your luggage. If you are flying with cremated ashes as a carry on, you should bring both of these documents with you in case there are any questions. If you have any more questions, contact TSA and check out this link about their guidelines:


Shipping cremated ashes


At Going Home Cremations, we can help. We are able to help you ship or fly with you your loved one’s cremated ashes. Visit our website or call 941-320-1179.