Burial Vs Cremation: Cost Comparison

Frequently, people choose cremation because they perceive it to be cheaper than burial.

While this is mostly true, extra options can frequently increase the total cost of cremation to as much and sometimes more than a basic burial.

Below is a the approximate costs associated with each one, beginning with the basic costs and then with the added options that may be offered:

Basic Burial Services:

  • Fee for a basic service – $4000
  • Transportation of the body to the funeral home – $300
  • Preparation of the body – $200
  • Embalming – $700
  • Car for the transportation of flowers and other belongings – $130
  • Use of the staff and facility for the viewing and funeral – $900
  • Hearse – $300
  • Memorial print package such as memorial directories, registration book, acknowledgement cards – $150

Additional Burial Costs:

  • Grave plot- $1000
  • Burial vault – $1300
  • Opening and closing fee – $1200
  • Casket (metal) – $1000 – $15000
  • Headstone – $1500

Direct Cremation:

If the previous costs are unaffordable, there is another cheap cremation option. Here is a breakdown of what is included:

  • The body is cremated immediately after death. You will engage the services of a crematory,  bypassing the expense of a funeral home.
  • The body can be cremated in a simple cardboard container.
  • No memorial service is held.
  • No embalming or other preparations of the body are necessary because there is no service, viewing, or wake.

Dealing directly with a Crematorium

In most areas, you can transport the body to the crematorium and take care of the paperwork such as the death certificate and transit permits yourself.

In some states you will have to hire a funeral director for these services. Therefore, you should look into your state’s requirements in advance.

The Cost of Direct Cremation

It can be as low as $700 and usually no higher than around $2000, depending on what is mandatory in your state and also with who you deal with.

 Additional Cremation Costs:

  • Urn – $250
  • paperwork – $300

If you must use the services of a funeral director, some charge much more than others for the same service or will attempt to sell you unnecessary options.

Therefore, be sure to look around and make comparisons. For those interested, our Cremation Price Guide compares the costs from 40 different states.

Advantages of Burial:

  • Provides a gravesite for family and friends to visit
  • Considered a more natural method by some
  • Required by some religions
  • The body can be exhumed if necessary
  • May give loved ones more closure

Disadvantages of Burial:

  • Normally much more expensive than cremating
  • Difficult for loved ones who live away to visit

Cemeteries can have restrictions on leaving flowers, taking pictures, or visiting hours

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