You probably wouldn’t expect a funeral and cremation provider to offer tips for lowering the costs associated with cremation services. However, at Phaneuf, we strive to provide clients and the community with the information and resources they need to make the right decisions when it comes to planning for end-of-life services. The costs of funeral services, cremation services and burial services can be overwhelming, though they don’t have to be. There are many ways to make cremation services more affordable, and in some cases, you can even get them for free.
The fact of the matter is, the more services that you choose to include with your cremation, the more the costs will rise. Many funeral and cremation providers, like Phaneuf, offer packages at different price points, each of which feature a different level of services, so that you choose one that works best for your budget. There are a few inexpensive options for cremation services, and if eligible, you may even be able to receive a free cremation and/or burial services.
Low Cost Cremation Services
If you’re looking for the cremation option with the lowest price, direct cremation may be the right service for you. It is essentially just what it sounds like. There are no additional services, such as a memorial service or viewing. Instead, the body is cremated upon death, and the remains are provided to the family in a simple container, to be kept or scattered as they wish.
Veterans Burial Benefits
When buried in a national cemetery, the United States government offers free burial benefits for Veterans (whether casketed or cremated remains) which include:
- a gravesite in one of the 135 national cemeteries (where space allows)
- opening and closing of the grave
- perpetual care of the gravesite
- a Government headstone or marker
- a burial flag
- and a Presidential Memorial Certificate
Spouses and dependents of Veterans may also be buried with the Veteran, with inscription, and will receive perpetual care, at no cost. Funeral and cremation services outside of the above, however, are the responsibility of the family of the Veteran.
Donate Your Body to Science
For those looking for a simple cremation, without added services, and for the best possible price – $0 – you may wish to consider body donation. In most cases, the cremation itself is covered 100%, and most of the cremated remains are returned to the family of the deceased (upon request), typically within 4-6 weeks. It’s important to note that your family members may only receive some of your remains, depending on what the body was used for.
There are many reasons to donate your body, in addition to receiving a free cremation. You can also help medical students and researchers to make medical advancements of all kinds, including finding cures for critical diseases. There is, however, no guarantee that the facility or organization to which you pledge your body will be able to use it. While most bodies are eligible for donation, there are certain instances in which a body may not be eligible, such as bodies with HIV 1 or 2, AIDS, or Hepatitis B or C for example. In some cases, you may have to pre-register your body to have it donated, while in other cases, facilities will accept donations at the time of death.
If you are considering donating your body to science, it’s important to make sure your loved ones are aware of your decision, so that they can facilitate the donation after you’ve passed away. Otherwise, there could be some unnecessary confusion.
There are many facilities which welcome body donations. A few of them include:
Each of these facilities outlines the requirements for body donation, such as registration forms, body eligibility, and what to expect.
A Free Cremation Option (most of the time)
Most of the time with body donation, the only thing you or your family would need to pay for would be additional services, such as a memorial service after the body has been cremated. Everything is usually covered by the medical facility to which your body is donated. However, there are some institutions which would not cover all of the costs, so it’s important to do your research before pledging a body donation.
Donating your body to medical research is a wonderful option for those who don’t want to pay for cremation services, or simply want to contribute to advances in medicine. It’s a good idea, though, to have a backup plan, in case your body is not able to be donated for some reason. Talk to your local funeral and cremation services provider to discuss what options make sense for you.