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The Cost of Cremation and Other End-of-Life Planning Tips

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Just like a traditional funeral, there are many options when planning a cremation funeral. Sometimes, people choose a simple cremation and scattering — without much ceremony. Others may plan a memorial service or even a reception. Throughout the process, you’ll be asked to make decisions that affect the cost of cremation. 

Table of Contents

The Cost of Cremation
Complete Cremation Service
Cremation with Reception
Cremation with No Service
Scatter Cremation Ashes with Rest Ashured

As you’re planning, the options may feel overwhelming. A few key decisions will help guide you to create a plan that works best for your family. 

Important Questions to Ask

What’s the plan for the ashes?

If you don’t own cemetery property, or already have a planned location for scattering, many people struggle to decide what to do with their ashes. In fact, funeral directors explain that when ashes go home without a plan, they “almost never find another home.” They end up stored in a closet or displayed on a shelf. 

The ashes become something that weighs on the family. You’ll always mean to “do something” with them but, forget to make time for it. 

That’s why we recommend planning for the ashes right away. Whether you’re burying them, keeping them, or scattering them, you will enjoy the relief of knowing they have been respectfully put to rest.

Do you need an urn?

The container from the crematorium is meant to be temporary and utilitarian. If you’re keeping the ashes, you’ll need an urn for storage. Also, people often like to display the ashes in an appealing container if they choose to host a memorial service. 

If you are simply collecting the ashes from a direct cremation and scattering them immediately, you won’t need to transfer them to an urn.

What are you planning for the services?

If you choose cremation, you have several options for services. Some people choose to display the embalmed body for visitation and the funeral, similar to a traditional funeral. After those ceremonies, the body is cremated. Then, the family can bury, scatter, or store the ashes. 

Others choose to cremate the body then hold a memorial service. They often display the ashes in an urn with a portrait of the deceased.

A final option is to skip traditional funeral services entirely. In these cases, you simply need to plan for the storage or interment of the cremated remains after you get them from the crematorium.

Cremation and End-of-Life Planning

When you choose cremation, the related services affect the cost. Some people choose to host a traditional viewing and funeral service (similar to a burial). Others go straight from the crematorium to scattering. We’ve collected some information to help you understand the associated costs. 

The Cost of Cremation

When you work with a funeral home, their services incur various costs. While these are slightly different between groups, this information will help you plan.

Complete Cremation Service – About $7,800

Some people select a complete cremation service with a time for visitation, a funeral service, and display in a casket. 

For this option, the body will be prepared for a visitation time (like a funeral home or church). The body will need to be embalmed, and placed in a casket. Most of the time, you don’t have to buy the casket. It’s a ceremonial casket — sometimes called a rental casket. The funeral homes switch out the interior between ceremonies.

Cremation follows this visitation or even the funeral. Then, the ashes will be delivered to you for a graveside service or an ash scattering ceremony.

Prices vary by funeral service provider but some funeral homes estimate about $7,800 for these services

Cremation with Reception – About $5,700

Many people choose to host a cremation with a memorial service. In this situation, the cremation takes place first. Then, the ashes are put out in the funeral home for the visitation and for the memorial service.

Because this includes a time for viewing, you incur the same embalming costs and body prep (about $150 – $1,000) as a regular funeral. You’ll also pay for arrangements, coordination, permits, and paperwork (about $1,700 – $5,000). Flower arrangements ($70 – $350), printed programs, and other traditional elements add additional fees.   

After the memorial service, the ashes are given to the family. You can store them, scatter them, or bury them. 

For that level of service, some memorial service providers estimate about $5,700

Cremation with No Service – About $3,500

Some people choose just to cremate their loved one’s remains. They have no memorial services. However, the funeral home will probably provide an obituary and help facilitate the decision-making process. Some funeral homes estimate this cost at about $3,500.

Prices for cremations with no service vary but, estimates that it’s between $1000 – $3,500.

The Cremation Institute even maintains a list with the average cost of cremation for major U.S. cities. 

1. New York City, NY$550 – $10,200
2. Washington, DC$700 – $7,600
3. Houston, TX$675 – $6,800
4. Dallas, TX$850 – $6,300
5. Indianapolis, IN$900 – $6,100
6. Chicago, IL$895 – $4,600
7. Charlotte, NC$875 – $4,400
8. Nashville, TN$1,295 – $4,400
9. Virginia Beach, VA$900 -$4,300
10. Providence, RI$1,400 – $4,100

Additionally, some families choose direct cremation which is essentially processing the remains and delivering them to the family. These costs include things like the simple wood or cardboard casket that the body rests in during cremation. 

If you decide on a direct cremation, you can arrange ash scattering at a later date. This is sometimes how people find our scattering services at Rest Ashured. 

We also find many people choose us as a scattering site after a memorial service, celebration of life, or a cremation funeral. It’s something that they decide to do, whenever they’re ready to say goodbye.

Scattering Cremation Ashes with Rest Ashured 

When you’re finished with your goodbyes, Rest Ashured offers several locations where you can scatter your loved one’s remains. The process is simple and we’re here to help you. 

Select a Scattering Service

Our cremation scattering locations offer peaceful, meaningful areas for you to put your loved one’s ashes to rest. Our locations include burial at sea, a mountaintop scatter garden, and a memorial tree garden

For the scatter garden and memorial trees, we properly registered our property for cremation ash scattering and have long-term arrangements to ensure the sanctity of the location. For the burial at sea scattering services, our boat captains know the places where they can legally scatter ashes and how to file the required paperwork.

Sending Your Ashes

We help you through the process when you send the ashes. We’ll send you a package with all the necessary packing materials. This kit has the appropriate boxes, labels, tape, and simple shipping instructions. 

Then, you ship the package to us. You can ship it through your local post office. (We also offer personal pickup for certain areas.)

Visiting Your Memorial

Most of the year, our property is closed to visitors to protect the beautiful, serene location. Instead, we hold two Days of Celebration each year. You’ll be notified by email prior to the event. Then, you can plan to visit your loved one’s marker. 

On these days, we encourage friends and family members to visit, remember, and reflect.

Get in Touch with Us

Our ash scattering services are a labor of love. We are honored by each scattering and help people say goodbye with dignity and respect. If you have any questions about our services, please get in touch with us. Call 434-534-4007 or email us at

How to Calculate Cremation Cost