Cremation Costs

Families have many options regarding final disposition, each with different costs to consider. Cremation costs range from $1,000 to $8,500. According to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), in 2019, 54% of Americans selected cremation for their loved ones. This number is projected to increase to ~78% by 2040. Many individuals and families turn to cremation for a variety of reasons including the cost and simplicity of services.

What Does a Cremation Cost?

The costs of cremation are dependent on the services selected. Individuals or families may select a direct cremation with no formal service, a cremation with a memorial service, or a traditional funeral service with cremation, among a variety of other options.

According to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), the median cost of cremation with a viewing is $6,970, or about 90% of the cost of a traditional funeral and burial.

Cremation costs can vary widely and are based on a number of factors, including geographic location, services selected, crematory costs, applicable merchandise including a casket, urn, or other memorial keepsakes, permits, death certificates, and other additional items.

The least costly option, a direct cremation, which may also include the basic services of the funeral home and preparation, with no additional rites, rituals, or services, may cost under $1,000.

Families may also elect more expensive cremation options, which can consist of a funeral service with the deceased present, a memorial service, or the interment of cremated remains in a cemetery. These options may cost the same, if not more, as traditional burials.

Items that Impact Cost of Cremations and Services Available

  • Location of Deceased
  • Crematory costs
  • Funeral or Memorial Service options
  • Transportation costs, permits, certified copies of the death certificate, etc.
  • Merchandise costs (urns, memorial keepsakes, jewelry, etc.)
  • Cemetery costs, if applicable

Cost of Cremation Summary

When selecting cremation, families should consider all of the options available to them. It is important to have all of the details including cost, service options, and any additional applicable information prior to making a final decision.

To ensure consumers’ protection and transparency, all cremation providers are required to follow the FTC’s set of Funeral Rules*, which mandates that a standardized General Price List (GPL) be presented at the beginning of all arrangements. If this rule is not followed, it constitutes a violation of the FTC Funeral Rule, which can enact strict financial penalties on the provider.

Understanding the cost of cremation is important. However, when selecting a cremation provider, families should choose one which offers a meaningful and appropriate experience.

Learn more about planning for a cremation.