Cremations are becoming the most popular option for Americans who are planning their funerals. In fact, one recent survey found that 44% of Americans were strongly in favor of cremation over burial.
When you start to research cremation services in your area, you’ll find dozens of cremation services to choose from. This may sound like a positive thing–the more options, the merrier, right?
The reality is that some cremation services are better than others. You want to make sure that the service you choose suits your needs, your budget, and more.
We’re here to help you navigate your choices and narrow down your options. Read on for seven things you’ll want to consider when choosing cremation services.
1. Cremation Society vs Standard Cremation Service
First, let’s take a quick look at the difference between a cremation society (aka a cremation service and funeral home) and a standard cremation service.
A cremation society will go beyond handling the cremation, itself. They provide memorial service planning tools. They may even provide a suitable venue for the memorial service, as well.
If you don’t need this additional help, you will want to find a standard cremation service. That way, you are charged only for the cremation, itself, without being charged for additional services you will not be using.
2. Online vs In-Person Arrangements
In the digital age, we often expect that just about any paperwork can be handled online. However, there are still some cremation services that require in-person meetings in order to finalize arrangements.
Not providing an online option for paperwork and arrangements may not be convenient for you and your family. You may be planning the arrangements from out of town or trying to stay on top of your busy schedule. If meeting in person is not convenient for you, make sure you find a cremation service that provides online arrangements.
3. Transportation of Remains
One of the things we often don’t think about is the transportation of the remains, both before and after cremation. Whether or not you are making arrangements from a distance, it’s important to find a cremation service that handles transportation. Direct cremation services can lower your stress levels and help you to avoid unnecessary discomfort.
4. Eco-Friendly Cremation Options
Cremation is often the preferred choice of individuals who prefer to lower their environmental impact. Burials often disrupt natural ecosystems, release toxins into the soil, and more. Cremations are the greener option, but not all cremations are alike.
If you want to lower the environmental impact as much as possible, you may want to look for eco-friendly cremation services. Eco-friendly cremation services are mindful of the use of natural gas in transportation as well as chemicals released during cremation. The objective is to lower the carbon footprint of cremation as much as possible.
(Keep in mind that green or eco-friendly cremation options often cost more than standard cremation practices.)
5. Pricing Transparency
Unfortunately, even cremation services can come with hidden fees. The last thing you want is to assume you’ve agreed to a specified cremation services cost only to discover after the fact that you’re paying hundreds more than you anticipated.
Cremation can be a costly process but finding affordable cremation services is possible. If your budget is tight, make sure you search for “cheap cremation near me.”
Then, narrow down your options further by analyzing each cremation service’s pricing strategies. Look for services that promise pricing transparency. Make sure that things like transportation and arrangements are not priced separately.
6. Death Certificate Handling
Cremation services are required to have an official death certificate for the deceased in order to complete any and all cremation services. Oftentimes, retrieving the official death certificate can be complicated. You may have to go through the deceased’s doctor or through local officials to retrieve it.
Ideally, it is best to work with a cremation services provider who will handle the death certificate for you. That entails that the provider sends the request to the right entity and handles all processing of their order internally. Once again, this is a service that can relieve unnecessary stress during your time of grief.
7. Additional Services and Products
Oftentimes, the family of the deceased has specific plans for their loved one’s ashes. It is not uncommon to place them in an urn. This urn can then be kept at your home or it can be placed with the stone you’ve selected for your loved one.
However, this is not the only option to choose from. You may prefer to scatter the ashes in a meaningful place or have them incorporated into a commemorative item. Cremation jewelry and sculptures are increasing in popularity.
Deciding on what you’d like to do with your loved one’s ashes can also help you choose a cremation service. You may want to purchase these products through the service. You may want to handle this element separately.
In either case, make sure you understand how your cremation service handles these additional services and products. For example, if you wish to scatter the ashes, make sure you are not paying for an urn that you will not use. (Oftentimes, you can find urns and other products at a lower price elsewhere if you do decide to use them.)
Choose the Right Cremation Service for You or Your Loved One
Selecting cremation services can be overwhelming when you realize how many options are available near you. By taking these seven services into consideration, you can narrow down your options. Find the cremation services that match your needs, budget, and more!
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