Many Los Angeles County residents choose cremation over traditional burials when making their final arrangements. It’s not a surprise that many select this form of disposition because it is less expensive than a traditional ground burial which could cost on average of about $3,260. In 2014, more than 51 percent of those who died in the greater Los Angeles area chose cremation.
While cremation is overall an affordable final arrangement, there are ways and places in Los Angeles where you can have an even more affordable cremation. To find the most affordable cremation option in Los Angeles, you have to keep your options open and do your homework before settling on a plan. Here are a few ways to keep your costs down.
Opt for a Direct Cremation
A direct cremation is the most affordable choice for cremation in Los Angeles. With this option, you do away with having pre-burial events such as a viewing, wake or funeral. This type of cremation takes place anywhere from a few hours to a few days after a person’s death. Families then tend to have a memorial service or Celebration of Life ceremony to honor their loved ones. Selecting a direct cremation saves you on average about $1,000-$1,500 dollars.
You will need to shop around to get the best deal since direct cremations are quite competitive in Los Angeles. Since there is somewhat of a “price war” on these types of cremations in California, you will want to make sure of a few things before you sign a contract:
- When shopping for quotes, make sure each one includes all the exact products and services
- Double check what you are receiving since some providers may not include all the products and services they advertise
- The price of the direct cremation should include the crematory fee and cremation container
- You want to get a crematory that is clean, licensed and has a good reputation
A typical direct cremation includes the following:
- Transporting the deceased from place of death to crematory
- Filing for the death certificate and cremation permits
- Simple cremation container
- Proper storage of your loved before the cremation process
Compare Funeral and Cremation Providers and Products
If you want a traditional cremation with a wake and funeral, you can expect to spend in over $3,000 dollars. However, to keep your costs as low as possible, compare the professional funeral and cremation providers you want to use.
First, call funeral homes referred to you or are in your immediate vicinity and be specific about what you want. If you visit the facility in person, the law requires that the funeral provider outline all services and products. Known as The Funeral Rule, this keeps customers from being surprised by any additional costs at the time of the service.
Once you compare providers and products, you can decide what you want and/or need. Some cost-effective choices to have a more affordable cremation include:
- Purchasing a low-cost urn
- Retaining the ashes at home instead of a columbarium or a plot in the cemetery
- Scattering the ashes (permit required by LA County health department for transporting remains)
Consider All Your Resources
There are also a few other ways of cutting costs when it comes to having a cremation. If your loved one received Social Security, he or she may be eligible for a $255 death benefit payment. Your funeral director can assist you with filing for this. U.S. military veterans are entitled to have their cremated remains interred at any National Cemetery at no charge. In the Los Angeles area, there are three national cemeteries from which to choose:
- Los Angeles National Cemetery in Los Angeles
- Miramar National Cemetery in San Diego
- Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside
If You Need Assistance Planning a Cremation
Contact Grace for more information on cremations. Our experts can answer your questions and help you find the right solution that will fit your budget.