A loved one’s passing doesn’t merely take an emotional toll. It can also leave a family facing financial struggles.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Places or Programs That Offer Free Cremation in Oklahoma
- Tips for Saving Money on Cremation in Oklahoma
Luckily, from government programs to charities that help with funeral costs, there are several ways to reduce your spending when planning a loved one’s service. Many of these programs focus on providing specific services to families in a particular area.
For example, perhaps you’re planning on cremating a loved one in Oklahoma. Keep reading if you’re looking for ways to save money. This overview will cover some ways to arrange a free cremation in Oklahoma. It will also offer general tips for reducing costs when cremating a loved one’s remains.
Places or Programs That Offer Free Cremation in Oklahoma
In some instances, it’s entirely possible to arrange for a completely free cremation in Oklahoma. Options to look into include:
1. Alternatives Cremation and Funeral Service
Anatomical donation programs accept bodies to serve as cadavers for medical research. In exchange, they may offer free cremation services. Often, they also cover related costs, such as the cost of transporting a body.
This is the type of program Alternatives Cremation and Funeral Service offers. A qualified donor can opt to have their body donated to medical researchers to ensure their families don’t face undue financial burdens after their passing.
Alternatives Cremation and Funeral Services offers free cremations to customers throughout Oklahoma, as well as free transportation of your loved one’s remains. It’s best to coordinate with your loved one ahead of time before their passing, as this program may be less likely to accept a body if it’s not clear whether your loved one would have felt comfortable with you donating their remains to science.
That said, it’s worth considering how this type of program doesn’t just save you money. It also ensures your loved one continues to leave behind a helpful legacy even after their death. When someone donates their body to science, they’re allowing researchers to study it, gaining insights that can help to develop effective treatments for illnesses, a broadened understanding of various ailments, and more.
2. United Tissue Network
United Tissue Network is the organization Alternatives Cremation and Funeral Service works with to coordinate free cremations. Even if the funeral home or cremation service you choose doesn’t offer free cremations, you can coordinate directly with UTN yourself to arrange to have your loved one’s body cremated at virtually no cost to you.
The link above offers more information about registering with UTN. Once more, you will have to meet certain criteria to qualify for the service.
BIOGIFT is another company offering free cremations for anatomical donations to individuals and families in various areas of the country. Its Oklahoma location is in Oklahoma City, offering a central location that may make a BIOGIFT a convenient option for families in various regions of the state.
4. Science Care
Science Care is yet another organization that allows people to register to donate their bodies to science after they pass. Although not technically an Oklahoma-based organization, Science Care does allow people throughout the country to register. Check the link above for more information about doing so.
Tips for Saving Money on Cremation in Oklahoma
Even if you don’t qualify for an entirely free cremation in Oklahoma through any of the above programs, there are still several ways you can save money on a cremation. Common options include the following:
Turn to your religious community
Many churches and similar religious institutions offer financial assistance to members of their religious communities in need. If you’re an active member of a religious community, check with your local religious leaders to determine if they offer such programs or charities. At the very least, they may be willing to organize fund drives, asking other community members to donate what they can during this difficult time.
Use crowdfunding sites
The digital age has greatly expanded our options for requesting donations from others. Through platforms like GoFundMe, you can create a page explaining your current circumstances and asking others to donate. The funeral home or cremation service you work with may also help you ask friends and family to donate.
Opt for direct cremation
Most funeral homes and cremation services offer multiple options to customers choosing to cremate a loved one’s remains. Some options cost more than others.
For example, you could choose to host a viewing or other type of traditional funeral service before cremating a loved one, or you could save money by choosing direct cremation instead. This involves cremating a body and skipping the traditional service beforehand.
You have to consider numerous factors when deciding whether to host a service or save money by choosing direct cremation. You and other loved ones may want the chance to say goodbye before cremating a family member or friend.
That said, you could choose direct cremation, then host a more affordable celebration of life or memorial service at your own home later. Discuss this topic with others involved in planning a loved one’s cremation to better understand whether it’s right for your needs and preferences.
Take advantage of VA programs
Was your loved one a veteran? If so, they may qualify for Veterans death benefits. If you can show your circumstances meet certain criteria, the VA may offer financial assistance for funeral costs, cremation costs, and related expenses, provided you can show that no other entity will offer this type of assistance.
Visit the Veterans death benefits page on the VA’s website for more information about this option. It explains the criteria you must meet to qualify for these benefits and offers information about submitting an application.
Obtain your loved one’s permission
As you have likely realized by now after reading this guide so far, it’s often much easier to get a charity or program to accept an anatomical donation if you can confirm your loved one consented to this choice prior to their death. Thus, if you know a loved one is nearing death or you are simply working on the general end-of-life planning process, discuss this option with them.
If they agree that you should save money by donating their body to science, be sure they clarify this in their will or another official document stating their wishes. You’ll face far fewer roadblocks getting a program to accept a donation if there’s no doubt that your loved one wanted you to donate their body in exchange for a free cremation.
Pre-plan a cremation
This is another option to keep in mind if you and your loved one are planning their eventual funeral together. Most funeral homes and cremation services these days allow customers to plan their services ahead of time.
There are many benefits to doing so. Along with ensuring that a loved one’s funeral aligns with their wishes, pre-planning it often allows you to lock in the price of your chosen package now. That means you won’t have to worry about inflation causing prices to rise by the time you’re ready to cremate your loved one’s body. This won’t allow you to arrange for a free cremation in Oklahoma, but it is one of many ways you can save money not only on cremation but funeral services, in general.
Pre-planning a cremation gives you more time to make related decisions as well. These can include major practical decisions, such as whether to organize a ceremony before cremating your loved one’s remains, along with more sentimental decisions, such as what type of urn you will eventually store their remains in.
It also gives you and your loved one more time to research your options to determine if cremation is the ideal choice. This will give your loved one a chance to express their wishes while also saving you from a lot of stress in the future.
This simple but important tip ties in with the one above. If you wait until a loved one passes to plan their cremation, when the time does come to make arrangements, you won’t have as much time to compare your options.
This isn’t the case when you plan a cremation ahead of time. Although you don’t want to sacrifice quality service in the name of saving money when planning something as important and emotional as a loved one’s cremation, if you set aside time to do your homework, you’ll have a better chance of finding a reliable cremation service in your area that charges less than others in your region might.
Free Cremation in Oklahoma: Many Ways to Save Money
These are all options to keep in mind if you’re trying to arrange a low-cost or even free cremation in Oklahoma. Our guide on how cremation works can answer many of your questions about the topic of cremation in general.