A lot of people opt to cremate their loved ones because it’s the least expensive option. When planning an affordable funeral, every extra cost counts. While it’s true that cremation urns are significantly less costly, they still aren’t always inexpensive.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- How Much Does an Urn Cost?
- Where Veterans Can Get a Free Urn
- Nonprofit and Government Programs That Will Give You a Free Urn
- Other Business That’ll Give You a Free Urn
- Can You Make Your Own Urn?
Luckily, there are many ways to get a free or low-cost cremation urn. From finding the best charities that help with funeral costs to looking into local organizations, you can find the perfect urn that fits your budget.
Everyone deserves a way to preserve their legacy. A cremation urn isn’t just a gorgeous work of art. It’s also a practical necessity for keeping a loved one’s ashes safe. In this guide, we’ll highlight the many places you can get free cremation urns.
Tip: A cremation diamond might not be free, but it does provide a unique and long-lasting memorial. Eterneva creates real diamonds out of cremains. You may need a free urn now, but you might decide to invest in a unique urn or cremation diamond in the years to come.
How Much Does an Urn Cost?
To begin, let’s answer the big question: how much does an urn cost? The cost of the urn depends on a few different factors. Because it’s much smaller than a casket, it’s significantly less expensive. The extract price depends on:
- Material: The cheapest urns are made out of DIY materials or wood. Metallic urns are more expensive and are usually made from aluminum or brass.
- Size: You might be surprised to learn that the size of the urn also matters. A micro-urn is much cheaper than a large or XL urn. The size will depend on whether you’re scattering some of the ashes, dividing them, or if the deceased individual was large or tall.
- Design: Lastly, some designs are more expensive than others. This is particularly true if the urn is handmade or a specialty design from a store like Foreverence.
While there is no one-size-fits-all for urns, most cost families between $25 and $300. While this is reasonable, it really adds up quickly when you consider all of the costs associated with a funeral.
Between the cremation itself, the funeral, and any other memorial elements, the cost of an urn might be too much. Luckily, there are a number of services and organizations that help fight this cost.
Where Veterans Can Get a Free Urn
Veterans devote their service and sometimes even their lives to protect our country. As such, many are entitled to special benefits. A veteran’s memorial or funeral is most common, but many groups also offer free urns for veterans. These are a fine way to honor someone’s life of service.
1. Veteran’s Affairs
The VA provides many benefits for those who served in the United States Armed Forces. While they don’t pay for urns directly, they do offer a burial allowance. This comes with a government-issued headstone, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate.
While they don’t pay for funeral or cremation expenses directly, the burial allowance can be used to pay for an urn of the family’s choosing. To apply, the veteran must be eligible for this allowance. From there, the family can apply for reimbursement through the VA.
2. Free Urns for Veterans
Free Urns for Veterans is a family-owned nonprofit that delivers quality wooden urns to veterans in Minnesota.
These are only available for veterans who passed away within one year in Minnesota. Made possible through generous donations, these free urns are a wonderful memento for the family of servicemen and women.
3. Local Veteran Groups
Finally, if you have a local veteran group in your state or city, it’s worth reaching out for assistance.
They might have programs or funds available to assist with paying for an urn for your veteran. In addition, these organizations have experience crowdfunding urns and funeral costs.
Nonprofit and Government Programs That Will Give You a Free Urn
For those who weren’t veterans, it’s still possible to get a free urn through nonprofit and government programs. Most of these are through state and local governments. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your county office to see what’s available.
4. County Assistance
Counties put aside funds for what’s known as “indigent” funerals. This is for those who die without family members or whose bodies go unclaimed after death. Everyone is entitled to a dignified death, and these funds are used to ensure the basics are met.
Many counties also offer assistance to low-cost families. While these won’t pay for extras, they often include the cost of a casket or urn.
5. Children’s Burial Alliance
Burying a child is often one of the hardest things a parent will ever do. Children’s Burial Alliance is a nonprofit that helps families honor deceased children.
They raise funds to help cover burial and cremation costs, and they can assist with finding the right urn.
6. The TEARS Foundation
Like the Children’s Burial Alliance, the TEARS foundation lifts the financial burden from families who lost a child.
They provide funds for cremation or burial, and they also provide support through the bereavement process.
7. Final Farewell
Again, Final Farewell believes all families should receive support when burying a child.
They provide financial assistance and guidance to provide for a proper send-off for any children that die too soon. Through their funds, they assist with caskets and urns.
Other Business That’ll Give You a Free Urn
If you don’t think any of the above nonprofits or government groups are for you, there are still other options to find free urns for ashes. Businesses that specialize in making urns often donate slightly damaged or returned urns to those in need.
8. The Co-Op Funeral Home
The Co-Op Funeral Home is a not-for-profit funeral home that works to bring affordable funerals, burials, and cremations to the Seattle area.
They serve all residents of Washington State, and they have a number of free urns available for families in need. These are distributed based on availability.
9. Pieta Verre
Located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Pieta Verre believes everyone deserves a beautiful urn no matter their income. They have a number of free cremation urns available on a first-come-first-serve basis.
To check their availability, contact their service email. If you can’t pick up your urn locally, you might have to pay shipping costs.
10. Memorial Gallery
Memorial Gallery is another business that offers their slightly damaged urns at no cost. They also have very low-cost options for those who might want a larger urn.
As long as you’re willing to pay for the shipping, you can snag one of their gorgeous designs for free. It might have minor damages, but it will still be high-quality.
Can You Make Your Own Urn?
Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that you don’t need to buy an urn at all. There are many easy ways to create your own, no matter your budget. You might even have things in your house that function as an urn.
If you choose to scatter your loved one’s ashes, you might only need a bag or the container you receive from the crematorium. If you choose to keep the ashes, you can use a ceramic vase, glass jar, wooden box, or anything you can secure ashes within.
Creating your own urn is a highly personal process. Because you can add your own touches and designs, you can make something that reflects your loved one’s legacy and passions. Just because you can buy a memorial urn doesn’t mean you need to. It’s the thought that counts.
Find the Perfect Free Cremation Urn
Cremation urns come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. Though they’re definitely more affordable compared to caskets or memorial diamonds, they’re still an added cost to consider in addition to a funeral and the cremation itself. For families struggling to make ends meet, this can be an expensive undertaking.
As you can see from the list above, there many options to find the perfect free cremation urn. Many businesses, nonprofits, and government groups offer these free or low-cost urns to ensure everyone has access to a dignified death. If you’re looking for a free cremation urn, you’re in luck. More options appear each day, and it’s now more possible than ever to find an urn no matter your budget.
If you're looking for more help, read our guide on how to get free or cheap cremation services.
- “Burial Benefits.” The U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs: National Cemetery Administration. VA.gov.