Even if you’ve never had to make end-of-life plans for a loved one, you probably already know that burial costs are high. You may have seen a commercial that claims cremation is more affordable than burial, which may cause you to lean toward this method of disposition for yourself or your loved one.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Average Cost of Cremation in Arkansas
- Popular Crematories in Arkansas
- Charities, Nonprofits or Government Programs That Help With Cremation Costs in Arkansas
However, it’s essential that you do a bit of research before you purchase a cremation package. Understand the different types of cremation services and talk the decision over with others involved.
If you are looking for a cremation package in Arkansas, we’d like to help. Here’s what we discovered about the average cost of cremation in Arkansas.
Average Cost of Cremation in Arkansas
Cremation prices vary a lot based on the type of service you choose. On average, the cost of cremation in Arkansas ranges from $600 to several thousand dollars.
Before providing you with a short list of cremation providers in Arkansas, it’s helpful to understand the types of cremation packages that are commonly available.
Please understand that these packages have nothing to do with the cremation process. State and national laws regulate all human cremation in the U.S. Regardless of your state, only one person can be placed in a crematory at a time. (On the other hand, a pet cremation provider can place the bodies of several animals in a crematorium simultaneously.)
Instead, the range of cremation costs depends on the type of service you choose for yourself or your loved one.
Perhaps a more accurate name for a “traditional cremation” would be a “traditional service followed by cremation.” Funeral homes have varying names for this end-of-life option.
In traditional cremation, the deceased is transported from the place of death to the funeral home. There, the body is embalmed, cleaned, dressed, and placed inside a casket. Some funeral homes allow families to rent these caskets since they are only used for a short time.
Next, friends and family gather to view the body, comfort one another, and share memories at a service typically called a wake, viewing, or visitation. This service may be followed by a traditional funeral, a celebration of life, or a memorial service. This service may immediately follow the visitation, or it may be scheduled for the following day. The casketed body may or may not be present at the funeral.
Finally, the body is cremated. The cremated remains will be returned to the family days later. The family may choose to have an additional service to scatter, bury, or entomb the remains. Some families choose to do this privately.
When selecting a permanent resting place for your loved one’s cremated remains, there are many options to consider. While scattering is a popular choice in the U.S., the cremated remains can also be buried in a cemetery plot along with an accompanying headstone. Others choose to inter or entomb the remains in a columbarium niche or mausoleum.
A small portion of the remains can also be used to create a cremation diamond, or the ashes can be used to make a piece of decorative artwork. Still, others decide to keep their loved one’s ashes in an urn on the mantle or a shelf in the coat closet.
Even though many people think that cremation is the most economical method of disposition, they may not be referring to traditional cremation. Traditional cremation may cost the same or more than a conventional burial, especially if you bury the cremated remains in a cemetery plot with an elaborate headstone.
If you are looking for an inexpensive method of disposition, you might consider direct cremation.
The term “direct cremation” is the name that many cremation providers and funeral homes use for their least expensive cremation package. Therefore, when you read about the price differences between cremation vs. burial, the inexpensive cremation costs typically refer to a direct cremation package.
In direct cremation, the family says their final goodbyes to their deceased loved one at the place of death or the cremation center. (It’s worth noting that some cremation providers have a comfortable place for the family to gather to view the body before it is placed inside the crematory.) Once the body is cremated, the family will receive the cremated remains (or ashes) days later.
Direct cremation is a low-cost option because the amount you pay doesn’t include any service for the deceased. This does not mean that you can’t have a funeral for your loved one if they are directly cremated. However, it means that funeral or graveside service costs aren’t typically part of a direct cremation package.
Some families still have a funeral at their religious institution, funeral home chapel, home, park, restaurant, or some other type of public venue. Because the body isn’t present at the service when someone is directly cremated, the service options are limitless.
Popular Crematories in Arkansas
There are a lot of cremation providers in Arkansas. The lowest-priced options typically come from national companies that specialize in direct cremation services. These companies may own crematories, but some outsource the service to a local provider. Your local funeral home may have a direct cremation package too.
Here are some cremation providers in Arkansas.
Arkansas Cremation is located in Little Rock. This company provides free transportation within 50 miles. This company’s basic cremation package starts at $595, but this price does not include the online (or printed) obituary, copies of the death certificate, or an urn for the ashes.
Also located in Little Rock, Cremation Services of Arkansas also offers a basic cremation package for $795.
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Cremation packages begin at $695 at A Natural State Funeral Service. For comparison, it’s worth noting that a traditional cremation (with a service at their Jacksonville, Arkansas location) costs $2,850.
Faith Funeral Services serves families in northeast Arkansas. This full-service funeral home offers burial services as well.
Charities, Nonprofits or Government Programs That Help With Cremation Costs in Arkansas
There aren’t many national and state organizations that will help pay for cremation or burial. Typically, these costs are covered by the deceased’s assets, insurance, or family members.
However, a few national organizations will help families who have lost children and have no resources or insurance to cover the cost of a funeral. There is also government assistance available for families who have lost loved ones due to COVID-19.
We know our list is sparse, but here are some that might offer assistance.
Social Security Administration
Although it’s not much, the Social Security Administration gives $255 to the surviving spouse, which can go toward cremation expenses or other end-of-life costs. Consult the Social Security Administration website for more information about this benefit. If you are working with a full-service funeral home, the staff may assist you with this benefit.
Although this organization is headquartered in Georgia instead of Arkansas, this non-profit group may help families obtain donated burial plots throughout the U.S. The organization may also assist with other funeral expenses, including the cost of opening and closing a grave for burial.
Final Farewell is another child-focused organization that helps lower the costs for a child’s funeral. Although headquartered in Pennsylvania, this organization has a national reach. Its funding comes from fundraising campaigns, grants, and individual solicitations.
Science Care is an organization that helps individuals donate their bodies upon death to be used for scientific study. Not every person may qualify for donation, but there is no upper age limit. If you (or your loved one) are eligible, this program will pay for the transportation from the location of passing to the research facility and the cost of the cremation. The cremated remains will be returned to the family when the study is completed.
If the deceased served in the U.S. Military, they might be eligible for a burial or cremation allowance from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The staff working at the funeral home or cremation center should be able to help you navigate the process so that your loved one receives the benefits they deserve.
County-level organizations and government resources
There doesn’t seem to be any state-level assistance available to help people bury or cremate their deceased loved ones in Arkansas. If the person died without assets, there might be help available at the county level.
Local religious organizations and churches
Some churches, religious groups, and civic organizations may offer assistance with cremation or burial costs.
Create an End-of-Life Plan
If you wish to be cremated, make sure you create an end-of-life plan and share it with your family. However, you might ask your family’s opinion before you select a cremation service package.
Consider the needs of your family members. For example, some may wish to have a traditional “send-off,” including an open-casket visitation. This means you should choose a cremation company that offers “traditional” cremation services (or at least one that allows you to view the body before it is cremated).
On the other hand, if your family uniformly feels no need to see the body of the deceased, direct cremation may be the suitable choice.
Even though everyone should have a say in what happens to their bodies after they die, the funeral services that follow offer comfort to the family members and close friends. Consider this as you make your end-of-life plans.
If you're an Arkansas resident and ready to start preparing your own end-of-life planning documents, Cake has Advance Care Planning forms you can download. To help ease your planning, we have all the documents you need in one place.