Even if you’ve never had to make end-of-life plans for a deceased family member, you probably already know that end-of-life services are expensive. 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 your own end-of-life plan.
However, it’s essential that you understand the different types of cremation packages before you select one for yourself or a loved one.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Average Cost of Cremation in Oregon
- Popular Crematories in Oregon
- Charities, Nonprofits or Government Programs That Help With Cremation Costs in Oregon
Please note that when we say there are different “types” of cremation, we are not referring to the actual cremation act. National and state laws oversee this process, and only one person’s body can be placed in the crematory at a time.
Instead, the different “types” of cremation refer to when the body is cremated and what type of service (if any) you will have to honor the deceased.
If you are looking for a cremation package in Oregon, we’d like to help. Here’s what we discovered about the average cost of cremation in Oregon.
Average Cost of Cremation in Oregon
Cremation prices vary a lot. On average, the cost of cremation in Oregon ranges from $600 to several thousand dollars.
Before providing you with a shortlist of cremation providers in Oregon, it’s helpful to understand some of the vocabulary used to describe cremation packages.
Perhaps a more accurate name for a “traditional cremation” would be a “traditional funeral followed by cremation.” You’ll notice that funeral homes have varying names for this cremation option.
In traditional cremation, the deceased is removed from the place of death and taken 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, a service is held. Some families choose to have a visitation, wake, or viewing (with an open casket) followed by a traditional funeral. The funeral may be the same day as the viewing or scheduled for the following day.
Sometimes the body isn’t present if the family holds the service the following day. This service may be called a funeral, celebration of life, or memorial service.
At some point after the viewing, the body is cremated. The cremated remains are returned to the family days later.
There are many options to consider when selecting a permanent resting place for your loved one’s cremated remains. While scattering is a popular choice in Oregon, the cremated remains can also be buried in a cemetery plot. Families that choose burial purchase a headstone to mark the grave.
Others choose inurnment or entombing the remains in a columbarium niche or mausoleum. Some may use a small portion of the cremated remains to create a cremation diamond or a piece of decorative glass artwork. Still, others decide to keep their loved one’s ashes in an urn on the mantle or a box in the linen closet.
Even though many people think that cremation is the least expensive 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 an expensive cemetery plot with an elaborate headstone.
If you are looking for an inexpensive method of disposition and final resting place, you might consider direct cremation and scattering.
The term “direct cremation” is the name that many cremation providers and funeral homes use for their least expensive cremation service. Therefore, when you read about the price differences between cremation vs. burial, the cremation prices 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 a small group 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 cremains) days later.
Direct cremation is a low-cost option because the amount you pay doesn’t include any services (or funerals) for the deceased. This does not mean that you can’t have a funeral for your loved ones if they are directly cremated. Instead, it means that funeral 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, yard, park, restaurant, or some other type of public venue. Because the body isn’t present at the funeral service when someone has been directly cremated, the service location and times are limitless.
Popular Crematories in Oregon
There are a lot of cremation providers in Oregon. However, the lowest-priced options typically come from large 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. Some funeral homes also outsource cremation to a provider in the area.
Here are some cremation providers in Oregon.
Oregon Cremation Company
Oregon Cremation Company is located in Portland. The basic cremation (or direct cremation) service starts at $905. Like many funeral homes and cremation providers, this company’s staff will assist you in obtaining veteran’s benefits for your loved one if they were a member of the U.S. military.
Crown Memorial Centers
Crown Memorial Centers offer simple, direct cremation for $795. They have six Oregon locations and will assist you or your family with body donation, should that be your preference.
Hull and Hull Funeral Directors
Hull and Hull Funeral Directors has been serving Oregonians since 1928. This full-service funeral home does pre-need funeral planning and has two locations in Grants Pass and Cove Junction.
Andreason’s Cremation and Burial Service
Simple cremation with Andreason’s Cremation and Burial Service in Springfield, Oregon, starts at $793. The company is family-owned and operated.
Charities, Nonprofits or Government Programs That Help With Cremation Costs in Oregon
There aren’t many national and state organizations that will help pay for cremation or burial costs for families who are struggling financially. Typically, these costs are covered by the deceased’s assets, insurance, family members, or close friends.
However, a few national organizations will help families who have lost children and have no resources or insurance to cover the cost of end-of-life services. There is also government assistance available for families who have lost loved ones due to COVID-19.
Here are some organizations that might offer assistance.
Social Security Administration
Although it’s not much, the Social Security Administration provides $255 to surviving spouses after someone dies. Consult the Social Security Administration website or funeral home staff member on how to obtain this benefit.
Children’s Burial Assistance
Although this organization is headquartered in Georgia instead of Oregon, this non-profit group may help families who lost a child obtain a donated burial plot. The organization may also assist with other funeral expenses.
Final Farewell is another child-focused organization that helps reduce the costs of a child’s funeral. Although headquartered in Pennsylvania, this organization serves the entire country. Its funding comes from fundraising campaigns, grants, and solicitations.
Science Care helps individuals donate their bodies upon death to be used for scientific study. Not every person may qualify for Science Care donation, but you will not be rejected merely because of age.
If you (or your loved one) are eligible, this program will pay for the transportation from the location of death to the research facility. It also pays for the cost of the cremation. The cremated remains will be returned to the family when the scientific or medical study is completed.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
If the deceased served in the 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.
County-level organizations and government resources
There are no state-level organizations that will pay for burial or cremation expenses. However, the funeral home that handles the body can apply for a small reimbursement to cover the costs.
There may be assistance available at the county level, but it might be on a case-by-case basis.
Local religious organizations and churches
Some churches, religious groups, and civic organizations may offer assistance with cremation or burial costs in Oregon.
Tell Others Your End-of-Life Wishes
If you wish to be cremated, make sure you create an end-of-life plan and share it with your next of kin. Although you can select and pay for any method of disposition you want, you might consider asking your family’s opinion before choosing a cremation service package.
Your family may wish to be allowed to view your body before burial or cremation. Some may want 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 allows the family to view the body before it is cremated.
On the other hand, if your family feels no need to see the deceased's body, direct cremation may be the right 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 own end-of-life plans.
If you're an Oregon 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.