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Low Cost Funeral Information

Funeral Consumers Alliance


Cemtery In Magna Utah
  Pleasant Green Scenery
Photography By Oscar J. Aguilar

 

Low cost Funerals In Utah

The average Utah family spends between $10,000 - $12,000 to bury a loved one. Following are links to local and online businesses that will significantly reduce your funeral costs. Using these recommended vendors can reduce your costs by as much as 75%.

You Can Contact These Vendors Directly
It is not uncommon to allow a funeral home to make all of the arrangements for you. Allowing a funderal home to make these arrangments is a great way to go for many families. It makes things a little easier during a difficult time. However, it does result in significantly higher costs. Which many families may not be able to afford. There are other alternatives. By assigning a family member, or close friend to act as the 'funeral director', you can reduce your costs dramatically.

Utah Law / Family Legal Forms (PDF) Download

Utah law allows family and friends to fill this important role. This individual can then make as many or as few of the arrangements as the family feels appropriate. All on a volunteer basis. If you choose to embalm the body, they can act as a liaison with a mortuary of your choosing, and make the arrangements with them specifying which services are desired.

Note: Funeral directors are honorable people. Locally we work with Peel Funeral Home on numerous burials. They are a family owned business that in our experience are wonderful to work with, and who charge a fair price. Our advice to consider acting as your own funeral director should not be construed as a condemnation of this honorable profession.

Just as a family can save money by acting as their own general contractor when they build a home, or by doing much of the work themselves, you can also save money on a burial by handling some or all of the arrangements yourself.

If you use a funeral director, you will pay more money, but you will also get wonderful service from good, honest, hard-working people. There is nothing wrong with going this route. Indeed, funeral directors can provide a great deal of peace of mind, during a difficult time.

Some Important Advice

  • You are not required to use a licensed funeral director. After filing the death certificate as a family, and obtaining the proper transport permits, the hospital or other facilities must release the body of your loved one into your care. Some hospitals or law enforcement agencies may not be aware of these federal laws. If you run into trouble please contact The Utah Funeral Consumer's Alliance. They have experience navigating these challenges, and will help you.

    Once the body is in your care, you can then prepare it for burial according to your own beliefs and traditions.

    Alternatively you can have the body released to a mortuary of your choosing. With a family member directing the funeral home in how the body should be cared for. It is not uncommon for funeral homes to push services that are not needed, such as embalming. Select a family member who is tough, and stand your ground. You should not pay for services that you do not need. By hand picking the services your family wants, you can easily decrease the cost of a burial to $3,500 or less. With a little bit of creativity, that bill can actually be reduced to as little as $1,200.

  • You are not required to embalm your loved one. Embalming is done in order to slow the natural decomposition of the body. This can allow the body to be transported and preserved for a short period of time. Embalming will not however stop the body from decomposing over time. It is a short term solution which has effects that endure for only a few weeks or in rare cases a few months. The United States and Canada are the only countries that regularly embalm their dead. Refrigeration can be just as effective, and often more so, at preserving a body until a viewing can take place. Funeral homes are required under federal law to have refrigeration capabilities.

    A body that is kept cool will not smell at the viewing, nor will it look unnatural. Eliminating embalming alone will save you upwards of $1,000.

  • Shop around for the best deal. This is a difficult time to be making very expensive decisions. The Funeral Consumers Alliance of Utah has spent countless hours collecting the prices and practices of local death industry vendors.
    Northern Utah Funeral Home Prices
    Central Utah Funeral Home Prices
    Southern Utah Funeral Home Prices

  • You are not required to purchase a vault. Occasionally we hear people suggest that vaults are required by law. This is a misconception. They are required by many cemeteries, but Federal and State laws do not require their use. Nor does our cemetery.

    Vaults can be a very nice thing and will certainly assist in preserving the casket for several hundred more years than will be the case without a vault. There is nothing wrong with purchasing or using a vault. So long as you do so knowingly, and without feeling pressured to do so.

    If you do opt to purchase a vault, DO NOT PURCHASE A SEALER VAULT!!
    Sealer vaults are sold as weather proof encasements that will preserve the body indefinitely. This is not true. Trust us! We have watched many of them go into the ground, and have vast experience in the ultimate results.

    A sealer vault will fail in one of two important ways. The first common way that they fail is that the seal will do exactly what it is designed to do. It will hold, which keeps moisture from getting into the vault. Unfortunately this seal works both ways. In addition to keeping moisture out, it will also keep the moisture from the body in. As a result, the body cannot dry out. Instead it will putrefy and turn into soup.

    Far more often though, the seal fails. The seal is nothing more than a bit of weather striping put around the vault lid a few minutes before the vault company puts the lid in place. This cheap stripping folds easily, or becomes caught up as the machinery places the vault lid on. In these cases, the vaults fill up with rain water, leaving your loved one completely immersed.

    A normal (non-sealer) vault has holes drilled in the bottom to allow rain water to drain out.

  • You do not have to purchase a casket from a funeral home. Federal law requires funeral homes to accept any casket, even those purchased from third party dealers, or that you made at home. Caskets can be purchased online from Walmart, Amazon.com, Costco, and many other online vendors. Locally KSL is a good source to find them. Walmart charges an additional $99 for shipping. Costco provides free shipping. Additionally you can purchase beautiful handmade wood caskets locally from Robert Alexandar by visiting his website. To do so, Click Here.

  • You do not have to purchase a burial plot, when the body of the deceased is cremated. Scattering the ashes in a favorite meadow or other legal location can be a wonderful and even spiritual experience.

  • Spending more money does not show more love for your family member or friend. Don't feel pressured to spend a lot of money. Ask yourself, "would I want my loved ones to go into debt for my funeral?" The answer is of course not. Nor does your loved one expect you to go into debt for them. There is no shame in not spending money on unnecessary purchases or services. By spending only on those things that are necessary and appropriate to create the type of memorial that your family desires, you can save a substantial amount of money.

  • Funeral homes are required by law to provide you with a price list over the telephone. They are also required by federal law to give you a breakdown of all their pricing, and to allow you to purchase services a-la-carte. By law they cannot force you to purchase a package deal.

  • Know your rights. We highly endorse and recommend The Funeral Consumers Alliance of Utah as a resource to you as you make funeral arrangements. Before you spend any money, you should visit their website, and educate yourself on your rights, and on the options that are available to you.

    Funeral Consumers Alliance
Select The Services That Are Right For You
To make it as easy as possible, we have laid these vendors and their contact information out in sample funeral service plans. However, you can mix and match these services anyway you choose to create the perfect memorial for you or your loved one.


Full Service
Everything you see in a traditional American funeral.

Embalming, Transportation of Body Prices:
Northern Utah

Central Utah
Southern Utah


This is not required. The cost can be completely eliminated.

$895
Traditional Casket

Walmart
Amazon.com
Costco

Robert Alexandar(local)

$295 - $995
Concrete Vault Not Required. If desired, it must be arranged through the funeral home. This price reflects the funeral home's cost.

$385
Funeral Church House, or Home

FREE
Cemetery Plot Pleasant Green Cemetery
801.987.6318

$500
Cemetery Opening and Closing

Pleasant Green Cemetery
801.987.6318

$350
or Headstone
Many sizes and shapes, You have to set yourself

Affordable-Markers.com $139
Total:    $1,284-$3,679

 

Full Service Cremation
Everything you see in a traditional American funeral.

Cremation Prices:
Northern Utah

Central Utah
Southern Utah


$750
Funeral Church House, or Home

FREE
Cemetery Half-Plot Pleasant Green Cemetery
801.987.6318

A grave is not necessary. This cost can be completely eliminated. Keeping the ashes at home, or spreading them in an approved location can be a wonderful experience.

$300
Cemetery Opening and Closing

Pleasant Green Cemetery
801.987.6318

See Above

$350
or Headstone
Many sizes and shapes, You have to set yourself

Affordable-Markers.com

If a funeral plot is not purchased, then this is not needed either.
$139
Total:    $750-$1,539
Home Funeral Director
Utah law does NOT require that you use a funeral director, or that you embalm the body. In these circumstances, a loved one acts as funeral director, and the family cares for the body. For more information on this type of burial visit The Funeral Consumer's Alliance of Utah.

Embalming, Transportation of Body No Embalming, Family takes care of transportation.

FREE
Traditional Casket

Walmart
Amazon.com
Costco

Robert Alexandar(local)

$295 - $995
Concrete Vault Not Required. If desired, it must be arranged through the funeral home. This price reflects the funeral home's cost.

$365
Funeral Church House, or Home

FREE
Cemetery Plot Pleasant Green Cemetery
801.987.6318

$500
Cemetery Opening and Closing

Pleasant Green Cemetery
801.987.6318

$350
or Headstone
Many sizes and shapes, You have to set yourself

Affordable-Markers.com $139
Total:    $1,284-$2,784
Home Funeral Director / Traditional Pine Coffin
Utah law does NOT require that you use a funeral director, or that you embalm the body. In these circumstances, a loved one acts as funeral director, and the family cares for the body. For more information on this type of burial visit The Funeral Consumer's Alliance of Utah.

Embalming, Transportation of Body No Embalming, Family takes care of transportation.

FREE
Pine Casket Robert Alexandar(local)
Ask for the emergency casket.
$295
Funeral Church House, or Home

FREE
Cemetery Plot Pleasant Green Cemetery
801.987.6318

$450
Cemetery Opening and Closing

Pleasant Green Cemetery
801.987.6318

$350
or Headstone
Many sizes and shapes, You have to set yourself

Affordable-Markers.com $139
Total:    $1,284

Donate Body
This is done through the University of Utah.  Call the U of U Body Donor Program before a death at 801-581-6728

All transportation costs are covered within 50 miles. You can even request that, following cremation, the ashes be returned to the family or buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.

Donation U of U
801-581-6728


FREE
Total:    $0
 



Is It Disrespectful Or Somehow Less Reverent To Bury Someone In A Pine Box?
Following is an example of such a burial that was completed in conjunction with The Utah Funeral Consumers Alliance.

For many thousands of years this is exactly how mankind has cared for their dead. With a few exceptions, such as in the case of Egyptian rulers, the practice of buying elaborate and expensive coffins only to bury them a few days later is relatively new. At our cemetery we have hosted and participated in traditional burials using pine caskets, and have found them to be memorable, beautiful, and sacred.

Traditional Burial In Pine Box Being Delivered By Family

A traditional burial. No funeral home is being used to deliver the casket to the cemetery. Instead, a neighbor donated their car and time to transport both the body, and the family, to the burial site. The sacredness of this service, not only saved the family a great deal of money, but also created a very special bond amongst all who participated.

These neighbors helped care for the body, dress her, and prepare her for her burial. The casket was made at home by the same neighbors who drove it to the cemetery. The burial took place three days after the death. The body was not embalmed. There was no adverse smell in the car as the body was driven to the burial site.


Traditional low cost burial in utah

Cemetery Sexton Hiram Bertoch directs the pallbearers as they carefully place the casket onto aluminum beams provided by the cemetery. The Pallbearers are standing on aluminum planks that are hidden underneath the Astroturf.

After the pallbearers complete this task, a local clergyman proceeded to dedicate the grave, and direct a short grave side service.


Casket lowered into the ground with ropes

Following the service, the Astroturf and planks were removed, leaving just the beams. Ropes were then affixed to each of the four corners of the casket, and six men slowly and gently lowered the casket into the grave. The family then was given the opportunity to shovel dirt into the grave. Something that brought the husband to tears. Some of the neighbors also placed a few shovelfuls of dirt into the grave. Afterwards cemetery volunteers finished by filling in the rest of the grave with a tractor, and smoothing out the surface.

Everyone who participated was touched. Instead of a sterile burial, it turned out to be a very spiritual and touching event, where family got to be actively involved in the process.

 

Utah Cemetery
 
Cemetery In Magna, Utah
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